Om Susilaya Namaha, Salutations to the One who is sweet natured, virtuous, of good character. Sushila indicates virtue, and the foundation of virtue in the human person is excellence of character. Character comprises three elements, what is thought, said and done. Excellence of character, virtue, is purity of thoughts, words and actions.
sushil Hin. sushila San. adj. very virtuous. San. m.
susila San. m. well-disposed, good-tempered, having an amiable disposition;
susila San m. tractable (as a cow);
susila San m. good temper or disposition; most virtuous, amiable and of good temperament, good character; well behaved.
Sushilaindicates a high order of virtue which is observed in behaviour; it is a surrounding energy or temperament of the person which abjures all who come into contact with this person to rise to the same heights of virtue. Integrity in thought, word and action begets integrity from those whom they encounter.
Om Susilaya Namaha signifying good nature, virtue and good temperament, illustrating that the proper foundation for true humanness is suddhi, purity. People with suddhi (purity) have intelligence moderated by goodness, and manifest intelligence that is controlled by virtue.
We ask ourselves, “How do we know a person has virtue?” … the answer is we look to their character, that is, what they say and do, their choices and behaviour. It is from choices and behaviour that we infer values and hence, virtue.
Four key virtues are as follows:
- maitri – comradeship and company of the humble and the good; affection for the name and form of the Lord;
- karuna – compassion; kindness one feels towards the afflicted;
- muditha – pleasure upon encountering a saint or guru; the joy one feels when meeting people who are charitable, who serve others, who help those in distress, etc.;
- upeksha – the feeling of unconcern when encountering the wicked; neither revulsion nor judgement;
These are key virtues directed toward goodness, beauty and truth; sathyam, sivam, sundaram. We keep in mind that truth is the basis of the Universe, sathyam moolam jagat.
An amalgam is said to be a combination or blend of diverse things; we might also say that virtue is an amalgam of human actions which lead to higher and higher expressions of humanity. Such virtues might be an amalgam of patience, wisdom, peace of mind, self restraint, control of ego, discrimination (discriminating the real from the unreal), equanimity, non-harm, self-discipline and charitable giving. These are also matters of managing the outward-going ideations of the mind, giving hint to the foundation of virtue in the ancient Latin adage, mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body.
“All men do not get the inner prompting to conquer Maya, by surrendering their all to the Lord. It depends on the merit or demerit, accumulated during many births. Those who have only demerit as their earnings will pursue the fleeting pleasure of the senses. Like the birds and the beasts, they revel in food and frolic; they take these as the purpose of life; they do not entertain any thoughts of God; they dislike the company of the virtuous and the good; they stray away from good acts; they become outlaws from the realm of God.”
“On the other hand, those who have earned merit strive to grow in virtue, in uplifting thoughts, in the contemplation of the divine presence and they yearn for the Lord. Seekers such as these may be drawn to the Lord through suffering or want or the thirst for knowledge or keenness to acquire wisdom. But the fact that they turn towards the Lord for relief shows that they have grown into the higher path through many births.” Gita Vahini