Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Supreme goodness is God.

Goodness is the state or quality of being good in any sense of that word especially kindness, benevolence, morality, virtue. It is an act or expression showing goodness. It is an act of compassion or mercy. If you do good to humanity, you nearly approach the gods. Be good and do good – the whole ethics and right conduct are contained in this.

A good man always lives with God. He lives in God. He has a divinity within him. A good man who does good actions attains fame and longevity. A good deed is never lost. It purifies the heart and leads to the descent of divine light and the dawn of divine grace. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship. He who plants kindness, reaps love.

Goodness is love in action. It is noble to be good. Goodness is the greatest virtue. Every good deed is a grain of seed for immortality or eternal life. Promote the welfare of the whole world. Do all the good you can in all the ways you can, to all people you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal, strength, love and heart and interest you can, as long as ever you can.

Nations and peoples do not obey the laws of goodness. Therefore, the present world is beset with evils of various sorts. Cultivate good habits. Goodness is a habit. Goodness of nature is an inclination. Without goodness man is a brute or vermin. He is a mischievous, wretched, despicable thing on this earth. He is a burden on this earth.

How to become good

Return good for evil. It is the sign of a real man. Love begets love, hatred begets hatred. Doing good and bringing happiness to others brings goodness and happiness to you. Good is the conquest over evil. It is not the absence of evil.

Little self-denial, honest service, little words of cheer, encouragement, sympathy and kindness, little acts of kindness, little virtuous deeds, little silent victories over temptations – these will pave a long way to the attainment of eternal bliss, perennial joy, everlasting peace and immortality.

The law of cause and effect is inexorable and unrelenting. You reap a harvest of suffering, poverty, pain and sorrow, because you have sown the seeds of evil in the past. You reap a harvest of plenty and bliss, owing to your sowing the seeds of good. Try to understand this law. You will then begin to sow only seeds of good.

Entertain good, sublime, divine thoughts. Shut your mind from evil thoughts just as you shut your doors against the approach of enemies, thieves and dacoits. Always perform good actions. Evil cannot enter your mind now.

Even a little good thinking and a little doing good are highly benevolent. It will lead to eternal bliss. Then, why not try a little good thinking and good doing? To do good is human. To be good is divine.