Godly Qualities, Ungodly Qualities
sri-bhagavan uvacaabhayam sattva-samsuddhir jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih
danam damas ca yajnas ca svadhyayas tapa arjavam
ahimsa satyam akrodhas tyagah santir apaisunam
daya bhutesv aloluptvam mardavam hrir acapalam
tejah ksama dhrtih saucam adroho nati-manita
bhavanti sampadam daivim abhijatasya bharata
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:
2.purification of one’s existence;
3.cultivation of spiritual knowledge;
6.performance of sacrifice;
7.study of the Vedas;
12.freedom from anger;
15.aversion to faultfinding;
16.compassion for all living entities;
17.freedom from covetousness;
25.freedom from envy and from the passion for honor
— these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.”
(Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter 16 “The Most Confidential Knowledge”, Text 1-3)
“abhayam sattva-samsuddhih” – fearlessness and purification of one’s existence – “What is that?” It does not appeal to people. It does not strike them at all. And yet in the Lord’s estimation, these qualities are the high qualities. Is it not?
“Fearlessness and purification of one’s existence.” the Lord requires of us. But who is fearless? Everyone is fearful. Fearlessness is a godly quality, but today who understands it?
dharmo hi tesam adhiko viseso dharmena hina pasubhih samanah
“Human beings and animals have the same urges. They eat and sleep and copulate and the feelings of fear are common to both. What, then, is the difference between the two? It is adherence to dharma that distinguishes human beings from animals. Without dharma to guide him man would be o better than an animal.”
All that people understand is eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, or fearing. This is animal life. To eat, to sleep, to have sex, and to become fearful — this is animal life. And so Krsna says one has to become fearless. But who cares about it? People are thinking that to become fearless means to keep a gun. Of course, that is also one way.
And as for purification of one’s existence, here also people do not know anything. When someone falls sick he wants to go to a doctor and become purified. But his whole life is impure — that he doesn’t know. You see, Because people’s very existence is impure, they are subjected to birth, death, old age, and disease. That they do not know.
“Godly Qualities, UnGodly Qualities”
(Lecture by Srila Prabhupada New Vrindaban, West Virginia, on June 26, 1976.)