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

Characteristics Of Wisdom

(The sage is marked by) humility, lack of hypocrisy, harmlessness, forgivingness, uprightness, service to the guru, purity of mind and body, steadfastness, self-control; (7)

Indifference to sense objects, absence of egotism, understanding of the pain and evils (inherent in mortal life): birth, illness, old age, and death; (8)

Nonattachment, nonidentification of the Self with such as one's children, wife, and home; constant equal-mindedness in desirable and undesirable circumstances; (9)

Unswerving devotion to Me by the yoga of nonseparativeness, resort to solitary places, avoidance of the company of worldly men; (10)

Perseverance in Self-knowledge; and meditative perception of the object of all learning—the true essence or meaning there-in. All these qualities constitute wisdom; qualities opposed to them constitute ignorance. (11).
—The Bhagavad Gita XIII:7-11

Seeing God in all, the divine man has no propensity to willfully do harm to any being; he is forbearing and forgiving in the hope that the wrongdoer will embrace the opportunity to correct himself.

Wedded to truth, the sage is upright and undeceiving—distinctive in righteous honesty and sincerity.

He recognizes the guru as the manifested messenger of God and the channel of salvation, and so is devoted and supremely serviceful and obedient to the preceptor in every way.

Filled with the purity of wisdom, the wise man understands the necessity for physical cleanliness through proper hygiene and good habits, and mental cleanliness through spiritual thoughts.

His continued patient yoga practice gives him a natural steadfastness and loyalty in any spiritual undertaking.

By physical and mental self-control, he is master of himself at all times, guided by the discriminative wisdom reflected within him in the mirror of calmness that is undistorted by sensory restlessness.

The wise man who quaffs the ever new joy of God within himself feels no attraction to insipid sense objects. He is devoid of physical or mental egotism with its vanity, false pride, arrogance.

By introspective analysis of the human condition involved in birth, disease, decrepitude, and death, the wise man avoids the inherent pains and evils of the domain of Nature's changes by constant remembrance of his immortal, transcendent Self.

The wise yogi detaches his consciousness from transitory relationships and possessions, even if living the life of a householder; for he knows all things belong to God, and that at any moment he can be dispossessed of them by the divine will.

He loves not his family any less for his nonattachment, nor does he neglect his duty to them, but rather loves and serves the God in them and expands that caring to include all others of God's children. ...

Whether the wise yogi be a monastic or householder, he maintains a perpetual tranquility of the heart, irrespective of favorable or unfavorable conditions in his life.

By the uniting power of yoga meditation, the yogi of steadfast devotion remains free from disuniting thoughts and sensations and so abides in oneness with Spirit.

Forsaking the company of sense-restless beings and materialistic environs, the sage prefers sequestered places, spiritual company, and the inner companionship of the Supreme Friend.

The wisdom-manifesting yogi fills his mind with scriptural studies and spiritual meditative perceptions that contribute to soul-realization. When he attains perfect inner enlightenment, he intuitively perceives the meanings in all forms of knowledge, and realizes the whole truth of divine wisdom as manifested within his Self.

By cultivating the virtues mentioned above, the aspiring yogi attains wisdom and eradicates from his heart all contrary manifestations of ignorance: pride, anger, greed, egotism, possessiveness, misconception, and so on.

The devotee bent on liberation understands that all learning pertaining to the phenomenal worlds is partial, uncertain, relative, and unsatisfying. Realization of God is the only true, permanent, and absolute knowledge.

(God Talks with Arjuna p.884)