Ethics of Hinduism
In Hinduism, there are five main commandments known as a the Panchavrata (Five Vows), that are always the core forbearances. Regardless of any rules prescribed, they cannot conflict with these Five Precepts. These are the chief vows of Buddhism and Jainism as well. Not only are Hindus required to adhere to these five forbearances, but there are other vows which they are encouraged to keep. Hindus are also encouraged to commit to service to humanity which is known as Manav Dharma. Example of these include “Oh Noble men! We do not commit violence. We do not hurt others. We do not quarrel either. We of course chant Vedas and act according to its dictates“ and the Atharva Veda declares, “Every man should protect the other in all respects“.
Sir Edward Blunt writes:
A Hindu's code of ethics is as high as that of any other civilized nation.
He knows that it is wrong to commit murder, adultery, theft, and perjury, and to covert, and he honors his parents, in the case of the father at any rate, to a degree exceeding the customs of most nations, which have no ceremony resembling that of the shraddha.
- 1 Commandments
- 1.1 Rig Veda (5 commandments)
- 1.2 Bhagavad Gita (9 commandments)
- 1.3 Manu Smriti (10 commandments)
- 1.4 Yājñavalkya Smrti (5 commandments)
- 1.5 Yoga Sutra (10 commandments)
- 1.6 Sandilya Upanishad (10 commandments)
- 1.7 Veda Vyasa (10 commandments)
- 1.8 Maharishi Gautama (10 commandments)
- 1.9 Srimad Bhagavatam (30 commandments)
- 1.10 Narada Bhakti Sutra (5 commandments)
- 2 Rules of war
- 3 See also
- 4 External links
- 5 References
Rig Veda (5 commandments)
Hindus today submit to the Panchavrata or five major vows or commandments:
- Ahimsa (non-injury)
- Brahmacharya (non-fornication)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Satya (non-lying)
- Aparigrahā (non-possessiveness)
- "Violence, womanising, drinking liquor, gambling, stealing, falsehood or lying and association with those who commit these sins; one who commits any of these sins is a sinner."
Bhagavad Gita (9 commandments)
The lawgiver Krishna gave the following precepts:
- Amanitva - Absence of pride
- Adambhitva - Absence of deceit
- Ahimsa - Non-injury
- Shanti - Patience
- Arjava - Uprightness
- Acaryopasana - Service to the teacher
- Sauca - Internal and external purity
- Sthairya - Steadfastness
- Atmavinigraha - Self-control
Manu Smriti (10 commandments)
In Manusmriti ten aspects of general duties are mentioned. They are:
- Control of senses
- Tenacity of purpose
Yājñavalkya Smrti (5 commandments)
Yoga Sutra (10 commandments)
Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras lists 10 commandments to follow for a good or sinless livelihood.
- Ahimsa: Nonviolence. Abstinence from injury that arises out of love for all, harmlessness, the not causing of pain to any living creature in thought, word, or deed at any time. This and Satya are the “main” yama. The other eight are there in support of its accomplishment.
- Satya: Truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts, honesty.
- Asteya: Non-stealing, non-coveting, non-entering into debt.
- Brahmacharya: being constantly aware of the universe, immersed in divinity, divine conduct, continence, celibate when single, faithfulness when married.
- Kshama: Patience, releasing time, functioning in the now.
- Driti: Steadfastness, overcoming non-perseverance, fear, and indecision; seeing each task through to completion.
- Daya: Compassion; conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.
- Arjava: Honesty, straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing.
- Mithara: Moderate appetite, neither eating too much nor too little; nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs.
- Shaucha: Purity, avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech
Sandilya Upanishad (10 commandments)
- Ahimsa - Non-violence
- Satya - Truth
- Asteya - Non-stealing
- Brahmacharya - Celibacy
- Daya - Compassion
- Arjava - Equanimity
- Kshama - Forgivness
- Dhrti - Firmness of mind
- Mitahara - Vegetarianism, and non-wasting of food
Veda Vyasa (10 commandments)
In the Mahâ Purânam Srimad Devî Bhâgavatam, Veda Vyasa writes of achieving yoga or union with God by destroying the six enemies of yoga; lust, anger, greed, ignorance, vanity and jealousy. The six attributes can be destroyed by following Patanjali's commandments.
Maharishi Gautama (10 commandments)
- Daya sarvabhuteshu: Kindness, compassion, pity and sympathy towards every living being
- Kshama: Forgivenss
- Anusuya, anirmatsarata: No jealousy
- Shauch, antar-bahya-shuchirbhutata: Purity, the state of being pure from outside and inside
- Anayasa: Not to indulge in petty and meaningless things
- Mangala: To think, wish and work for bliss, wellbeing and prosperity of all
- Akarpanya: Neither to be nor to show weakness and miserliness
- Aspriha: Neither list nor wish to possess whatever belonged to others
Srimad Bhagavatam (30 commandments)
- Austerity (observing fasts on certain days of the month)
- Bathing twice a day
- Discrimination between right and wrong
- Control of the mind
- Control of the senses
- Rading of scripture
- Rendering service to saintly persons
- Gradually taking leave of unnecessary engagements
- Observing the futility of the unnecessary activities of human society
- Remaining silent and grave and avoiding unnecessary talk
- Considering whether one is the body or the soul
- Distributing food equally to all living entities (both men and animals)
- Seeing every soul (especially in the human form) as a part of the Supreme Lord
- Hearing about the activities and instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (who is the shelter of the saintly persons) #Chanting about these activities and instructions
- Always remembering these activities and instructions
- Trying to render service
- Performing worship
- Offering obeisances
- Becoming a servant
- Becoming a friend
- Surrendering one's whole self
Narada Bhakti Sutra (5 commandments)
Rules of war
- See also: Rulership in Hinduism
For the Rajanya (Kshatriya) it should be either death or victory in battle...He should not in battle kill one who is stunned, who has surrendered his arms, or is a fugitive, nor those of his enemies whom he has captured nor their wives or children. Whatever is acquired either by victory or treaty should be distributed amongst the soldiers in shares according to merit.
- Rig Veda 10.134.7
- Atharva Veda 6.64.1
- P. 303 The Caste System of Northern India By Sir Edward Blunt
- P. 303 The Caste System of Northern India By Sir Edward Blunt
- Divine Message Of God To Mankind Vedas By J.M. Mehta
- p. 104 An Introduction To Gerontology By Swami Shankrananda
- P. 76 New Dimensions in Vedanta Philosophy, Volume 2 By Swami Sahajānanda
- P. 18 Monotheism of Hindu religion: unity in diversity of Hindu worship By Krishnaswamy Srinivasan
- P. 122 Values and Value Theories in the Light of Sri Aurobindo By V. Madhusudan Reddy
- "On the Yoga and Mantra Siddhi"
- You and Your Queries By Shrikant Prasoon
- Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.11.8-12
- Nārada Bhakti Sūtra 78
- The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies By Thomas McEvilley