Austerity is the key foundation for attaining the Supreme.
Through austerity one overcomes nineteen defects and secures twelve excellences that lead to Supreme Knowledge.
The nineteen defects are anger, lust, greed, malice pride, etc. There are also seven types of wickedness, namely engrossment in worldliness, harassment of others, coveting other’s wealth, acquisition of wealth through dishonest means, defense of incorrect knowledge, indulging in the senses and cruelty to one’s spouse.
The twelve excellence include knowledge of truth, service to others, mind control, absence of jealousy, forbearance in happiness and misery and compassion.