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Hinduism 10 Vedic practices: Niyama

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by CaramelChocolate, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. CaramelChocolate

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    Jul 13, 2004
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    10 Vedic practices: Niyama
    Source: Hinduism Today magazine. Typed up by me.

    1. Remorse : HRI
    Allow yourself the expression of remorse, being modest and showing shame for your misdeeds. Recognize your errors, confess and make amends. Sincerely apologize to those hurt by your words or deeds. Resolve all contention before sleep. Seek out and correct your faults and bad habits. Welcome correction as a means to bettering yourself. Do not boast. Shun pride and pretension.

    2. Contentment : SANTOSHA
    Nurture contentment, seeking joy and serenity in life. Be happy, smile and uplift others. Live in constant gratitude for your health, your friends and your belongings, Don't complain about what you don't possess. Identify with the eternal You, rather than mind, body or emotions. Keep the mountaintop view that life is an opportunity for spiritual progress.

    3. Giving : DANA
    Be generous to a fault, giving liberally without the thought of reward. Tithe, offering one tenth of your gross income [dashamamsha], as God's money to temples, ashrams and spiritual organizations. Approach the temple with offerings. Visit gurus with gifts in hand. Donate religious literature. Feed and give to those in need. Bestow your time and talents without seeking praise. Treat guests as God.

    4. Faith : ASTIKYA
    Cultivate an unshakable faith. Believe firmly in God, Gods, guru and your path to enlightenment. Trust in the words of the masters, the scriptures and traditions. Practice devotion and sadhana to inspire experiences that build advanced faith. Be loyal to your lineage, one with your satguru. Shun those who try to break your faith by argument and accusation.

    5. Worship : ISHVARA-PUJANA
    Cultivate devotion through daily worship and medidation. Det aside one room of your home as God's shrine. Offer fruit, flowers or food daily. Learn a simple puja and the chants. Meditate after each puja. Visit your shrine before and after leaving the house. Worship in heartfelt devotion. clearing the inner channels to God, Gods and guru so their grace flows toward you and loved ones.

    6. Scriptural Listening : SIDDHANTA SHRAVANA
    Eagerly hear the scriptures, study the teachings and listen to the wise of your lineage. Choose a guru, follow his path and don't waste time exploring other ways. Read, study and, above all, listen to readings and dissertations by which widom flows from knower to seeker. Avoid secondary texts that preach violence. Revere and study the revealed scriptures, the Vedas and the Agamas.

    7. Cognition : MATI
    Develop a spiritual will and intellect with your satguru's guidance. Strive for knowledfe of God, to awaken the light within. Discover the hidden lesson in each experience to develop a profound 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
    Embrace religious vows, rules and observances and never wave in fulfilling them. Honor vows as spiritual contracts with your soul, your community, with God, Gods and guru. Take vows to harness the instinctive nature. Fast periodically, Pilgrimage yearly. Uphold your vows strictly, be they marriage, monasticism, nonaddiction, tithing, loyalty to a lineage, vegetarianism or nonsmoking.

    9. Recitation : JAPA
    Chant your holy mantra daily, reciting trhe sacred sound, word or phrase given by your guru. Bathe first, queit the mind and concentrate fully to let japa harmonize, purify and uplift you. Heed your instructions and chant the prescribed repititions without fail. Live free of anger so that japa strengthens your higher nature. Let japa quell emotions and quiet the rivers of thought.

    10. Austerity : TAPAS
    Practice austerity, serious disciplines, penance and sacrifice. Be ardent in worship, meditation and pilgrimage. 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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