Why things are the way they are, and what we can do about it.
Satyam. This word means that one should not distort the truth for some personal interest. In Vedic literature there are some difficult passages, but the meaning or the purpose should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master. That is the process for understanding the Vedas.
Sruti means that one should hear from the authority. One should not construe some interpretation for his personal interest. There are so many commentaries on Bhagavad-gita that misinterpret the original text. The real import of the word should be presented, and that should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master.
Akrodha means to check anger. Even if there is provocation one should be tolerant, for once one becomes angry his whole body becomes polluted. Anger is a product of the mode of passion and lust, so one who is transcendentally situated should check himself from anger.
Apaisunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life.
Hri means that one should be very modest and must not perform some act which is abominable.
Acapalam, determination, means that one should not be agitated or frustrated in some attempt. There may be failure in some attempt, but one should not be sorry for that; he should make progress with patience and determination.
The word tejas
used here is meant for the kshatriyas. The kshatriyas should always be very strong to be able to give protection to the weak. They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it. But a person who is able to curb down his enemy may under certain conditions show forgiveness. He may excuse minor offenses.
Saucam means cleanliness, not only in mind and body but in one’s dealings also. It is especially meant for the mercantile people, who should not deal in the black market.
Nati-manita, not expecting honor, applies to the sudras, the worker class, which are considered, according to Vedic injunctions, to be the lowest of the four classes. They should not be puffed up with unnecessary prestige or honor and should remain in their own status. It is the duty of the sudras to offer respect to the higher class for the upkeep of the social order.
All these twenty-six qualifications mentioned are transcendental qualities. They should be cultivated according to the different statuses of social and occupational order. The purport is that even though material conditions are miserable, if these qualities are developed by practice, by all classes of men, then gradually it is possible to rise to the highest platform of transcendental realization.
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