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Seven Heavenly Virtues

Ameeta Agnihotri

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For every action there is a counter action. This is the law of the Universe. We do good so good happens to us. We give so we get. We overeat and we become fat. If we don't eat we starve and wilt away. We workout and we get fit. Input has to equal output if we are to stay the way we are, and if we want to lose some kilos, output has to exceed input. . . you get the picture. Similarly, for every vice or sin, there is a virtue. Last time we spoke of the seven deadly ones according to beliefs down the ages. It was fairly simple. Bad is bad. Good, though has several more angles to it, even though it appears fairly simple.

The vices we spoke of were: pride, jealousy, anger, laziness, greed, gluttony and lust. Naturally then, the opposite of those would be the virtues: modesty, kindness, forgiveness, diligence, charity, temperance and purity. But-yes, there is a but-life evolves (as we all know) and good things, though broadly the same, change to suit the times.

R. Sridhar, Editor, Mumbai Mirror Online is a very spiritual person, entrenched as he is in the way the modern world works. For him, putting a lot of thought into the question of virtue in today's world is not such a marathon task. “Practising humanity is a virtue that I feel one must possess because we have all forgotten it. Within its ambit come the rest: sensibility, sensitivity, empathy, assertion, self-worth, etc. The package of being human comes with many perks-the problem is we try to gain these perks separately, instead of homing in on becoming more human. " In this pursuit of materialism we tend to forget being human is the most important thing in life. Because we are human beings after all, not some robots built to mechanically perform.

Surprisingly, Chhaya Bhatt, a Biochemist in America echoed Sridhar's thoughts. “Give up hypocrisy, " she said. “Help people in distress and be self controlled in speech, action and thought. " For a word once spoken cannot be unspoken, and an action once taken cannot be erased from history. But the thought, that is an area that is never black or white. And it is something that can flee if you forget. “Hold on to good thoughts, take action on them, and forget the harmful ones. That, according to me is the best virtue that one can have. "

Good, though, has a cascading effect. In the sense while a human being is not ‘all good’ or ‘totally bad’ the good they do and the virtuous thoughts they have do spread ripples of virtue around them. When asked what he thought, Max Babi, professional Plasma Technologist by profession and Metallurgist by qualification put his thoughts across without any hesitation. “Integrity often also described as stolidity, unshakeable self-belief and self-worth is according to me the most important virtue a person can possess. Honesty goes hand in hand with it. " It seemed like a lot of people have at some time in the recent past thought about the single quality that would endear people to them.

Bharti Jesrani is a confident home maker. She is well read and very articulate. Currently living in Mumbai, Bharti makes it a point to remember people close to her on their special days. Never does a birthday or an anniversary go by without her wishes being sent. During earlier times, when her artist and designer daughter was in her teens, the Jesranis mailed cards created by Riddhika to near and dear ones. “Help and support fellow humans-in whatever way we can. Work for the betterment of the future generations. We are enjoying the fruits of the trees sown by our forefathers. In the same way it becomes our moral duty to give the future with compounded interest to the future generation. The next generation will follow by example, and carry forth this torch for their offspring!"

The young and happening have a way of looking at life differently. So also their view on the single quality they think is most important. “Friendship without selfishness, " Balaji says, very quickly. Like most of his peers, this youngster too thinks on his feet.

"Restraint, " the very bookish and well informed Akshay pipes up. “One must do everything in limits. Take a simple thing like eating-overeat and you lose control. Exercise-do too much and you can injure yourself, even for life. " Hence the proverb, ‘Too much of a good thing is good for nothing’.
"I think it is forgiveness, " opines Meghna. “Because only when you forgive can you move to the next level in a relationship. " Otherwise, every time you meet, you tend to carry the burden of a previous hurt within you and that can fester, grow deeper and spoil who you are. How about forgive and forget? “Yes, that too. Because once you have forgiven from deep within yourself, you will forget too. Remembering is hanging on to the hurt. " So, one has to forgive and do it purely. That, then includes another virtue. . . .

Director Communications, FitnessOne, Ameeta Agnihotri has been writing ever since she could string words together to make sensible sentences.

She writes and edits F3 - the inhouse magazine from FitnessOne, and handles the PR for FitnessOne India's seven products.


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