Blog Description

This blog is for sharing one of the six loving exchanges between vaishnavas - bhajana katha sravanam alapa - sharing and discussing bhajan topics with devotees.

It is also my humble attempt to follow the instruction my gurudeva would give at the end of every class: take these pastimes and instructions into your heart. Therefore in the hopes that it will make some impression in my heart, I am sharing lecture notes, quotes, book excerpts, and other words from the brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya and vaisnava/is around the world.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 10 characteristics of religious life

In the 8th chapter of Jaiva Dharma, entitled "Nitya-Dharma and Vaishnava Behavior", Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura writes:

There are ten characteristics of religious life - dhrtih (determination with patience); ksama (forgiveness), which means not retaliating when wronged by others; damo (control of the mind), which means equanimity even in the face of unsettling circumstances; asteyam (abstinence from theft); saucam (cleanliness); indriya -nigrahah (restraining the senses from their sense objects); dhir (inteligence), which means knowledge of the sastra; vidya (wisdom, or realization of the soul); satyam (truthfulness); and akrodha (absence of anger), as demonstrated by even-temperedness amidst irritating circumstances.

- (Sri Manu Samhita 6.92)

[Babaji speaking] "Six of these characteristics - determination, control of the mind, cleanliness, restraint of the senses, knowledge of the sastra, and wisdom - are duties to one's own self. the remaining four - forgiveness, abstinence from stealing, truthfulness, and absence of anger - are duties to others. These ten religious duties have been prescribed for people in general, but none of them clearly indicate hari-bhajan."

[Later, Babaji goes on to say that the neophyte devotee vaishnava, or kanistha-adhikari, cannot relate to devotees or behave properly, therefore he can only relate to others according to these ten characteristics, and it is implied he or she should try to follow].

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