Posted By

Tags

Five virtues of distinction

The virtues recommended by the Scriptures are many, but five of them are regarded as major virtues.

These are Chastity, Patience, Contentment, Detachment and Humility.

Chastity

Chastity or continence, is emphasised in Sikhism, because in the human body lies the divine presence and as such, the body has to be kept clean and perfect.

Those things which harm the body or cause sickness and disease have to be scrupulously avoided.

Sex is to be limited to one’s wife. Pre-marital or extra-marital sex is forbidden to a Sikh. He should consider females older to him as his mother, equal to him as a sister, and younger than him as a daughter.

Marriage is a sacrament and the purpose thereof is companionship and help on the spiritual path, rather than sexual enjoyment. The marriage ideal is summed up in the maxim: ‘one soul in two bodies.’

Fidelity to one’s married partner is the essence of continence.

Monogamy is the rule in Sikhism.

Patience

Patience implies forbearance in the face of provocation. Some say that it is natural to be angry, but one should think twice before giving vent to anger. Patience gives moral courage to bear the unexpected, such as sudden hardships and sorrows.

There are people, who are in a position to injure or even to crush their opponents with the power they possess, but they control resentment and anger, because they firmly believe that if another loses his head, they should not lose theirs.

Contentment

Contentment is an attitude of mind which accepts victory or defeat in the same way.

A contended man is active; he tries his best to go forward, but he does not despair if he cannot achieve what he wants. Contentment has no place for fear, fatalism, inertia or sloth.

The contented man is free from envy, jealousy and greed.

He is frugal and thrifty.

He may have his ambitions, but he knows that everyone does not get everything.

Truly conceited people realise the distinctions between means and ends.

Wealth and position are the means and not the ends of life. If one has a large amount of wealth, then some must be devoted to the benefit of the community and for altruistic purposes.

Detachment

Detachment implies an ever increasing non-attachment to all things of a material nature. It does not imply renunciation or asceticism or indifference to the world in which we live.

It implies devotion to duty and the performance of the chores of daily life.

The Sikh serves the family and the community, but he does not get deeply involved in their problems. His attitude is that of a nurse attending a patient.

Guru Nanak has given the example of the lotus in the pond which is unaffected by the mud or the movement of the water. In the same way, the ‘detached’ individual keeps himself away from worldly things. They live in the world, but are not involved in worldliness.

Humility

The individual alone must overcome his own ego and pride.

This is most easily done on the path of humility, regarding oneself as the lowest of the low and considering all others as being superior.

The humble man will serve others without material motive or the expectation of reward. He does this through his love of God and man.

God is present in every living soul, and therefore to injure the feelings of another person is to hurt the God in him.

Those who are vain and the haughty have an inflated ego and as such do not mind exploiting their fellow-men.

Even some holy men are not free from pride and prejudice. Guru Tegh Bahadur warned pious people of that pride, which is subtle and unobtrusive.

Modesty is generally appreciated as a virtue.

Humility is not depreciation of oneself, but rather recognition of one’s own faults and of how much one falls short of the ideal.

It was a practice among the Sikhs before Guru Gobind Singh, to greet each other by touching the other’s feet.

This was an expression of the Sikh’s humility.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement