|We have so far
spoken of the five cardinal virtues of Hinduism. But we should not forget that it is only
for the sake of convenience that we divide and sub divide virtues. We cannot draw a hard
and fast line between one virtue and another or between what are called individual virtues
and social virtues. All virtues are at bottom one and constitute what we call a virtuous
Their significance should be understood
with reference to the goal of virtuous life, namely, divine perfection. Therefore, we
should say that the formation of a virtuous character rather than the cultivation of
cardinal or other virtues are the first aim of a religious man. Virtues, like rituals, are
more or less in the nature of commandments proceeding from an external authority.
It is only a few who understand their reference to the goal of
life. Moreover their validity depends upon circumstances. It is not always easy to say at
what point a virtue ceases to be a virtue. Firmness easily passes into obstinacy, courage
into foolhardiness, non-violence into cowardice, self-control into self-violence and so on.