Do you have a code that you live by?

The answer to the question is, in all humility, yes, I try to. While I succeed mostly, I confess that there are occasions when I slip. I normally take whatever steps that need to be taken to make amends when I slip.

As my readers know, I am a Vedantin and as such try to follow the Indian code of conduct called Yama and Niyama.

Yama consists of the Moral paths and Niyama consists of the ethical paths.

Yama.
1. AHIMSA: Respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others.
2. SATYA: Truthfulness.
3. ASTEYA: Non stealing.
4. BRAHMACHARYA: The virtue of celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married.
5. APARIGRAHA: The virtue of non-covetousness.

Niyama:
1. SAUCHA: Cleanliness/Hygiene. (Physical and Mental)
2. SANTOSHA: Contentment.
3. TAPAS: Spiritual practices and austerities.
4. SVADHYAYA: Self education / Life long pursuit of wisdom.
5. ISHVARA PRANIDHANA: Surrender to the Supreme Power.

This topic has been suggested by Shackman for this Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Yu can see what he has to say at his blog.

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20 Responses to Do you have a code that you live by?

  1. I wouldn’t say I have a code, but I do try to live these traits, and my mantra/mission statement is,

    Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love and find a way to share it with others.

    I also have all sorts of other reminders to inspire me and help me stay on track. They enrich my life.

  2. kylie says:

    As a practising Christian, I have to say “love they neighbour.”
    It’s a very big thing to live up to and I usually don’t think of it in those terms.

  3. shackman says:

    Isn’t it interesting how similar codes seem to be? They are lmost universal in their application, all of which laads me to Rodney King – Why can’t we all just get along? It is all very depressing.

  4. The Vedantin way of living seems very responsible and enlightened. We should all be inspired to walk those moral and ethical paths. The world would be a better place!

    • Alas it is not as simple as all that. Followers of other paths refuse to accept these universal morals and ethics and insist on their own as the ONLY ones and that causes a lot of conflict here in India.

  5. tammy j says:

    the older I get the more I am content to simply allow. allow for things over which I have no control. to try to understand. instead of judge.
    very hard to do always. judging comes so easily and is a bad habit and hard to break. and I work on it constantly.
    I once had to do an assignment for an English paper on a person I greatly admired.
    I chose Eleanor Roosevelt as my subject. and I have always remembered her with great affection and respect. and her code of living came to me reading this post. it had nothing to do with politics but it was her humanity that struck me. and she seemed to live by a very good code.
    for the actual words she used I had to find them on the internet now.
    they are still timely after all these years and still a good code to live by.

    1. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    2. People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.
    3. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

    (and I take it one step further when faced with any difficulty now. I compare whatever it is against the horrors of the people who endured the holocaust and it makes my problem seem ridiculous in comparison. and I can cope.)

    4. Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
    5. Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
    6. Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

  6. Looney says:

    Fascinating. A lot like the Ten Commandments, although we would be mocked for saying we followed them today. I am curious about the translation of “Surrender to the supreme power”, since the notion of “surrender” with respect to the supreme power in Christianity didn’t appear until the 19th century. Before that it was something like “Devote yourself to the Supreme Power”, which is quite different from dropping your weapons and sticking your hands up.

  7. I suspect my “code” is rooted in my upbringing – but I am open to changes – this mainly to do with my chronic health issues, sometimes I have re-tailor my needs to suit and try to use self-management (doesn’t always work )

  8. nick says:

    Goodness, I have a very elaborate code I live by, I couldn’t possibly summarise it here. But it would include most of the things on your list, except for the virtue of celibacy and surrender to the Supreme Power. I’ve never believed in a Supreme Power! My code also includes trying not to be judgmental. You can never know what goes on someone else’s mind and why they do the things they do.

    • You don’t have to believe in a Supreme Power to lead a moral and ethical life and your comment reflects that perfectly. Value systems differ between societies and so, some thing ethical and acceptable in one may not be in another. As long as local sensitivities are taken into account in our behaviour, one can adjust.

  9. Joared says:

    As I shared elsewhere — “to thine own self be true” and following the Ten Commandments seem to me to be a sufficient challenge in life. This assumes acceptance of and appreciation for the differences in people “to live and let live”.

    • Value systems differ between societies and so, some thing ethical and acceptable in one may not be in another. As long as local sensitivities are taken into account in our behaviour, one can adjust.

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