Yamas and Niyamas
These are the codes of Conduct within Hinduism but they will work for all. They were written by the Saiva Guru Patanjali using codes already contained within the Vedas. (I have been abbreviated them )
THE 10 VEDIC RESTRAINTS, YAMA
1. Noninjury, Ahimsa – Do not harm others by thought, word or actions. Be kind and treat others as parts of God. Knowledge of Karma what goes around comes around should be enough to prevent injury to others. Be a vegetarian.
2. Truthfulness, Satya
Do not lie and keep promises. Speak only kind and helpful words. Don’t be secretive with family or loved ones. Be fair, accurate and frank in discussions. Admit your failings. Do not gossip.
3. Nonstealing, Asteya
Do not steal, or fail to repay a debt. Control your desires and live within your means. Do not gamble or defraud others. Do not use others’ name, words, resources or rights without permission and acknowledgement.
4.Divine Conduct, Brahmacharya
Remain celibate when single and faithful in marriage. Before marriage energies should be used for study, and after marriage for maintaining a successful family. Don’t be promiscuous in thought, word or deed. Dress modestly. Avoid pornography, and sexual humor.
Be patience with people. Be agreeable. Let others behave according to their nature, without affecting you. Don’t argue, dominate conversations or interrupt others. Be patient with children and the elderly. Remain composed at all times.
6. Steadfastness, Dhriti
Be steadfast and industrious. Don’t procrastinate and avoid changing your mind for fear of failure. Be firm in your decisions. Do not complain.
7. Compassion, Daya
Be compassionate and sensitive to feelings of others beings. See the divinity in all creatures and the Earth itself.Forgive those who apologize. Show sympathy to others’ needs and suffering. Help those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain.
Be honest, acting honorably even in tough times. Follow the laws of the nation and local government. Be forthright at work and in business.Do not cheat, or lie to achieve an end. Accept your faults without blaming them on others.
9.Moderate Appetite, Mitahara
Moderate your appetite, neither eating too much nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs.Eat a simple diet of fresh, wholesome vegetarian foods that vitalize the body. Drink in moderation. Eat only when hungry, don’t rush your eating, never between meals, in a disturbed atmosphere or when upset.Avoid rich foods.
Be pure in thoughts words and actions.Keep a clean, healthy body. Maintain a clean, uncluttered home and workplace.Act virtuously. Keep good, pure company. Keep away from pornography and violence. Never use harsh, angered or indecent language.Worship devoutly. Meditate daily.
THE 10 VEDIC OBSERVANCES, NIYAMA
Be remorseful for your mistakes and faults. Apologize sincerely to those hurt by your words or actions.Resolve all contention before sleep. Try tofix your faults and bad habits.
Be content, seek happiness and serenity in life.Be happy, smile and uplift others. Be thankful for your health, your friends and your property. Don’t complain about what you don’t own.
Be generous, give liberally without thinking of praise or reward. Tithe 1/10th of your earning to temple, or other religious organization. Make offerings to the temple. Give to and Feed those in need.Perform selfless service. Treat guests as God.
Believe firmly in God, guru and your path to enlightenment. Practice devotion and sadhana to inspire experiences that build advanced faith. Shun those who try to break your faith by argument and accusation. Avoid doubt and despair.
5. Worship, Ishvarapujana
Keep one room of your home (if possible) as God’s shrine. Offer God fruit, flowers or food daily. Learn a simple puja and the chants. Meditate after each puja.Worship devoutly,clearing the inner channels to God, Gods and guru so their grace flows toward you and loved ones.
6.Scriptural Listening, Siddhanta Shravana
Study the Scriptures. Choose a guru, follow his path and don’t waste time exploring other ways. Revere and study the revealed scriptures, the Vedas and Agamas.
Strive for knowledge of God, to awaken the spirituality within.Analyze your life’s experiences to develop a understanding of life and yourself. Through meditation, cultivate intuition by listening to the still, small voice within, by understanding the subtle sciences, inner worlds and mystical texts.
8.Sacred Vows, Vrata
Follow religious vows, andrules. Fast periodically. Pilgrimage annually. Keep to your vows strictly, be they marriage, monasticism, nonaddiction, tithing, vegetarianism or nonsmoking.
Chant your mantra daily, reciting the sacred sound, word or phrase given by your guru. Bathe,thenrelax the mind and concentrate fully to let japa harmonize, purify and uplift you. Chant the prescribed repetitions without fail. Be anger free so that japa strengthens your higher nature.Let japa quell emotions and quiet the rivers of thought.
Practice austerity and sacrifice. Ardently worship, and meditate.Atone for misdeeds through penance (prayashchitta), such as 108 prostrations or fasting. Perform self-denial, giving up cherished possessions, money or time. Fulfill severe austerities at special times, under a satguru’s guidance, to ignite the inner fires of self-transformation.
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