The victory of virtue

The meaning of the word victory is, to ‘beat an opponent’. In the world of business, that means defeating the competition, in the world of sport, it means to win the game or the championship. In today’s atmosphere, these victories are often achieved by ‘winning at all costs’, which may include, cheating, lying, going back on one’s word, or subterfuge. That kind of winning is devoid of any honour, and it totally reduces the value of the victory.
In the world of spirituality, it is far more important to choose the principles and values that we employ to achieve any kind of success. In the work we do, and the relationships we have, hollow victories do not amount to anything in the spiritual arena. It is in virtue that success lies, which means developing a high set of characteristics, such as patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding. The end result of spiritual study is the total assimilation of virtues into our character, and to become a fully virtuous person.
The more virtue I have within me the smoother my relationships will be. Virtue is a buffer zone between me and another. If something is not to my liking or someone is behaving in a way that is not what I want to see, if I have patience, tolerance, and understanding, it will simply not bother me. A virtuous person is able to adjust to situations and personalities. The more virtuous my character, the more I am free of ego, and the more I will be able to adjust.
A spiritual path offers opportunities to develop virtues in many different ways and in all shapes and sizes. In fact, the whole architecture around a spiritual lifestyle is designed exactly for this. Opportunities tend to come in forms that are not always easy to identify. If I have any kind of friction with anyone, then it is certain that there is a virtue missing within me. I need to identify what I am being asked to develop within myself. If we use the analogy of life as a school, then we are the students, but who are the teachers? The teachers are the ones we find especially difficult. Those who make us lose our patience are our patience teachers, and there will be a tolerance tutor and a forgiveness trainer. On the road to developing greater virtue in the self, the tests are practical, not in a textbook or volume of wisdom. Those who are spiritually aware, with their third eye open, can spot learning opportunities all the time, and the indication of that is that such a person continues to grow, develop and mature emotionally and spiritually. The first thing they do is to stop complaining and criticising, because while they know that people will be whatever they are, they know it is in their hands to upgrade the vision they have of them. These people become emotionally stable and display a constructive mindset. They are productive and can see opportunities for growth where others cannot, especially in adversity.
There are three different mindsets in the face of adversity. The first is a baby mindset. The second is an adolescent mindset, and the third is a mature mindset. Those with a baby mindset easily get upset; they are highly sensitive and highly fragile. They cry a great deal, if not always outwardly, there will be tears in the mind. The adolescent mindset has a great deal of creative energy, but this needs to be properly channelled. If not, they quickly become those who point fingers of blame and want to know who to punish, who is at fault. They are very confrontational and create chaos in groups and teams. Those with an adult or mature mindset are able to maintain emotional stability. They remain calm and peaceful, because they see more deeply than what is on the surface. They are able to ascertain the value of the lessons to be learned, and can see the hidden significance of what is happening. They remain stable and unfazed, can demonstrate patience and tolerance, and can bring calm to the situation. They are invaluable.
Virtue brings victory. The opponent to beat in spirituality is the weakness in our character that we have accrued through the loss of spiritual energy. Meditation and connection with the supreme source of all virtue is the way to fill our character with the highest set of principles again. The opportunities that come along are simply a way of honing our skills, until we get it just right.
Yogesh Sharda is the National Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris’ services in Turkey.

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