Dayanand posted an article on the 26 qualities of spiritual development that Krishna lists. It’s in the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, verses 1-3. I also reviewed Maharishi’s translation, the Yoga Sutra, and some related resources.
These are qualities of someone established in the Self. Some may arise prior to awakening and some may take more time, depending on our history and nature.
I do not suggest these as practices, as is so often found in teachings and translations. Rather, they are listing qualities that show results of correct practice. We might favour the qualities when there is the option, but trying to control is just ego getting involved. That is not the way to liberation.
1: Fearlessness (abhayam)
We don’t hold back from right action. Fears like of death fall away.
2: Purity of the Heart (sattva samshuddhi)
Clarity and purity of the nadis (channels) allowing the heart to flow.
3: Established in Yogic Knowledge (jnana yoga vyava sthithi)
Knowing the Self, we know all that can be known.
4: Charity (dana)
When our nature overflows, we naturally give. No justification or self-serving required.
5: Control of the Senses (dama)
Breaking ego identification means the mind isn’t driving the senses and they come under control. Not by force but by the end of identification.
6: Offerings (yagyas)
When we’re not trying to get something from life, our life becomes an offering.
7: Study of the Self (swaadhyaaya)
Mindfulness of the Self or presence shifts the habits of the mind. A Niyama of Yoga.
9: Honesty (arjavam)
Straightforwardness, sincerity, and harmony in one’s thought, words, and actions. See also #11 Truth.
10: Non-violence (ahimsa)
When we heal, violence of thought, emotion, and action falls away. Closely related to #12, Absence of anger and #15, Absence of calumny (malicious speech). A Yama of Yoga.
11: Truth (satya)
Truth does not have to be harsh. Yet truth is closely related to #9, honesty. One of the 4 legs of the bull of dharma and a Yama of Yoga.
12: Freedom from Anger (akrodha)
When we heal our unresolved experiences, we’ll find unresolved anger in there. We become free when healed. See also #10, nonviolence.
13: Renunciation (tyaga)
Letting go of identification, then all is renounced. We can be in the world but not attached to it. We can love without bondage.
14: Peace, serenity (shanti)
When we become established in silent being, the Self, we become peace. Related to the contentment of Niyama of Yoga.
15: Absence of Calumny (slander, malicious statements) (apaishunam)
When we cease judging others and needing to be right, we release the need to attack others. See also #10, nonviolence.
16: Compassion Toward All Beings (daya bhuutesu)
Like love, a feeling that is collective. Mercy. One of the 4 legs of the bull of dharma.
17: Non-covetousness, Freedom from Greed (aloluptvam)
Closely related to the yamas non-possession (aparigraha) and non-theft (asteya) wherein “all jewels rise up.” Without attachment, we cease being possessed by possessions.
18: Gentleness (mardavam)
Established in #10, nonviolence, we become gentle. We can still be fierce, but it’s on a platform of gentleness.
19: Modesty (hrih)
When pride falls away (#26), we become modest.
20: Freedom from Inconsistency (achaapalam)
When we’re established in the unchanging within and have clarity, inconsistency falls away. The way is clear.
21: Radiance of Character, brilliance (tejas)
This relates to the inner light, effulgence, and Ojas, a substance on the skin. Tejas (fire) is also related to Vigor.
22: Forgiveness (kshama)
When we let go of attachment and heal our old wounds, we cease taking things personally and can forgive.
23: Fortitude (dhriti)
Related to #20, when we become clear and stable, we gain insight into our circumstances and gain patience and fortitude.
24: Purity (shaucha)
Of body and mind. This starts with cleanliness but goes much deeper, as some of the other qualities illustrate. One of the 4 legs of the bull of dharma and a Niyamas of Yoga.
25: Freedom from Envy (adroha)
When we gain infinity and attachment falls away, so too does envy.
26: Lack of Conceit (naatimaanitaa)
Also translated as “lack of expectation of honours.” When we cease identifying with the personal ego, pride loses it’s meaning. See also #19.
These qualities “come to one who has gained Divine consciousness.” We could call them the layers of liberation (moksha).
On the flip side, the demonic leads to “ostentation, arrogance, self-conceit, anger, insolence and also ignorance.” The verses go on to describe a number of other undesirable qualities. These all lead to bondage.
In your life, simply notice what you’re favouring or giving attention to. Favour the positive. Don’t resist if darker emotions come up. Don’t act on them but allow them to release. Then when they complete, bring the attention back to the good. This, and a good effortless meditation practice, will take you a long way towards these qualities.