Excerpts from ‘Virtue of Virtues,’ a lecture by Yogi Bhajan, July 2, 1978, Khalsa Women’s Training Camp (KWTC)
To be very honest with you, a woman who is not a noble woman and who does not talk through her radiance, is not a woman. The greatest decoration a woman can have is nobility. She should not only look noble, she should live nobly. Nobility is a virtue and it is a living virtue. Some people think if they know manners, can talk mannerly, and act and pretend to be noble, they are noble. No, nobility is character in a woman. A noble woman will give birth to noble environments. A noble woman will give birth to nobility in all areas of life.
The sign of nobility is that it has a deep effect in relationship with any person one comes across. They say nobility is a virtue which affects every soul. It is a virtue which affects every soul just as innocence affects every heart. Woman has only one virtue: she is noble in the beginning and noble until her death. People do hanky-panky along the way, thus they pollute their virtue of nobility. If nobility is ever precious to a person, that person will never, ever put himself or herself down the tube for any reason, for any argument, concept, thought, or feeling whatsoever. Because nobility is like a mirror; once a crack is in it, the entire image is distorted. Noble habits, noble language, noble behavior, noble posture, and a noble way of communication are so powerfully impressive that even an enemy’s heart can be melted.
The soul is always noble. When the mind relates to the soul, the mind becomes noble. When the body relates to such a mind, the body becomes noble. Nobility is the outcome of divinity in equilibrium.
Nobility is the foundation of every grace. Somebody once asked, “Define a noble person.” The definition came and the answer was: “Noble is noble in the beginning, in the end, and remains noble through time and space, beyond and within. There is no area which is left. Nobility is a virtue; it is a fountain from which grace springs.”
Nobility is cultivated only when one consciously relates to one’s spirit and flow of the soul and one feels the total divinity within. It is a manifestation of divinity. Nobility takes one away from temptation, anger, lust, greed, unvirtuous and unrighteous living. It gives one a qualifying factor to impress everybody without impressing. That is the beauty of nobility. The way one talks, walks, sees, deals, serves, and gets served is a total sum of one’s living behavior. There is a tremendous flow of spirit in a noble person. A noble person is a very powerful individual.
Everyone must remember that there are certain characteristics of a noble person, a noble woman. A noble person is noble through all time and space. A noble person is constant and consistent whatever the time and space. Some people behave differently with rich relatives as compared to poor relatives. That is not nobility. Nobility teaches one equality before God. So under any circumstances, one can find a noble person through their constant behavior which is absolute in equilibrium through all pressures and all shortcomings. That is one great sign. Constant continuity of equilibrium of any kind of behavior is the first sign of a noble person. A noble person is one who will not barter, who is not even tempted to barter, the values of character for benefit. Noble people are those who will not forget the presence of God within a person. And most importantly a noble person is a dedicated person, like the Infinity of God. God is Infinity. There is no shortcut, and people who try to shortcut will always end up adopting ignoble ways and means. It requires an infinite endurance to live within the range and the circumstances of one’s nobility.
Student question: What can a woman do to protect her nobility during social and political changes?
Reply: In social and political changes, a woman must understand that whenever a woman becomes power hungry she becomes a monster. The Chinese dragon is a monster. It is a very beautiful view of such women who instead of flowing with the flow of noble tradition, become possessive monsters. I have seen in practical life, a noble mother becoming a possessive monster and ruining the future of her children because of her social, psychological, and personal handicaps. There is nothing more noble than the relationship of the mother, but in that same relationship, she becomes a destructive monster when she becomes possessive. A mother becomes possessive because of her social, economical, and personal handicaps.
Nobility has many, many facets and many, many virtues. It can be done in many, many ways. But nobility need not be ordained by the king touching a two-edged sword to your shoulder. All those rituals and things were ceremonial. Basically, nobility is the living character of dignity and divinity in a person. Nobility walks in one as dignity and divinity. We have to be noble because the time is going to test us. Times are going to be very negative. Therefore, it is my humble request and prayer that we must not let go of our devotional nobility of character, behavior, and personality and revert to our basic personality.
Student question: You said that nobility is like a mirror; when it is cracked it distorts the image. If one appears ignoble in front of a person, will one’s nobility be distorted forever in the eyes of that person?
Reply: It may get healed but there shall be a scar. Nobility is like a trust; once it is broken, one has to rebuild it. It is like a credit report, therefore it is not very fair to discredit yourself.
Student question: What if our parents are not noble?
Reply: Forgive them.
Student question: Our forgiving is our way to be noble?
Reply: Yes. If one won’t forgive the parents, one is not going to act nobly, because then one acts in vengeance.
Student question: What is an example of how to react in a noble way when people ridicule and slander you?
Reply: Have you not seen me acting? I am the most slandered person in the United States of America. The noble way to act towards a slanderer is to ignore him. It is the greatest punishment one can award to anybody.
Student question: If someone is walking down the street and someone yells out a name, does that mean one shouldn’t react at all?
Reply: Do you know how bad you feel if someone doesn’t even look at you? You should not lose your merits in contrast to someone’s demerits.
Student question: How do we handle it when our personal friends resent it when we act nobly?
Reply: When a dog is on a chain, and the master walks with him in the street, all the stray dogs start barking. The only lesson we can learn from that is to keep going. Ignoble people will act very aggressively toward noble people, because they want to test whether they are really noble or are phony. The insecure person will always try to make a secure person insecure to test his security. That is the law.
Student question: Is there a difference between being noble and being true?
Reply: Truthfulness has three virtues: individual truth, circumstantial truth, and Infinite Truth. Nobility has only one virtue; it is true now, it is true ever, and ever it shall be true.