CHENNAI: Spirituality and ethical values are entwined in the way of life taught in the scriptures. The Bhagavad Gita lays emphasis on the drive/attitude that impels an individual's action. It states that action alone is incumbent on the individual and not its fruits. A high value is placed on those sacrifices and penances that are performed with strict adherence to scriptural law, where there is no selfish motive or expectation of reward and the purpose of the action is desire for worldly good and charity.
Swami Mitrananda pointed out in a lecture that Lord Krishna's description of the Satvic way of life is a perfect proposal for those desirous of leading a virtuous life where the three fold austerities pertaining to the body, speech and mind encompasses all aspects of life.
The following virtues are recommended for the physical upkeep of the body reverence for the celestials, seers and preceptors, integrity, honesty, purity, chastity, compassion to all and ahimsa.
To uphold austerity of speech, it is advised that one take care not to hurt others with words, always remain truthful, speak only what is beneficial, kind and pleasant to others and practise regular recitation of the Vedas. To cultivate mental discipline, serenity of mind, sympathy, meditation upon the Atma, withdrawal of the mind from sense objects and integrity of motive are suggested. A committed and devoted practice of these in one's day-to-day life with sincerity and no desire for reward is the essence Satvic penance.
Those practices motivated by selfish pride or show of ostentation are the essence of the Rajasic type while those performed with foolish obstinacy, self-mortification or with a desire to cause injury to others belong to the Tamasic kind.
Similarly the act of giving is highly extolled when no return is expected, and when one feels it is one's duty to give, and gives at a proper place and time to a worthy person.
Charity is not merely what one gives by way of wealth or knowledge, and includes solace, compassion, kind words and selfless service to others. Creative arts have been able to attain amazing levels of perfection through unselfish commitment to work and practice of meditation to increase the power of concentration.