As Nihir and Nitali delve into the 10 virtues with Ba,
“The first and most important of the 10 is forgiveness or Uttam Kshama.”
“Like when I say sorry to Nihir after taking his things and Nihir says ok.” quips Nitali.
“Partly, Nitali… it is ‘authentic forgiveness’, that is with humility and with no anger and after asking for forgiveness one makes a vow not to repeat that mistake.” replies Ba, patiently.
“Which are the others?” both kids chipped in at the same time.
“Believing that all living creatures are equal and have equal rights.”
“Is that why we do not eat meat or hurt ants?”
“Yes, beta a.k.a. child.”
“The next virtue is of being straightforward, by being aligned in one’s thinking ,speech and actions. also a difficult one in this day and age for a lot of people: to live deceit free.”
“Well, I can’t say I have been without deceit, I have said I ate all my lunch when I have not.” says Nihir, thoughtfully.
The others are:
- Contentment or departure from desires for wordily things.
- Truthfulness: speaking affectionate words without intention of causing no injury to other living beings.
- Self restraint to prevent injury to others and self by exercising restraint n pleasures provided by the 5 senses.
- Penance by restricting what you eat and meditating
- Renunciation of worldly goods or living with the most minimum, and giving generously and fearlessly: food, medicine and Holy scriptures.
- Non attachment to things and feelings by increasing faith in one’s soul and shedding internal attachments of feelings and external attachments of things.
- Supreme Celibacy refraining from pleasures associated with touch e.g. cool air on a warm day .
“Nihir, which of these would be easy to try?”
Nihir is deep in thought as he speaks slowly “Well, it is hard to forgive, or not want things, or even give up things, or not want to be comfortable on a hot day, so…..what does that leave me with Ba?”
“How about: treating all living creatures as equal or being truthful or choosing to avoid some things to eat?”
“Ba, we are already doing some of the things, like being truthful, not hurting ants so does that count.” Nitali interrupts.
“Yes, it does and there is always room to do more.” Ba replies with a smile on her face.
“Nihir, sleep on this and we can talk again another day.”
“Ok, Ba.” says Nihir, deep in thought.