Wealth by definition is the abundance of valuable possessions; a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing. It is the value that is sought after by everyone in some form or other. Money is the default form of wealth known to us. Vedanta, the esoteric and ancient science of happiness and fulfilment, discusses real wealth being sixfold, ‘shad-sampatti’ (Sanskrit).
Just like money is used for external transformation, this sixfold wealth is meant to bring about inner transformation, bringing true freedom and peace to us.
1. Objectivity (śamaḥ): This is a discipline that leads to mastery over one’s ways of thinking rather than being at their mercy. It is used for the resolution or management of the mind and refining it. It prevents one’s thoughts, feelings and impulses from running the show. This is achieved by exercising Vairāgyam, dispassion i.e. by exercising objectivity and right understanding, by keeping our and others’ long term well-being in mind. Only a mature, dispassionate, objective mind has śamaḥ.
2. Self-restraint (damaḥ)
It means mastery over the organs (powers) of sense and action. When there is a possibility of their inappropriate use, such as in the expression of anger or excessive indulgence, damaḥ is required to channel the emotion appropriately. Damaḥ requires being alert to one’s responses and using one’s will to modify or redirect them so that one’s speech and actions are appropriate. When the mature, objective outlook needed for śamaḥ is unavailable (when anger has risen, for example) damaḥ may be needed to ensure appropriate behaviour.
3. Mindfulness (uparamaḥ or uparatiḥ)
A calm, steady, quiet mind that, due to being disciplined through śamaḥ and damaḥ, no longer turns habitually or mechanically to outer sensory involvement. I think this is similar to cultivating mindfulness- where the mind becomes alert, poised and available for the task at hand. No one lives in charge of one’s life instead of being in thrall to the push and pull of sense objects.
4. Forbearance (titikṣā)
It means cheerful forbearance or endurance. It is our ability to cheerfully and objectively bear with opposites such as heat and cold, and honour and dishonour with equanimity. Titikṣā is the capacity to deal cheerfully and objectively with external conditions and events that are beyond our control – it does not mean allowing pain to happen and then putting up with it.
Titikṣā is developed by willingly undergoing minor difficulties without dwelling on or lamenting them.
5. Trust (śraddhā):
Acceptance by firm judgement as true the teaching and spiritual teacher.
Śraddhā is often translated as faith or trust, but it is more than that. Initially, a degree of trust, viśvāsaḥ, is necessary for any teaching situation. It allows us to stand apart from our own ideas and, for now at least, give the benefit of the doubt to the text and the teacher rather than to our own views – acceptance pending verification is an aspect of śraddhā. And if what is taught seems incorrect, having śraddhā means I do not reject it but question my understanding until what is being taught is clear.
With further knowledge, that acceptance takes the deeper form of a clear, carefully reached understanding or conviction.
6. Goal-Orientation (samādhānam):
Simply put it means focused intent i.e. being always conscious of the goal of liberation from sorrow, without being distracted. Regularly check your progress against where you want to reach. Never lose track of the freedom and peace that you are aiming for.
Anyone who works towards earning these six accomplishments transforms internally to feel complete, free and at peace.