The path of liberation means the full endeavors relating to the attainment of Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnän, Samyag Chäritra and Tapa (austerities). The kind of life that proceeds towards that path, and all those things that help us to lead such a life constitute the Märgänusäri life.
Thirty-five qualities of the Märgänusäri have been mentioned in the scriptures. Here, we have classified them into four divisions.
- 11 duties to be carried out in life
- 8 faults to be discarded
- 8 virtues to be cultivated
- 8 endeavors to be carried out with caution
- Lawful earning in accordance with the law.
- Proper expenditure within the limits of one’s income.
- Proper dress and accessories
- Proper marriage: There should be parity between the two and the partner should belong to a good family (i.e. the members should be spiritually minded and should carry out spiritual activities)
- Proper residence
- Eating food at proper time, when hungry, and only when previous food has been digested
- Food should be healthy and non-provocative of passions.
- Respecting and taking care of the parents and the elders.
- Taking care of the dependents for which we are responsible.
- Rendering service to guests, monks, needy and destitute people who come to our house
- Rendering services to the worthy i.e. the enlightened ones and the noble ones.
- Discarding the habit of humiliating others. This tendency destroys tenderness of the heart and binds with the low karmic bondage.
- Discarding despicable activities such as deceiving others, betraying trust and gambling.
- Controlling the senses: We should exercise a control over them.
- Conquering the six inner enemies (passions): Desire (lust), Anger, Greed, Pride, Arrogance and Attachment are the six inner enemies.
- Discarding prejudice
- Pursuing the three Purushärtha, (endeavors) Dharma, Artha and Käm (religion, possession and sensory pleasures) in such a way that does not harm one another. We should not put forth endeavors to achieve anyone of these objectives, namely, Dharma, Artha and Käm in such a way that the undue pursuit of one causes harm to the others.
- Discarding a place where calamities occur.
- Discarding the place and time, which are adverse to us. You should not move about in improper places at improper times.
- The fear of sins. We should always fear sin. In spite of this even if we commit a sin, we should think, “What will happen to my soul on account of this?” If this fear were present, we would try not to do the same again.
- A sense of shame: If we were ashamed of committing an ignoble action, we would not commit it as much as possible. In this manner, a sense of shame and a sense of propriety will prevent us from treading on the path of evil. In the same manner, though we do not have the intention of performing a noble action, we would perform it out of the fear that it will be shameful not to perform it.
- A pleasant and serene temperament: We should keep our temperament, heart, voice and appearance, gentle and serene.
- Popularity: We should attain popularity by acquiring the virtues mentioned above and by practicing noble principles.
- Farsightedness: Before placing a step in any direction, we should visualize the future consequences of our action otherwise; we will have to regret our action.
- Acting according to our abilities and limitations.
- Acquiring a special and appropriate knowledge: We must always think carefully and distinguish between the right and the wrong; the proper and the improper action; advantages and disadvantages etc.
- Appreciating the virtues. We must always have an eye for virtues both in our life and in the life of others. Instead of looking for the defects in others, we must keep looking only for virtues in others.
- Gratitude: We should not forget even the slightest benefaction that has been conferred upon us by Gods, spiritual heads, parents and others. Remembering the benefactors, we must always try to be grateful to them and to do some good turns to them according to our ability.
- Benevolence: Even if others do not help us, we must always help others without any selfish interest
- Kindness: We should keep our heart kind and tender and help others by means of action, word and wealth according to our abilities.
- Associating with virtuous people
- Listening to spiritual discourses: On account of this, we will attain right knowledge and inspiration to improve our life.
- The eight qualities of the intellect: In order to listen to spiritual discourses properly and to benefit from them, we must develop the habit of pursuing the eight qualities of the intellect:
- Desire to listen to spiritual discourses
- Listening to a discourse with concentration
- Comprehending what is heard in the discourse
- Recording clearly in the mind what has been comprehended
- Thinking logically about what has been heard and the examples related to it
- Thinking and coming to a conclusion without any doubts
- Deciding upon the elements (Tattvas)
- After deciding upon an idea formulating a doctrine determining its true meaning, and its essence. (Tattva Jnän)
- Conforming to well‑known traditions and practices:
- Adoring the virtuous: The following are the virtues and activities of the noble people: ‑‑
- Fearing social censure
- Helping those in distress
- Respecting others and not disturbing their prayers and other spiritual activities
- Discarding defamation
- Praising patience in adversity
- Humbleness in prosperity
- Speaking sweetly and agreeably
- Abiding by one’s word
- Overcoming impediments
- Planned expenditure
- Insistence on doing noble things
- Discarding improper actions
- Discarding such evils as excessive sleep, sensual delights, passions and scandal‑mongering
- Caring for propriety etc.
If we keep admiring such virtues, we will acquire them.