Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Friday, January 27, 2012

The importance of good character

In our Krishna Conscious philosophy, we talk so much about the body, soul, this material world, its miseries, karma etc. This we do to inspire one to question the status quo of materialism. When all said and done, mere philosophy does not attract Krishna or does not give us entrance into higher dimensions. Srila Prabhupada once replied to a question by a reporter that the way to identify a Krishna devotee is that he or she will be a gentleman. In other words, a devotee of Krishna will possess good character.

 So without character development, practicing Krishna conscious philosophy is a waste of time. We have to cultivate good character. In this day and world where cynicism, sarcasm, extempore display of chivalry (more like bravado), and other machoistic tendencies are attractive, the desire to cultivate character of high nature is not a priority. Developing young students do not seek role models who are humble and meek but who are dominating and passionate in their respective fields.

In Krishna conscious philosophy if we want to transcend the material problems of birth and death, then it is most important to come to the platform of goodness which is prevailed by qualities such as humility, compassion and tolerance. Once we reach this platform only is it possible to elevate our consciousness to the supramundane platform. So let us see or rather list the qualities of good character. If we do not possess such good character then it is our utmost duty to cultivate them. Below is a short list.

  • Truthfulness 
  • Cleanliness 
  • Intolerance of other’s happiness 
  • The power to control anger 
  • Self-satisfaction 
  • Straightforwardness 
  • Steadiness of mind 
  • Control of the sense organs
  • Responsibility 
  • Equality 
  • Tolerance
  • Equanimity 
  • Faithfulness 
  • Knowledge 
  • Absence of sense enjoyment 
  • Leadership 
  • Chivalry
  • The discharge of proper duty 
  • Serenity 
  • Kindheartedness 
  • Gentility 
  • Magnanimity 
  • Determination 
  • Fidelity 
  • Pridelessness 
There are no prices for guessing, these qualities were few of the qualities glorified by His Devotee about Krishna (SB 1.16-26-30). Indeed these qualities cannot be possessed if one is not spiritual and Krishna conscious. One may find similar qualities purely on the material platform but that will be tainted by self-centered desires. The qualities mentioned above, however, spring from the spiritual platform and motivated by selflessness.

Possessing these qualities is an indication that Krishna has entered our hearts for when He enters He brings along with Him these qualities. So it is when Krishna or God enters only can we cultivate good character. There is no good character without Krishna or God. Good character, practicing spiritual life and devotional service to God all are synonymous with one another; one cannot exist without the other.

Hare Krishna

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