The list of virtues that constitute a moral life evolve in vedas and upanishads.Over time, new virtues were conceptualized and added, some replaced, others merged.This includes restraint from retaliation in the form of non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance in the form of humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as splurging now in the form of prudence, and restraint from excessive anger or craving for something in the form of calmness and self-control.Temperance has been described as a virtue by religious thinkers, philosophers, and more recently, psychologists, particularly in the positive psychology movement.In Jainism, the vow of Ahimsa is not just restricted to not resorting to physical violence, but it also encompasses in itself abstinence from violence in any and all form either by thought, speech or action.
Five types of self-restraints are considered essential for a moral and ethical life in Hindu philosophy: one must refrain from any violence that causes injury to others, refrain from starting or propagating deceit and falsehood, refrain from theft of other's property, refrain from sexually cheating on one's partner, and refrain from avarice.
For example, Manusamhita initially listed ten virtues necessary for a human being to live a dharmic (moral) life: Dhriti (courage), Kshama (forgiveness), Dama (temperance), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (purity), Indriyani-graha (control of senses), dhi (reflective prudence), vidya (wisdom), satyam (truthfulness), akrodha (free from anger).
In later verses this list was reduced to five virtues by the same scholar, by merging and creating a more broader concept.
Temperance is one of the six virtues in the positive psychology classification, included with wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, and transcendence.
It is generally characterized as the control over excess, and expressed through characteristics such as chastity, modesty, humility, self-regulation, forgiveness and mercy; each of these involves restraining an excess of some impulse, such as sexual desire, vanity, or anger.