To lead a sound and ethical life, Hinduism has provided twenty moral codes of ethics called Yamas and Niyamas – restraints and practices. Niyamas are the ‘Dos’ that a person following Hinduism is expected to observe. Religiously incorporating these 10 Niyamas in our everyday life will help us in self-regulation and self-discipline. Thereby, generating a positive environment.
Following are the 10 universal vows that a person should follow for a spiritual and blissful life.
1) Hri or Remorse
There is no place for pride and arrogance in Hinduism. One must clear his/her conscious by correcting the mistakes committed throughout the day. Hurting others through actions and deeds should be amended by a sincere apology. Clearing the baggage of misdeeds before sleeping is the best way to lead a happy life.
2) Santosha or Contentment
Being grateful for all the blessings in form of health, wealth, family and friends is a step towards being internally happy. If you are content and satisfied with life, only then you can make your surroundings happy.
3) Dana or Giving
Giving need not be only in the material form. Spreading your knowledge, happiness and spirit can also be one way of giving. Donating wealth, food, clothes to the needy is the best form of service to the humankind.
4) Astikya or Faith
There is no place for doubt and suspicion in faith to God. Having absolute faith and trust in God and scriptures, written by our scholarly ancestors, is your path to attain enlightenment.
5) Ishvarapujana or Worship
Connect your inner self with God through prayers and meditation. Learn some basic chants and mantras. Give a heartfelt devotion to the supreme to fulfil all desires and wishes.
6) Siddhanta Shravana or Scriptural Listening
Ancient Hindu texts like Vedic literature, Upanishads, Bhagvat Gita have all the answers of the universe. Learn and, most importantly, understand the scripture for enhancing your wisdom. Remember only a wise person is successful in making his/her life worth living.
7) Mati or Cognition
To make important life decisions, one should always go by his/her intuition and listen to the voice that comes from within. In order to do so, it is vital to develop traits of reasoning and understanding to explore the hidden truths of life. Awaken your spiritual sense by comprehending different perspectives.
8) Vrata or Sacred Vows
Be 100% committed to sacred vows preached by our ancestors. Being fully dedicated to certain principles like marriage, monasticism, non-addiction, tithing, loyalty to a lineage, vegetarianism or nonsmoking is the best way to lead a disciplined life.
9) Japa or Recitation
Start your day by chanting mantras or holy Japas. Channelise all your energy in one direction while doing the chants. This is the closest you will ever connect your inner self with God.
10) Tapas or Austerity
Practice austerity daily through penance and sacrifice. Have self-control in all stages of your lives through means of worship, meditation and going on pilgrimages.