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The Shiva Vishnu Temple at Livermore, CA

Core Values

 

It is strongly recommended that every individual put in writing a personal set of core values to guide the actions of his or her life. We offer an example of such a set of Core Values  that I use to guide my life, but such a set must be tailored to the mix of Gunas that the individual is endowed with. While most of the values are universal in  nature , there may be some that are not.

 

1. Integrity(1) Sattwa,Suddhi XE “Sattwa,Suddhi” \b . A hankering for the truth is essential in this kind of endeavor (or any field of endeavor). Truth is conceptualized in many ways. What is the real truth? What is the ultimate truth? What is metaphysical truth or, what lies beyond? In seeking answers to all these questions, what is stressed upon is that one should be true to oneself, not just when interacting with another outside the Self.

The study of History (or any other endeavor) must be accompanied by a hankering for the truth. Such a narrative must have few if any inconsistencies and none which are major.

 

2. Celebration of Diversity (ability to synthesize opposing viewpoints, inability to do so is a sign of weakness and a sign of Avidya where one falls prey to Ahankara). “Ekam sat Vipraa, bahudha vadanti.” “Truth is one, the wise call It by various names.”

For many if not the vast majority, diversity signifies primarily if not exclusively diversity of ethnicities or races. But such a viewpoint ignores the very real diversity that exists in differing ideologies, opinions, experiences regardless of ethnic or class diversity. We maintain that the real test of being completely at home in a diverse environment, lies in synthesizing diverse viewpoints , while not necessarily agreeing with them.

Celebration of Diversity or at least the recognition of such diversity and its enthusiastic acceptance must remain a fundamental obligation of all nation states and the responsibility of all the individual citizens of a nation state and not just those of its citizens who are deemed to belong to a majority. Those who view themselves as a minority have to bear such an obligation in equal measure and cannot shirk such a responsibility with a plea that they are a minority and hence do not have to shoulder the same responsibilities as the rest of the populace.

At the same time celebration of diversity does not mean that one should tolerate the intolerant or accept egregious behavior, simply to observe political correctness .

 

3. Courage(dhairya, dhiratva XE “dhairya, dhiratva” \b ) to think outside the box and adopt new paradigms (Viswakarma), to admit your mistakes, show remorse and apologize where applicable and move on to persevere in the face of great odds and to fight against evil (Thithiksha). This also includes a reverence for the traditions of our ancient civilization and the courage to defend such traditions against tyranny and terrorism. We should be explicit in stating in a fashion reminiscent of a statesman in the west,

“Let it resound in the distant regions of this planet, whether there are those that wish us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival of the cherished values and traditions of the Hindu

 

4. Detachment or VairAgya XE “Vairagya” \b  When faced with the consequences of one’s action, Hinduism XE “Hinduism” \b  asks you to stand aside and become a witness (sAkshI bhAva). Rather than respond with extreme excitement or deep depression, accept what comes to you, without your intervention, with a certain detachment. In victory and failure, reflect, understand, and inquire. The way you think influences your way of life and helps you motivate yourself without external aids. VairAgya is a core value which is perhaps emphasized to a greater degree than it is in the Occident.

 

5. Viveka, XE “Viveka,” \b  to discriminate between what is good and what needs to be discarded. To preserve enduring traditions and values and discard those which are no longer relevant using Viveka

 

6. Compassion for those who need help and who cannot help themselves and those who are disadvantaged in society and who need a helping hand

 

7. Reverence for all life forms , and in particular human life is a central core value. The taking of a human life is a grave matter and is permitted to societies (and nations) only under conditions of extreme provocation, such as self defense. To wage war to reclaim lost territory or to avenge past wrongs becomes highly problematic under the prevailing charter of internationally acceptable behavior. It is all the more imperative that when one is forced into war that the fight be fought with valor ,courage and single minded determination to win, since the alternative could be very costly, as India has learned from past experience.

 

8. Tolerance for Ambiguity. Contrary to Einstein, the world and the events that take place in this world are not deterministic. One can only describe certain phenomena in a probabilistic paradigm. The certainty in ones belief system may be a luxury only Prophets can afford. For, the rest of us we have to rest content with a degree of belief and tolerate the inherent ambiguities of many facets of life

 

9. Respect for the individual and his/her individuality. We thank Ishwara for blessing the human species with the gift of diversity and we believe in dealing with each individual based on his/her actions and behavior and not on the basis of their status or class or Varna in society

10. It is our belief that a study of history in general and our history in particular has lessons to teach us. We make no apology therefore for our emphasis on history in these pages, and our quest to unravel an account of our history that is accurate. It behooves us therefore to study history in order to cull those actions, policies, principles and values that have stood the test of time ,while at the same time learning from those instances deemed generally to be failures. In short the purpose is not so much to dwell on the ‘glories’ of the past but to learn and continue to be inspired so as to aspire to reach even greater heights.

 

11. Reverence for Knowledge, both Para and Apara Vidya XE “Paara and Apaara Vidya” \b  and a determination (Thithiksha) to pursue the studies of the ancient knowledge in Sanskrtam. The manuscript wealth of India exceeds over 5 million. About a million of these have been catalogued. These staggering numbers indicate, that there is much that we are not cognizant of when it comes to the knowledge of the ancients.

 

12. Freedom to know and be yourself . It is our strong conviction bolstered by extensive studies of our ancient scriptures, and vetted by the stringent requirements of Logic, that the single greatest gift that the Sanaatana Dharma XE “Dharma” \b  bestows upon us is the freedom to be our Self and the freedom to exercise choices (Free will). Freedom however is accompanied by responsibilities, the responsibility to ‘Know thyself’ and to be accountable for our actions

 

"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-)

 

 

 

Kosla Vepa
Copyright © 2006 by  Kosla Vepa. All rights reserved.
The contents of this page may not be copied without the express permission of Kosla Vepa
Revised: 02/10/09 13:05:04 -0800.






1.Cardinal Virtues

Purity  

Sattva, Suddhi

 

Self Control

Sama/Dama

 

Detachment

Vairagya

 

Truth

Satyam

 

Non Violence

Ahimsa

 

 

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