- Religion and Philosophy
The Five Cardinal Vices
When He enters the Higher life, the seeker will find that there are some cardinal vices, which, if not checked, will affect his receptivity and ability to assimilate the Higher Forces which God is raining down upon him. Here then, are the main ones to take note of, and the seeker must be granted a higher Mercy and earnestness, without which they cannot be conquered.
- Ahamkara (Ego) makes us feel separated from others and from God. Its very nature is to slice things up, to divide, and to feel superior. Ego gets malicious satisfaction in making someone else its slave. It minimises our humility, and detests anything which is like God. Ego is a selfish slave. It gets pleasure in ‘me’ and ‘my’, and is very much a stranger to ‘we’ and ‘ours’. Ego lacks identification and as such feels no great need for unity, or in being a team-player.
Opposite: Humility has no enemy and yet it is quite strong. The sun shines on the rich and poor, and is never worried about status. The tree bends once erect, then offers us its fruits, flowers and other contents, only to bear again. God wants us to bend as the yielding tree, to acknowledge our brothers and sisters, and like the tree and sun, to share in a spirit of selfless sacrifice. This is another name for Love.
- Krodha (Anger) is vicious, and when unchecked, leads to not only temporary but mortal crimes. Anger creates darkness in the heart and blocks the Light of Grace. An angry mind is a restless one, and as such cannot find peace. Many ill thoughts come out of anger and frustration, and they create a vexation to the spirit. Fear and insecurity must be transcended by the power of Light.
Opposite: Serenity helps us to feel the peacefulness of the Soul, and to calm the mind. A quiet and clear mind full of mindfulness, becomes a very useful and illumined vehicle, as well as an aid to progress both in the external and internal world.
- Lobo (Greed) is responsible for the degradation of one human to another, and has created numerous wars. It separates husbands from their wives, and vice versa as greed prevents the individual from being satisfied with his/her lot. On the mundane plane, it leads to obesity, vanity and a mind unsettled from the desire of wanting more.
Opposite: Poverty is an intense satisfaction and content with whatever God gives, and wherever He places us. We accept with a quiet resignation and obedience to His Will. Poverty is an extremely positive quality.
- Moha: (Attachment) is full of desires. Its very nature is to grab and cling on. It feels that it is entitled to Love and as the ego surfaces; it feels entitled to feel that it owns others. Attachment is full of expectations. I do something for you and you owe me as a result. There is no give and take with attachment; its very nature is to cling, no matter how refined. However, its main weakness is that it is so bonded, that it immediately falls to pieces, as soon as the object of attachment is taken away.
Opposite: Dispassion offers everything to God. It knows to do its duty, but while doing so, feels that the results belong to Him. “To work we are entitled, but not to the fruits thereof” – Sri Krishna. That is the way of the dispassionate life. Dispassion is not detachment or disinterestedness in a negative way, as it is full of empathy and love, and truly cares for all.
Which of the Five Cardinal Vices Bother You More?
- Kama (Lust) creates passion or desire which when fully spent, leaves the Soul weak and weary, and unable to absorb the Higher Light. Promiscuity is born out of lust and if unchecked, creates ailments for the Spirit and malady for the Soul. It dulls the memory and holds the emotions in a prison-vice. Marriage has been suggested as a form of self-control, but lust is no respecter of union and will create havoc where ever it goes.
Opposite: Purity. Lust is gradually transformed by a slow and steady approach to living a purer life. It should not be stopped too abruptly, but through a process of gentle transformation. Inner and outer purity is essential to the Soul, and inevitably helps towards being receptive to the Higher Force. A life of exercise or occupation is paramount for keeping one’s lower desires at bay, accompanied by a reliance on Divine Grace. – Manatita, 20th January, 2014.