Divine Qualities

Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda

A knower of Brahman is like Brahman

Mind control, sense control, self-discipline, purity, forgiveness, honesty, wisdom, Self-realization, and faith in a hereafter constitute the duties of Brahmins, springing from their own nature.
— The Bhagavad Gita XVIII:42

A true Brahmin is he who is one with Brahman, God. Jesus declared this consciousness when he said: "I and my Father are one." Whether born in a high or a low caste, whether Christian, Hindu, or follower of any other religion, he who knows God, as did Jesus, is a true Brahmin. He who has realized oneness with God possesses all knowledge contained in Him. (…)

In his daily life, a Brahmin manifests all the divine qualities, such as purity, self-control, forgiveness, and uprightness. The Hindu scriptures say:

A knower of Brahman
is like Brahman

Thus a true Brahmin is pure like God, without any taint of delusion in his consciousness. Even as God by austerity remains above the manifested cosmos, so by self-control (mastery of the self by spiritual discipline and resultant samadhi meditation) the Brahmin transcends the perception of the world and its limitations.

The Hindu scriptures say that creation is God's lila or sport, a play of His cosmic consciousness, springing from His desireless desire. He is present in His creation, yet He remains apart as the Absolute Spirit beyond creation. In that sense He may be said to be practicing "austerity," or nonattachment, like the perfected yogi who lives in the world but is untouched by the world. Having mentally renounced desires for the things of this world, the Brahmin has attained the power to enjoy creation and yet to remain apart from it, absorbed inwardly in the ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new joy of Spirit.

Jesus advised man to forgive his enemies seventy times seven. Even though that course often seems impractical, every man should bear in mind that four hundred and ninety times are very few when compared with God's unceasing forgiveness—daily, weekly, monthly, annually—not only of the sins of one lifetime, but of incarnations. Without God's forgiveness, no sinful prodigal child could return to his true home in the ever-loving Father.


God Has Only One Quality

In the highest sense, God has only one quality; existence, consciousness, and joy are mingled as one in Him. The liberated Brahmin manifests this one quality of God—ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Joy—and is therefore free from the clutches of the triple qualities inherent in human characteristics and in Cosmic Nature. (…) (pg.1056)