Mardavam

Definition - What does Mardavam mean?

Mardavam is a Sanskrit word that means “gentleness.” In the Bhagavad Gita, it is listed as one of the 26 virtues that those “endowed with divine nature” possess. The sadhaka, or spiritual seekers, strive to attain these spiritual attributes. Sometimes referred to as the “divine wealth” or by the Sanskrit term, daivi sampat, the 26 virtues pave the way to the attainment of moksha and freedom from the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Mardavam and the other virtues are valued on the yogic path to unity with the Divine or higher Self.

Yogapedia explains Mardavam

Attaining moksha is not possible without mardavam. Someone who lacks mardavam shows insensitivity and lack of compassion, but the yogi who embraces mardavam opens his/her heart to grow spiritually. This mardavam extends beyond human interaction to include gentleness with animals and material objects, for the heart cannot be gentle if the actions lack gentleness.

The daivi sampat, often attributed to Lord Krishna, is described in the first three verses of Chapter 16 in the Bhagavad Gita.

Verse 1:

  • Abhayam (fearlessness)
  • Sattva samshuddhi (purity of heart)
  • Jnana yoga vyavasthitih (devotion to the yogic path of knowledge)
  • Dana (charity)
  • Dama (self restraint)
  • Yajna (sacrifice)
  • Svadhyaya (study of one's self)
  • Tapas (austerity)
  • Arjavam (uprightness/straightforwardness)

Verse 2:

  • Ahimsa (doing no harm)
  • Satyam (truth)
  • Skrodha (lack of anger)
  • Tyaga (renunciation)
  • Shanti (peace/mental tranquility)
  • Apaisunam (absence of fault-finding)
  • Daya (compassion)
  • Aloluptvam (non-covetousness)
  • Mardavam (gentleness)
  • Hrih (modesty)
  • Achapalam (steadiness/non-fickle)

Verse 3:

  • Tejas (vigor)
  • Ksama (forgiveness)
  • Dhriti (fortitude/patience)
  • Shaucha (purity of body and mind)
  • Adroha (absence of malice)
  • Na atimanita (lack of excessive pride)

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