Śiśtas; śistācāra

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sistas; sistacara, ZiZtas; ZistAcAra, shishtas; shistaacaara

Virtues of Śiśta

A Śiśta is the one who is well-trained in moral and ethical behavior, as described in the śāstras or scriptures. The code of conduct prescribed for him is Śiṣṭācāra. It comprises the following virtues:

  1. Satya - truth
  2. Tapas - austerity
  3. Dāna - giving gifts to the needy
  4. Alobha - absence of greed
  5. Vidyā - learning
  6. Ijyā - performing sacrifices
  7. Pujana - worshiping gods and elders
  8. Dama - self-control

Virtues as per Dharma

Other virtues mentioned in the works on dharma are:

  1. Absence of jealousy and egoism
  2. Freedom from hypocrisy, arrogance, delusion and anger
  3. Acquisition of Vedic wisdom as per the norms set by tradition

Source of Śiṣṭācāra

Śiṣṭācāra is also a source of dharma.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore