Ideals and Values

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

A TEXTBOOK FOR INTRODUCING ETHICS

By Vishal Agarwal


 

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No.

Topic


SECTION I: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR HUMAN BODY

1

Human Being – Pinnacle of Bhagavān’s Creation

2

The Science of Mind and Sense Organs


SECTION II: GOOD VALUES FOR STUDENTS AND TEENAGERS

3

Duty of a Son or a Daughter towards their Parents

4

Behavior toward Siblings

5

Respecting our Gurus and Rishis

6

Respecting and Teaching Classmates

7

Choosing your Friends from Peers

8

Take Care of your Books and other Study Materials

9

Attitude Toward Food

10

Balanced Sleeping and Recreation Habits

11

Good Study Habits


SECTION III: Conquering our six internal enemies and other evils

12

The Six Internal Enemies

13

Desire, the First Enemy

14

Anger, the Second Enemy

15

Greed, the Third Enemy

16

Delusion, the Fourth Enemy

17

Pride, the Fifth Enemy

18

Jealousy, the Sixth Enemy

19

Ostentation or Hypocrisy

20

Harshness or Cruelty

21

Ignorance

22

Hatred or Enmity

23

Fault-finding & Complaining

24

Gossiping and Backbiting

25

Stealing


SECTION IV: ETHICAL VALUES FOR STUDENTS

26

Absence of Fear

27

Ahimsa (Not hurting others)

28

Shanti (Peacefulness)

29

Compassion towards all Creatures

30

Gentleness

31

Empathy

32

Humility & Respect for Everyone

33

Charity & Gratitude

34

Sevā

35

Unity and Mutual Cooperation

36

Truthfulness and Honesty

37

Straightforwardness & Simplicity

38

Forgiveness

39

Forbearance and Accommodation

40

Steadiness and Equanimity

41

Commitment and Perseverance

42

Hard Work and Vigor

43

Non Hoarding and Simple Living

44

Contentment

45

Fickleness or Immaturity

46

Cleanliness of Body

47

Purity of Intellect

48

Self-Respect & Absence of Excessive Pride

49

Modesty & Shame

50

Environmental Awareness


PART V: SPIRITUAL IDEALS OF HINDUS

51

Performance of Worship

52

Study of Scriptures

53

Jnāna: Spiritual Knowledge

54

Constant Practice of Meditation

55

Shraddhā (Faith) in Bhagavān

56

Bhakti (Devotion)


Appendix I: A Short List of Great Hindus for further research


References & Bibliography


Acknowledgements

The booklet was created for the students and teachers of the Hindu American Temple School (HATS) affiliated to the Hindu Society of Minnesota with input from Dr. Shashikant Sane and Arvind Naik.

The booklet contains artwork from numerous websites and books which are not being listed here, but acknowledged with thanks. Please consult the section on References and Bibliography for secondary works utilized.

The "good habit, bad habit" pages are reproduced from Good Habits & Bad Habits (Pictorial Guide on Moral Values for Children), 1st edition April 2011, Swaminarayan Aksharpith, Ahmedabad, India.

The illustrations on the nine-fold Bhakti are taken from Klaus Klostermaier. 2007. A Survey of Hinduism (3rd edn.). SUNY: Albany, New York.

 

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Note to the Parents and Students

This book is intended as a reference guide. Therefore, it should be preserved for future reference on what Hindu Dharma says about various virtues and vices. Should you not need this book any longer, please give it to a friend or a family member.

Studying about different virtues and vices can be a very dry subject. Therefore, each chapter tries to incorporate interesting stories from the Hindu traditions from all over the world and also a few examples and stories from the Greek and American traditions. The author believes that reading about how great Rishis, Sants, Bhaktas, Kings and even otherwise ordinary Hindus have practiced these values is more illuminating and inspiring than reading about them in a purely theoretical fashion.

The difference of this book from other similar books likes in the fact that the latter are often biased towards the Saṅyasa and Vedantic perspective of these values and vices and therefore present a too idealistic version of the reality. This idealistic version can be practiced only by Sages, but the real life for us ordinary Hindus is much more complex and different. Therefore, an attempt has been made to look at issues from various angles and discuss various compromises that we have to make from a practical, and yet an ethical, perspective. The author has also tried to make the book all-inclusive so that it does not favor any one tradition of Hindus over the others. Omission of certain stories or values does not mean that the author does not like them or consider them as important. It only means that these are most likely covered in the other books of this textbook series because they fit there better. This particular book is meant for students in the 6th or the 7th grades.

Note for Teachers

This book has more than twice as much material that can be covered in a course of 1 year with 30 classes that are 1 hour long. Moreover, several sections are too dense and complex and are meant for future reference, when the student is older or they are meant for the parents. The teacher should therefore use the stories incorporated as the chief vehicle for discussing these values. Class discussions on the complexities involved and modern applications of these values must be focused upon as well.

It is also beneficial to study the values and vices in pairs or groups. For E.g., Greed should be studied with contentment and non-hoarding. Ahimsa should be studied with Peacefulness, Compassion and Gentleness. Do not dwell upon the minutiae in the chapters in your classroom. An annual project on research on names listed in Appendix I may be given to students individually, in pairs or in threes. The student should create two of the following three deliverables to present their research:

  • Term Paper
  • Powerpoint slides
  • A Poster or Trifold presentation

Any contemporary events highlighting the contents of any chapter should also be brought up in the classroom for enrichment.