Divine Traits of Wise: Freedom from Temptation & Anger, Gentleness, Modesty, Tolerance (168)


Lesson 168 speaks of discerning 3 realities, and continuity of divine traits from Verse 2 and 3. 

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, Verse 2, 3

Context & Significance of Chapter 16:

  • What defines wisdom?
    • Clarity 3 orders of reality.
      • Pratibhasika: I see, therefore it is. Corresponds to internal reality.
      • Vyavaharika: It is, therefore I see it. EG: When see a flower as a flower, you’re in touch with empirical reality.
      • Paramarthika: Consciousness-existence which doesn’t depend on time for any experience. It’s the knower of time.
    • Mixing these up, results in:
      • Asking, “Why does a wise person experience physical afflictions? Obviously they’re not liberated.”
      • Someone is in pain due to loss, and the (partially) “wise person” starts talking about paramarthika, disregarding empirical status.
    • CONCLUSION: That’s why we need to declutter the mind of convoluted thinking. How? by distancing mind from distortions asura-sampat, and aligning to daiva-sampat.
    • Not afflicted by set of opposites:
      • Wise person is not thrown off balance upon unpleasantness because, through knowledge, knows, all is guided by the infallible order.
      • No opinion is automatically accepted or rejected, but still thinks independently. Thus they’re able to fully engage with world/family, yet remain an independent thinker (detached).

Resuming: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16 Verse 2:

  • Aloluptvam: Freedom from temptation / Resisting the pull to yield to sense objects.
    • Desire/craving which arises in presence of sense-objects is called “loluptvam”. Raja-guna impulse buy.
      • EG: Saliva comes when think of biting into a sour juicy lemon. Or smell of coffee triggers a want.
      • Happens due to untrained senses impulsively going outwards.
    • Alolupatvam is when senses remain restrained despite exposure to sense-objects. Needs sattvika-mind discrimination.
      • EG: In Mahabharata Ādiparvan 33; Garuda was carrying pot of amṛta (ambrosia) for his mother. On his way, he didn’t take a drop of it; despite wars being fought over it. Lord Vishnu was pleased and made him Him vehicle.
    • Learn to say “no” the first time. Because second time is a struggle.
  • Mārdavam: Gentleness.
    • Opposite: being harsh, crude, cruel, insensitive and rude.
    • Mārdavam is being soft, gentle, tender, polite and mild-mannered. Such people are appealing and invoke protection from others.
    • EG of Tenderness: Swami Chinmayananda told brahmacārin to forgo lunch to correct lateness to meditation. Swami himself had not eaten that day.
  • Hrīḥ: Modesty.
    • These are all virtues:
      • Being modest about one’s achievements (making them less then they are).
      • Feeling embarrassed when praised.
      • Feeling shy talking about oneself.
      • Being ashamed of doing something wrong (even when alone).
    • These is unrelated to being self-conscious or teen-shy due to insecurity.
  • Acāpalam: Freedom from restlessness. / Stillness and Steadiness.
    • Cāpalam is expressed as meaningless talk, purposeless movements (leg-shaking), frequent message checking, impulsive YouTube video surfing when bored.
    • PRACTICE: Since mind is harder to control, physically still the body & mind will follow.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16 Verse 3:

tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ śaucam adrohaḥ na ati-mānitā ।
bhavanti sampadam daivīm abhijātasya bhārata ॥ 16-3॥

Smartness (Tejaḥ), Patience (Kṣamā), Fortitude (mental strength, courage) (Dhṛtiḥ), Purity (Śaucam), Absence of ill-will (Adrohaḥ), Humility (Nātimānitā) — all these are there for the one who is born to the wealth of devas.

  • Tejaḥ:
    • Aura/glow of a person resulting from one’s knowledge, honest intentions, meditation.
      • EG: Rāma, Ramana Maharshi.
    • What produces this aura/glow? One’s knowledge / pure intentions at thought level.
    • Opposite is “bad vibes” felt around someone (assuming it’s not one’s projections).
  • Kṣamā (titikṣā): Patience / tolerance.
    • Meaning 1: Tolerance (gained by tapas).
    • Meaning 2: Non-arrival of anger. Seems impossible, but Adi Shankara said it’s possible in B.Gita CH3 commentaries: Obstructed expectation (desire based on binding like/dislike) = anger.
      • Come to accept, you don’t run the laws-orders (which sustain this world). Universe happens according to Bhagavan’s grand-order, not yours.
        • This acceptance reduces expectations, which lessens anger, which increases tolerance/patience towards unpleasant experiences.
      • Lowering of expectations is the ONLY sustainable way to rid of anger.
      • Or convert expectations (binding likes/dislikes) to preferences (non-binding).
  • Dhṛtiḥ: Fortitude (persistence, courage).
    • Not yielding to need to complain. Or putting up with the discomfort of things not going well.
    • Continuing sadhana, despite obstacles. Proportion of distance one is willing to go, is proportion of mental strength.
  • Śaucam: Purity.
    • Cleanliness & orderliness.
  • Adrohaḥ: Absence of ill-will.
    • This is ahimsa at thought level. If catch your mind entertaining ill-manner thought towards someone/something, convert that process into an open-ended question / curiosity. Or apply pratipaksha-bhavana (change focus to something appealing about them).
  • Nātimānitā: Humility.
    • Freedom from superiority complex.
    • Side note: A level of self-respect and pride owing to one's hard work is needed, else one gets walking all over. In today's world, it's hard to cross opportunities, unless you do intelligently state your qualifications.
    • EG:
      • Something as small as hesitance for namaskara (or any kind of friendly greeting) is potentially a form of superiority.
      • Some find it hard to bow to another, because invested in preserving a “strong” self-image.



Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 26 April, 2022



  1. Thank you for your teachings Andre.
    From the perspective of ishwara what difference does it make if I (this jiva) practices divine virtues? Assuming I am just a character in the grand video game of divine consciousness what does it ultimatey matter if I’m the good guy or the bad guy? Or is my apparent individual consciousness and ‘morality’ inseparable from ishwara?

    1. Gladly. From Ishvara’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if universe disappears carrying all the jivas whether virtuous or non-virtuous. Every jiva’s is already that Ishvara right now.

      Hence Chandogya Upanishad, CH6, famous “You (the jiva) are that (Ishvara)”.

      The jiva doesn’t know this FACT that’s true right now.

      For jiva to recognize that, he should first be interested in the higher.

      But to be interested in the higher, implies distancing from the lower (materialistic goals).

      To distance from the lower, one must be reminded of the higher traits of virtue (Dharma) which is the essence of Ishvara.

      SUMMARY: The jiva first needs to get out of their private world (jiva-sṛṣṭi: individuals distortions), and recognize the empirical-world (Ishvara-sṛṣṭi; God’s creation).

      Only once ishvara-sṛṣṭi is appreciated, can one have the capacity to ask the next question “So what is MY (the jiva) relationship to this Isvhara?”.

      Then the pramana (means of knowledge) comes to reveal, you, the person Becky, right now… are not different from Ishvara.

      Not different not in sense of knowledge/power, as Ishvara is limitless, but jiva’s is limited. But not different in sense of existence-awareness.

      So yes, from Isvara’s perspective it makes no difference. But we can’t stop there, as we’re talking about IShvara as an object to the mind. When in fact you are that very Ishvara right now.

      But since the individual doesn’t know it, she/he must be shown. How? By removing ignorance that’s making it seem like you are different from that Ishvara right now.

  2. ==========
    “does it ultimatey matter if I’m the good guy or the bad guy”

    Yes, it matters to you. The bad guy quickly discovers being bad is literally bad. Fear of police. Bad! Locked up in jail. Bad! Opposing gang. Bad!

    This recognition over time that something is “bad”, is actually just coming closer to it’s polar opposite; the good.

    Thus bad is only in reference to the empirical-reality which is good (dharmic) in essence.

    In otherwords, Ishvara only has ONE essence: Dharma. The Truth.

    The extent of falsehoods or “bad-ness” within the field of inherent-Goodness, is the proportion of ignorance (incorrect distortions) dominating the jiva’s mind.

  3. Thanks so much for your clarity with those responses Andre.
    So most jiva’s prematurely seek higher meaning (still shrouded in ignorance), which explains pseudo-spiritualism and the pitfalls of neo-vedanta (if the basic ethical foundation is missing).
    My question about the purpose of divine virtues was therefore coming from the perspective of an ignorant jiva seeking security. True meaning in fact is about tapping in to the Universal Collective Self Consciousness (ishwara) and intuiting what my individual jiva role in all that might be (which of course must at least include divine virtues otherwise how can I possibly serve the whole?)
    Also I made the mistake of personifying/objectifying Ishwara as though it might have a plan for me and other jiva’s like a dreamer dreaming up a universe of interconnected jiva’s. But ishwara is not some force outside of jivas – as the buddhists would say, form is no other than emptiness – the jiva is ishwara (or rather ishwara is that which in which jivas and other apparent subjects/objects manifest). Is that correct?
    Thank you again

    1. ========
      I made the mistake of personifying/objectifying Ishwara as though it might have a plan for me and other jiva’s

      Indeed strong tendency within cultures to anthropomorphize God, who has a “special” plan for each jiva.

      So most jiva’s prematurely seek higher meaning (still shrouded in ignorance)

      Most will skill psychology/emotions/dharma, dismissing it as unnecessary. This very mistake is what gives to pseudo-spirituality.

      jiva is ishwara

      Easy way to understand Ishvara is with analogy of ocean. Whole ocean is Ishvara.

      But then we ask, what is the ocean? It’s nothing but totality of all the waves. So all waves make up the Ocean.

      You as the body-mind Becky, are one wave. Myself as the body-mind Andre, is another wave.

      And each wave is nothing but a name-form. We only assign Andre/Becky so we can function within the context of Ocean.

      Finally it’s crucial to understand, jiva is NOT Isvara in context of knowledge/power. Because Isvara has knowledge to run the entire universe (including my body, your body and body-minds of trillions of animals/insects, etc).

      And yet we as single individual, have a hard time taking care of ourselves, let alone the universe.

      So jiva is only Isvara at the level of CONTENT. Just like wave is not the ocean. But wave and ocean are One at the standpoint of water (content that inheres in both the ocean and wave).

      Entire CH13-15 is strictly dedicated to these teachings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *