If all qualities come from Krishna, why call some virtuous?

Acharya Prashant
7 min readJan 24, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

बुद्धिर्ज्ञानमसम्मोह: क्षमा सत्यं दम: शम: ।

सुखं दु:खं भवोऽभावो भयं चाभयमेव च ।। 10.4 ।।

अहिंसा समता तुष्टिस्तपो दानं यशोऽयश: ।

भवन्ति भावा भूतानां मत्त एव पृथग्विधा: ।। 10.5 ।।

buddhir jñānam asammohaḥ kṣhamā satyaṁ damaḥ śhamaḥ

sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ bhavo ’bhāvo bhayaṁ chābhayameva cha

ahinsā samatā tuṣhṭis tapo dānaṁ yaśho ’yaśhaḥ

bhavanti bhāvā bhūtānāṁ matta eva pṛithag-vidhāḥ

Intellect, knowledge, non-delusion, forbearance, truth, restraint of the external senses, the calmness of heart, happiness, misery, birth, death, fear, as well as fearlessness, non-injury, evenness, contentment, austerity, benevolence, good name, as well as ill-fame — (these) different kinds of qualities of beings arise from Me alone.

~ Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, Verses 4–5

✥ ✥ ✥

Questioner (Q): It’s said here that all attributes, like misery, happiness, good name, and even ill-fame, arise from the Lord. What then is the role of free will for a human being when everything is arising from the Lord himself?

Also, why are certain qualities stated to be virtuous or vicious?

Acharya Prashant (AP): All these things that are said here are not with respect to the Lord, sir. They are with respect to you.

Intellect — does the Lord carry intellect? The Lord is absolute Brahma. The Lord is the Truth itself. Does the Truth carry intellect, operate via intellect? No. Intellect is yours.

Acharya Prashant