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How To Develop Virtues?
As human beings we have tremendous qualities and virtues. You don’t have to look for virtues outside – you are the source of all virtues. But in the stress of day to day life, these virtues get hidden.
A seed has a membrane around it which doesn’t allow the seed to sprout, but when the membrane is soaked in water and it gets the right atmosphere, the membrane loosens and the seed sprouts. That is how the seed becomes a tree. Sadhana is a way to soak the seed; yoga is a way to manifest all the perfections that are already within you.
Virtues get covered by three things:
Mala or impurities. If there are toxins in your body, it reflects on your mind and affects your behavior. Impurities of the body and mind are called mala.
You get a lot of negative thoughts if your bowel movements are not okay. If you have constipation, the impact of it on the mind is sure negativity. Anyone who says I have constipation, know for sure that they are going to have negative thoughts sooner or later because the toxins in the body are increasing and it is going to affect the brain too. This is called mala, or the first sheath that covers your beautiful being.
Aparna: a veil of ignorance that surrounds you through identification. There is a saying in English that as you sow so shall you reap. You have sown the seeds. You have put the labels on you – I am so bad, or I am weak, or I am hopeless, or I am arrogant. Whatever label you put creates a sheath around you. Avarna is a veil which has come from many lifetimes.
Vikshepa: when you put wrong concepts about yourself in your mind, or form wrong concepts based on what you hear from others that causes disturbance in you is called vikshepa.
Your interaction with people can create mental disturbances. Just one person, whom you are friendly with, tells you some news and that news can disturb your mind. It can throw you off normal. And later, after 1 or 2 months, you come to know from your friend that what you heard is not true, but by that time it has already caused so much restlessness or agitation in your mind. So vikshepa is agitation getting created in your mind by hearsay or opinions of other people.
So these 3 things keep you shrouded and limited. Meditation and yoga can help you come out of all this, and that is when you have full enthusiasm, energy, joy and all virtues coming up.
Satsang can also help you come out of vikshepa and wrong indoctrination that gets into our head. Satsang brings positivity. Then when someone comes and tells you this guy is a hopeless guy and you say, “Ok, so what!” You don’t get affected by that. Otherwise if someone says this guy is a hopeless guy, you say, “Oh yes, he is a hopeless guy. I believed in this guy and I went to tea with him and gave him money…” and this way the mind goes on. So, satsang takes you out and gives you a positive attitude.