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What does living virtuously mean to Hindus? It is following the natural and essential guidelines of dharma and the 10 yamas and 10 niyamas - ancient scriptural injunctions for all aspects of human thought, attitude and behavior. These do's and don'ts are a common-sense code recorded in the Upanishads, in the final section of the 6000-to 8000-year-old Vedas.

Read about the 10 yamas, which means "reining in" or "control", and the 10 niyamas, i.e., observances or practices as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The 10 Yamas - Restraints or Proper Conduct

  1. Ahimsa or Non-injury
  2. Satya or Truthfulness
  3. Asteya or Nonstealing
  4. Brahmacharya or Sexual Purity
  5. Kshama or Patience
  6. Dhriti or Steadfastness
  7. Daya or Compassion
  8. Arjava or Honesty
  9. Mitahara or Moderate Diet
  10. Saucha or Purity

The 10 Niyamas - Observances or Practices

  1. Hri or Modesty
  2. Santosha or Contentment
  3. Dana or Charity
  4. Astikya or Faith
  5. Ishvarapujana or Worship of the Lord
  6. Siddhanta Sravana or Scriptural Listening
  7. Mati or Cognition
  8. Vrata or Sacred Vows
  9. Japa or Incantation
  10. Tapas or Austerity

These are the 20 ethical guidelines called yamas and niyamas, or restraints and observances. Sage Patanjali (c 200 BC), propounder of Raja Yoga, said, "These yamas are not limited by class, country, time, or situation. Hence they are called the universal great vows." Read more...

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July 27, 2013 at 7:52 am
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