The Six Virtues

 "Try; try; ever keep trying." "Realization comes from dwelling on the things to be realized." Following such injunctions of Those Who Know, a constant gain will appear. Ups and downs there will be, in accordance with the swing of the pendulum, or, more properly, the turn of the spiral. Knowing the law of action, we can keep on, whether we are at the highest or lowest point of the cycle. As time goes on and the right attitude is maintained, we shall grow less and less subject to the high or the low.

 To realize, at the beginning, the continuous effort required, would be discouraging; but as the greatness of the task we have set before ourselves becomes more and more real, we grow into the condition represented in the six glorious virtues as that of being constitutionally incapable of deviating from the right path.

 We have in the past generated, or created by thought, and re-inforced by action, numerous elemental beings of the nature of Prakriti. As long as our thought is in keeping with their natures, no great friction is observed; but when our thoughts fail to provide them with sustenance, the struggle for life begins, and must continue until these creatures of ours die, or are so changed as to cause no hindrance. It is a new Manvantara in our little solar system, "the guiding spirit" ruling, controlling, or sweeping away all entities connected with the old evolution, in accordance with the key-note of the new. So, in the concrete state of the old, and the nebulous state of the new, we have to go through the preparatory Rounds. Great Nature repeats her action in accordance with Law, in the small as well as the great. . . .

 One of the results of wisdom is the ability – in degree, at least – to do the right thing, at the right time, and in the right place. The object of all right doing is to help others who are seen and known not to be right. Our seeing and knowing their present condition gives us the clue to the kind and manner of helping. If we judge them incapable of help, we shall afford them none. So we judge not, but like the Sun and Nature treat all alike – shine for all, work for all, irrespective of presently held ideas, or presumable qualifications in any. Such has been the course of all great Teachers. They come to call "not saints, but sinners to repentance." All have had their Judases, but even Judases have to have their chance with the rest; even they are inherently perfect, and having free will may rise to the opportunity. The Gospel hymn which says, "While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return," voices a truth; so what is there in all this that calls for mortal judgment? None, I think you will say, when you consider the matter in its wider bearing, and in the light of Karma which brings opportunity both to give and to receive.

 There is no pretense of personal virtue or knowledge in handing on for the benefit of others what one perceives to be good for them. A claim, even a thought of personal virtue, is detrimental – because it is personal. The Egoic perceptions on this plane are limited by this very thing.

 "Thy body is not self, thy Self is in itself without a body, and either praise or blame affects it not."

 "Deliverance of mind from thralldom by the cessation of sin and faults is not for "Deva-Egos" (reincarnating egos). Thus says the "Doctrine of the Heart"."

 "The Dharma of the "Heart" is the embodiment of Bodhi (True, Divine Wisdom), the Permanent and Everlasting."

 "To live to benefit Mankind is the first step. To practice the six glorious virtues is the second."

 The six glorious virtues are:

  ONE – "Sama." It consists in obtaining perfect mastery over the mind (the seat of emotions and desires), and in forcing it to act in subordination to the intellect which had been strengthened by attaining –

   (a) "Right knowledge of the real and the unreal" (Right Philosophy).

   (b)"Perfect indifference to the fruits of one's actions, both here and hereafter." (Renunciation of the fruits of actions.)

  TWO – "Dama." Complete mastery over bodily acts.

  THREE – "Uparati." Renunciation of all formal religion, and the acquirement of contemplation of objects without being in the least disturbed in the performance of the great task one has set before oneself.

  FOUR – "Titiksha." Cessation of desire and a constant readiness to part with everything in the world.

  FIVE – "Samadana." That which renders the student constitutionally incapable of deviating from the right path.

  SIX – "Shradda." Implicit confidence on the part of the pupil in his Master's power to teach, and his own power to learn.

  SEVEN – One other, and the last accomplishment required, is an intense desire for liberation from conditioned existence and for transformation into the One Life.

 While some of these may be beyond us, we can "practise" in these directions; in fact, we have been so doing, and we know that practice makes perfect.

The Friendly Philosopher, 78-81 Robert Crosbie

Formerly in Tibet there was a famous lama called Drom. One day Drom saw a man walking around a reliquary. "Walking around a reliquary is good," he said. "Practice is even better."

The man thought, "Then, reading a holy book would be good." He did so, and one day while he was reading, Drom saw him and said, "Reading a holy book is good; practice is even better."

The man thought, "This also does not seem to be sufficient. Now if I do some meditation, that will certainly be practice."

Drom saw him in meditation and said, "Meditation is good; practice is even better." The man was amazed and asked, "How does one practise?" Drom answered, "Do not be attached to this life; cause your mind to become the practices." Drom said this because practice depends on thought.

The Fourteenth Dalai Lama