Virtue is for most Westerners an old-fashioned word and an equally antiquated and impractical concept. In the spiritual traditions, however, virtue is considered a foremost principle of action. While, in Yoga, the ultimate Reality is thought to lie beyond good and evil, there is a recognized need for the cultivation of virtuous deeds, words, and thoughts. Virtue is traditionally connected with the idea of merit. . . . Merit is really the fruit of good karma, that is, the positive momentum generated in the mind as a result of positive physical, verbal, or mental behavior. Positive behavior is associated with kindness, compassion, love, nonharming, generosity, patience, contentment, correct understanding, etc. It leaves imprints of a positive nature in the depth of the mind.

Georg Feuerstein in The Deeper Dimension of Yoga