Important Virtues

Important Hindu Virtues

The following are twelve of the most important qualities listed in scripture. Naturally this list, and the priority given to each virtue, will vary from one tradition to another.

Personal Reflection

Related Practices

Most important for developing both knowledge and character are various moral restraints, such as sexual chastity and restraint from meat-eating, gambling, and intoxication. Such apparent needs are either given up completely or, especially in the lower varnas, met in a regulated way.

Related Stories

Many, but especially from:

Common Misunderstandings

The only Hindu value of note is ahimsa (non-violence) and all moral issues can be effectively explored though it

There are hundreds of values and virtues listed in sacred texts. Many should be considered if we are to understand Hindu responses to a wide range of issues.

Scriptural Passages

"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work"

"Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the kshatriyas."

Bhagavad-gita 18.42–3

See also: Bhagavad-gita 13.8–12, 16.1–3.


"Allocating different standards to different people does not contradict the notion of common virtues, but is a means of ensuring that they are obtainable by everyone. Additionally, individuals may express the same values, such as selfless service, in quite different ways."

lndriyesha Das