Four cardinal virtues we must abide by!
- By Khin Maung Oo
- We always liken our world to a stage on which myriads of events are being presented in various forms: tragedy, comedy, humor, pathos, panic, etc. Many places are peaceful and pleasant for us to live in. Meanwhile, many places are unpleasant and we would not like to set foot even in our dreams, not to mention living there. In this world, for example, advanced countries are thought to belong to the first group and warring regions are categorized into the second group. In outward appearance, the first thought may be considered to be right. Yet, no one will deny if we say that in those countries we can find violence, terrorist attacks and crimes in abundance.
With the advancement of cutting-edge technology, people across the globe are enjoying fruits of modernization, but simultaneously we are suffering from troubles and dangers, living in fear, worries and hope for peace. We can travel around the world as many times as we want and we can live in crème de la crème luxuries. In the midst of such situations, risks of creating nuclear wars are troubling us all the time, added to natural disasters, which can come to us at any time. Generally speaking, therefore, modern technology can be said to bring about advantages and disadvantages to us. But, it is a sure thing that the above-said technology cannot make our worries and fears cease to exist in our minds, which are caused by modernized lethal weapons—products of modern technology.
“The four cardinal virtues” preached by Gautama Buddha, can eliminate our worries to nothingness. These cardinal virtues—Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha can give happiness and well-being to all human and celestial beings who follow it. Our world will surely become a peaceful and pleasant one for us to live, provided that all living beings in this planet will follow the four cardinal virtues. Of the four cardinal virtues, Metta (Loving-kindness) is none other than helping others willingly to bring about benefits for others. If we wish to send Metta to others, we need to send Metta to ourselves first. We have to recite silently in our minds and repeat the thought “May I be happy and well”. Then in the second stage we send the same Metta vibrations to the ones we love. We need to send these Metta vibrations in all directions.
Karuna, the second of the four cardinal virtues is having sympathy and compassion for others. It is like the feeling that we want them to be liberated from sufferings whenever we encounter someone in trouble. The third of the four cardinal virtues is Mudita which is to have a feeling of sympathetic joy when someone is successful or lucky, without any hints of jealousy. The fourth and last one of the four cardinal virtues is Upekkha (equanimity). That is to say, Upekkha means to have a tranquil mind free from affection or hatred. In its real essence, it means having the ability to feel detached. It means to have the wisdom to understand that certain things happen according to the laws of cause and effect. It is the ability to let go of many things in many situations while keeping a stable and tranquil mind. Physical and verbal wrongdoings will cease to exist in this world only if the four cardinal virtues are practiced and observed by all of us.
Thus, if we cultivate the practice of developing the four cardinal virtues, our country will become a peaceful and pleasant place for us to live, free from wars, violence and crimes.