Every valuable text on virtue and human progress provides practical tips for everyday life by drawing attention to traits that make or mar one’s personality.
The Gita classifies human traits broadly as
satva, rajas and tamas and states that tamas, seen
as ignorance, forgetfulness, wrong understanding, laziness, etc, is as formidable a foe as rajas, which manifests as desire and anger.
That those who remain in ignorance, forgetfulness, laziness, etc, willingly board the boat to doom is the razor-sharp observation of Tiruvalluvar on this matter, pointed out Swami Omkarananda in a discourse. They are blind to the truth that lost time is lost forever, never to be gained, unlike loss of money or other possessions. Speaking of ignorance, it is shown that ignorant men inflict more sufering upon themselves than what can be caused even
by their enemies. As for laziness, it courts the hand of misfortune while good fortune is always present in the toil and efort of people. The greatest wealth an individual can possess is determination to achieve the goal and striving
for it at all costs. Perseverance creates prosperity, and the lack of it produces poverty. To be devoid of good fortune is no one’s disgrace. But shame belongs to those destitute of
knowledge and tenacity. Though destiny decrees one’s deeds will fail, the wages for determined work are always paid. This life granted by God is precious and has to be respected and valued. It is an opportunity to rise to higher levels, whatever may be one’s basic nature. One has to constantly be aware of one’s thought, word and deed, and
be sensitive to the way this guna can obstruct one’s progress, material as well as spiritual