Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Five Great Daily Duties

Taken from Maharishi Swami Dayanand Sarawati`s masterpiece `Light of Truth

The five great daily duties are,

  1. Worship of God;
  2. Homa and duty towards the learned;
  3. Service of one's parents and other learned and righteous persons;
  4. Duty towards animals and the poor and helpless, and
  5. Duty towards the altruistic teachers of humanity and ordinary guests, i.e., to show them proper respect and serving them to the utmost of one's power and means. -Tr.

    other words, his mind ought to be the repository of Vedic learning and devotion to God." MANU 2: 27. Without the practice of the these an individual is never entitled to be called a Brahman
    "As skilful driver keeps his horses under control , even so should a wise man keep his senses - which are apt to lead both mind and soul into the pursuit of wicked objects - under complete control." MANU 2: 88.
    "Verily, that man alone can achieve his heart's desire who is a master of his senses; he who allows himself to become their slave soon loses* his character." MANU 2: 93.
    "A man of low character can never succeed in acquiring knowledge of the Veda; in keeping up his vows of celibacy, truthfulness, etc.; nor in fulfilling his duties towards duties towards man and God, keeping control over his passions and desires, being steadfast in his devotion to truth and righteousness, and performing good deeds." MANU 2:97
    "There should be no omission in the study of the Veda and performance of the Five Great Daily Duties and other good works even on holidays, as there is no omission in the act of respiration without risk to life, so there can be no omission of one's daily duties; a good deed done even on an Anadhayaaya - so called day of exemption from study, etc., cannot but bear good fruit." MANU 2: 105, 106.
    As it is always a sin to tell a lie, and always a virtue to speak the truth, a man should on all days shun vice and practise virtue.

    *Literally, becomes addicted to great vices. - Tr.

    "He who has a sweet and amiable disposition and serves the wise and old with all his heart, continually gains in knowledge, reputation and strength and enjoys a long life." MANU 4: 121. Whilst he that is otherwise, never advances in knowledge, etc.
    "Let a wise man bear malice to no living soul and let him show all men the path that leads to true happiness, let his speech be sweet and kindly, let him be truthful in word, deed, and thought. This alone can lead to the spread of truth and righteousness. Verily, he alone can have a true conception of the teachings of the Vedaas whose mind and speech are pure and well under control." MANU 2: 159, 160.
    "That Brahmana alone is said to possess true knowledge of the Veda and God, who shuns the world's applause like poison and courts its censure like immortality." MANU 2: 162
    "Thus let the twice-born students (male and female) who had there Upanayana performed go on gradually acquiring knowledge of the Vedaas, which is their highest duty." MANU 2: 164.
    "A Dwija as well as his children who, instead of studying the Veda, wastes his time in doing other things soon goes down to the level of a Shoodra(lowest in character)." MANU 2: 168.

    "A Brahmachaari (male or female) should abstain from meat and alcohol, perfumes, garlands of flowers, tasty foods and drinks, the company of the opposite sex, sour articles and injury to all living things, from anointing the body and handling the reproductive organ unnecessarily, from the use of collyrium, from the use of boots and shoes and of an umbrella, or a sunshade, from harbouring low passions such as anger, avarice, carnal passion, infatuation, fear, sorrow, jealousy, malice , from singing, dancing, playing gambling, gossiping, lying and back-biting, from looking upon women (with the eye of lust), and embracing them, and from doing harm to other people, and indulging in such other evil habits. Let every student sleep alone and never lose his reproductive element. He who loses it through passion breaks his vow of Brahmacharya."MANU 2: 177 - 180.

    cultivation of any skill or talent you may possess. Never be indifferent to the acquisition of wealth, power, etc. Never neglect your duty to serve your father, mother, teacher, and all preachers of the true religion (atithi). Love virtue and shun vice. Imbibe our virtues, not our faults and imperfections. Always keep the company of those Brahmans (wise men) amongst us who are learned and imbued with piety; put your trust in them and them only. Be charitable. Give - in faith or without faith. For fame, or through shame, give. Give - whether through fear of public opinion, or simply for keeping your word.
    Always give. If you are ever in doubt as to the truth of any practice of religion, or a doctrine, or mode of divine worship, follow the practice of those highly virtuous Brahmans, whether Yogis or not, who are free from prejudice, charitable in disposition, and well versed in philosophy and science (physical and spiritual), and extremely desirous of furthering the cause of righteousness. This the advice. This the commandment. This is the mandate of the Vedas. Aye, this is the Law. Follow this advice. Obey the Law." TAITREYA UPNISHAD 7, 11:1-4
    Let all bear in mind that "even the most insignificant action, in this world, is impossible without a desire on the part of the doer. Therefore, whatever a man does is the outcome of his will." MANU 2: 4.
    "Character or righteous living as taught by the Vedas, as well as, Smritis* in conformity with Vedas, is the highest virtue.

    *Writings of Aptas in conformity with the Veda.
    (An Apta is a pious, truthful, unprejudiced, hones and learned man.) - Tr.

    is the end-all and be-all of all reading and reciting, studying, teaching and preaching. Let a man, therefore, always walk in the path of righteousness. He that swerves from it can never enjoy true happiness - which is born of strict adherence to the conduct of life enjoined by the Veda. He alone enjoys, all true happiness, who requires, knowledge and leads a righteous life." MANU 1: 108, 109
    "He is an atheist, and a slanderer of the Vedas, who disparages their teachings, as well as the writings of true teachers in conformity with the Vedas. He should be excluded from good society, aye, even expelled out of the country, (if necessary)."MANU 2: 11
    "The Vedaas, the Smrities, the practice of men, good and true, in conformity with the Vedas - the Word of God, and the satisfaction of one's own soul - these undoubtedly, are the four criteria of true religion, which enable one to distinguish between Right and Wrong" MANU 2: 12.
    Equitable dealings, the acceptance of truth and the rejection of untruth, under all circumstances, constitute the true conduct of life; or Religion,* and the reverse of this is Irreligion
    "It is only those, who stand aloof form the headlong pursuit of both wealth and carnal pleasures, that can ever attain a knowledge of true religion. It is the duty of everyone, who aspires after this object to determine, what true

    * word used in the text is Dharma which is a very comprehensive term. If translated into the guiding principle of all human activities, it may give some idea to the reader as to its meaning. - Tr.

    Teachers ashould instil the aforesaid teachings into the minds of their pupils. They should take care that they do not neglect the education of Classes other than Braahmans, viz,/ - Princes and other Kshatriyaas, Vaishyaas, and intelligent Shoodras. Because, if Brahmans only were to acquire knowledge, there could be no advance in knowledge, religion, and government, nor increase in wealth, for Braahmans, whose sole duty is to acquire knowldge and disseminate it, depend for their living on Kshatriyaas, etc., to whom they are law-givers.
    Brahmans would be relieved of all restraint and fear from Kshatriyaas, who, being uneducated, would be quite incapable of judging the soundness or unsoundness of their teachings. They would thus gradually use their power for theri own selfish ends, drift into hypocrisy and do whatever they lied and their example would be followed by other Classes. But when Kshatriyaas and other Classes are also well educated, Brahmansstudy still harder to keep ahead ot the other Classes and walk in righteousness.
    They could never then falsely teach and lead selfish, hypocritical lives. It follows, therefore, that it is in their own interest, as well as that of the community at large, to try their best to teach the Veda and other true sciences and philosophies to the Kshatriyaas and other Classes, that are thr real cause of advance in knowledge, religion, and government, and of increase in wealth, etc. They never live on alms, and, therefore, can have no reason to be partial in religious or scientific matters. When all Classes are well educated and cultured, no one can set up any false, fraudulent, and irreligious practices.
    All this goes to prove that it is the Brahmans, and the Sanyaasis, who keep Kshatriyaas and others in proper order and vice versa. Therefore all persons of all Classes should be given good and sound education and be well instructed in the principle of true religion.

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