'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
On Wings and Wheels is the publication we are delving into currently. It takes the form of a series of Q&As from devotees to HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. There are many sections and subsections to this book - not all will be given, but it is hoped that the general thought-flow will not be broken for those omissions. To obtain the full picture and essence of the discussions, do consider attempting to purchase the text from the link above; it is currently only available from India.
Continuing the summary of Gurudev's points on various values…
Gentleness of speech; Develop a capacity to check anger as it arises. It will be almost unnatural to expect the mind to become incapable of anger, but no emotion should be allowed to overwhelm us to a degree where it renders us helpless.
The ugliness or beauty of the tongue is ordered by the personality behind… but we can train the personality by exercising control of speech. Softness of tone, clarity of expression, honesty of conviction, bringing clarity to the listener's mind, devotion and love can all be expressed and with practice we unconsciously train and discipline the inner equipment.
Forbearance; The ability to live patiently through minor and major physical or mental inconveniences is forbearance (titiksha). We tend to confront life with the expectancy of happiness and favourable circumstances; but on encountering opposition and obstacles can feel dejected and will look around for the easiest road out. Deserting the field of action, as it were, can deprive us of strong lessons and incredible opportunities. To stick to our convictions, we need spiritual energy to nurture and nourish the fatigue of life. Strength of faith, consistency of purpose, clear perception of the ideal/goal and a bold spirit of sacrifice all boost our fortitude and help us to overcome our fear, despair and exhaustion.
Purity; the word 'cleanliness' indicates not only the inner purity, but also personal and environmental hygiene. Outer cleanliness is, to a large measure, a reflection of the inner condition. The Westerners reflect this in their adage that 'cleanliness is next to Godliness'! Outer order requires a level of discipline and structure, regularity of habit and so forth; the same is true for the inner work of spiritual philosophy. It is a generalisation, but can be taken is broadly true, that one whose home and table are in disarray or unclean is likely to be mentally and spiritually disordered also, to varying degrees. That said, no amount of external discipline can power the dynamism which is the core of moral living; indeed it is quite possible to have everything on show as if in a magazine, externally, but still be harbouring less than pure thoughts. Neither must it be mistaken that poor and lowly circumstances are necessarily 'unclean', and that the dwellers may have a much more moral existence than one in a palace. High values, positive intention, righteousness, honesty… these are signs of inner purity and they will be reflected externally by tidiness and order in behaviour and environment (as much as is immediately under an individual's control).
Service; dedicated work is a means for the inner purification of one's vaasanas. Yes the scriptures tell us the only and ultimate goal of life is to Realise Self… but it is also acknowledged that one cannot do that if one is not sufficiently disciplined and has worked through the stages of ; animal-man, man-man and then God-man. The Upanishads glorify service as the pinnacle of right living. Dedicated, noble work will polish our personality. To those who know what service is, work is never a drudgery, but a joy in life…. The highest 'prayer' in the world is service; the greatest devotion is the loving of the people around; the noblest character trait is divine compassion for all living things.