Authenticity (Sat), contentment (Santokh), compassion (Dya), humility (Nimarta) and unconditional love (Pyar) are the essential qualities advocated by Gurmat.

Authenticity can be defined as the direct experience of reality and self, authentic in form, thought, emotion and actions. Authenticity experienced as contentless awareness gives rise to contentment, a non-judgmental acceptance of present moment experience. From the state of contentment arises compassion, experienced as an interconnection with Existence, the understanding of the causes of suffering and the spontaneous urge to respond to suffering.

This compassion is not just directed at others, but first begins with self-compassion, recognizing the innocence of one’s unconditioned nature and the detrimental impact of ego-complex (haumai) behavior towards oneself as self-criticism, low self-esteem, anger, fear oriented attitude etc.

The recognition of compassion brings to light the preciousness of life, the priceless nature of being human with all its opportunities and unlimited potential, for Gurmat, considers the egoless human existence to be no different to “God”, in fact, it is due to being bound within the ego-complex that one “forgets” their essential nature which is no different from the ground of being Parmatama or Consciousness.

eihu sareer sabh dhharam hai jis andhar sachae kee vich joth ||
This body is the home of Dharma (ethical life) contained within it the divine light (consciousness).
man thoon joth saroop hai aapanaa mool pashhaan ||
O mind, you are the Divine Light (consciousness) - recognise your own origin.

Ethics are crucial both at a personal level and at a universal level. A non-harmful attitude towards self and existence is an essential element cultivated through Naam symran (mindfulness of mantra).

har har naam milai thripathaasehi mil sangath gun paragaas ||2||
Obtaining the Naam Har, Har, they are satisfied; joining the Sangat, the congregation of those on the path of self-realisation, their ethics shine forth. ||2||

Ethical behaviour is essential to mental health and well-being. It is important to recognize that ethics are self-cultivated while morality is normally foisted upon by social rules and regulation.

Well being or holistic health is then seen not merely as tinkering with ones interiority but its expression through an active and participative lifestyle bound by ethical behaviour motivated through contentment and compassion for oneself and other. (SGGSJ 3, 110).

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