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Ashta Guna In Hinduism – Eight Personal Virtues

Ashta guna is the eight personal virtues which need to be practiced for attaining freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The Ashta Gunas are compassion, forbearance, not finding fault with others, purity, avoidance of lethargy, auspiciousness, not being niggardly and non-attachment.

Compassion is one of the divine virtues often exhibited by god through His manifestations to redeem the oppressed. Even when one is endowed with strength and power to retaliate, it is a noble virtue to show forbearance. It is an excellent trait to appreciate the virtue of a person rather than find fault with him. Besides bodily purity, one has to practice purity of thought and action and acquire wealth in the righteous way. Lethargy in the performance of one’s duties is ruinous. It delays action and proves to be an obstacle in the accomplishment of a set task.

Auspiciousness, the next virtue, consists of speaking and conducting oneself in a pleasant manner.

Manu, ancient law giver, advises one to speak the truth which is pleasant and to refrain from speaking that truth which is not pleasant. One should not lie just for the sake of being pleasant. Hoarding and being stingy are bad traits. One should not keep more than what one needs for his immediate use. One should give liberally to the needy. One should not be possessive and cultivate the spirit of detachment in worldly matters.

Source –
  •  Dharmasutras – The Law Codes of Ancient India (1999) Patrick Olivelle – Oxford World Classics.
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume I page 479 – IHRF