Sadachara

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Sadāchāra means "Right conduct." Synonyms include, caryapada, shishtachara, sucharita ( "good behaviour"), sukrita ("good deeds"), and vinaya ( "good conduct.")


   
Sadachara
Śruti smriti sadāchāra svasya cha priyamatmanā
Samyak samkalpajo kāmo dharmamulamidam smritam
   
Sadachara

—Yajnavalkya Smriti 1.8


The Hindu credo refers to conduct with others. The translation of it is, "Shruti, smriti, good conduct, one’s own conscience. Proper and purposeful desire [for good resolution] is customary of the root of gentleness’ dharm." While the Vedas are not the official scriptures of Sanatan Dharm, they are the first ones and most other scriptures have Vedas’ concepts as source. What the Vedas mention about conduct is classed into 2 categories; Yamas (Five Precepts) and Niyamas. The smritis reaffirm them. Good conduct is expected towards the soul attaining Moksha. Finally, at times of confusion, one’s own conscience should be applied towards determining the best or moral outcome of the situation. Samyak Samkalpajo is also one of the 8 points in Gautam Buddha's Eightfold Path (Ashtanga Marga.)

"Hinduism is not a religion: it's just a way of life thousands of Rishis have written about. It is such a democratic religion where everybody has a freedom to think, write or say whatever they want. We have no opposition to any other philosophy coming into us." - Sir Charles Norton Edgecumbe Eliot

Bhishma Kaurava in the Mahabharata too propounds shruti, smriti, and one’s consciousness, but maintains that āchāra (conduct) is the greatest of the sources.[1] Following proper conduct is more important that anything else from the Vedas, include more important than worship and ceremonies. Nonviolence towards all beings is the highest duty. "Nonviolence, speaking truth, and forgiveness are definitely more important than adherence to Vedas."[2] The scripture further states, "Achāra lakshano dharmā"[3], meaning "Conduct is the illustration of dharm (spiritual duty.)" Conduct is continuously emphasized over all else, even prayers, because conduct is karma. So the Vishnu Sahasranama declares, "Achāra Prabhavo Dharmā / Dharmasya Prabhu Achyutā."

According to Bhishma, Dharm as right conduct is called āchāra or sadāchāra, śīla ("character"), and vịtta ("wealth [of good deeds].")[4]

The idea that God blesses those who practice sadachara is reflect in the Lalitha Sahasranamam’s verse "Sadachara pravarthika" ("She who makes things happen through good conduct.") Charaka says that sadachara [among other virtues] is a drugless modalities to maintain Sama state of buddhi and cure imbalance.[5]

The words sadachara, shishtachara, and shila connote the same (with some marginal difference.)[6] A Vasishtha rishi declared, “Tadelabhe shishtachara pramanam,” meaning when the Vedic authority is not available to resolve a scenario, shishtachara should be relied upon. He also declared that he does not accept all shishtachara as authority, meaning reasoning has to be used to resolve what is right and wrong. A Gautama rishi had declared that Vedas are the source of dharma and that both smriti texts and shila were its fountainheads.

Quotes regarding self-restrain from Sanatan and other Arya teachers:

Krishna Narada Patanjali Gautam Buddha Mahavir Guru Nanak Mahatma Gandhi
”For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends. But for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be his greatest enemy.”[7]
”Some think themselves the conqueror of the ten directions, yet have not even conquered the six enemies within, which are their own five senses and mind.”[8]
”Conquer callous, cruel, and insensitive feelings toward all beings.”
”To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.”
”Fight with yourself. Why fight with external foes. He who conquers himself will obtain happiness.”[9]
”By conquering oneself, one conquers the world.”[10]
”The only devils in this world are those running around in our own hearts, and that is where all our battles should be fought.”

Aspects of Sadachara

"But it is altruism for Hindus. The spirit of mutual good-will, esteem and veritable love which is the traditional spirit of the religions of Indian family. This is one of India's gift to the world." - Dr. Arnold Toynbee

Sadachara is said to typically consist of saptakani charitrani ("seven classes of conduct"):

  1. Lobhadeya (reduction of greed)
  2. Adeya (acceptability, i.e., earning what you deserve and not taking anything more)
  3. Kshama (forgiveness)
  4. Satya (truth)
  5. Vidya (knowledge)
  6. Ijya (sacrifice, i.e., worship, or revering others, such as ancestors)
  7. Dana (charity)

Humane Behaviour

"Hinduism is synonymous with humanism. That is its essence and its great liberating quality." - H.G. Wells

N.P. Sangani had said, "Hinduism is the worldwide (people’s) religion or the human religion."[11] It is from the Hindu Objective Worldview principles of samadarshan and loksangraha that the 3 humanistic philosophies have emerged - Gandhism, integral humanism, and neohumanism. The ideologies implemented politically, integral humanism (of BJP) and Gandhism (mainly applied by parties outside of India), have enabled political parties to govern in harmony without civil uprisings. Integral humanism, for example has allowed the pro-Hindu party BJP to be able to form coalitions with parties of different ideologies in able for it and any coalition partners to attain their goals (which may be different.) Gandhism has been implemented by freedom fighters to peacefully liberate their nations from imperialist and martial regimes. Neohumanism is a doctrine applied by the Ananda Marga.

As a result, there have been organizations that operate around the principle of Manav Dharm ("Duty to Humanity.") These include, Manav Utthan Sewa Samiti of Nepal, Manav Kendra Dehradun of Uttarakhand, and Manav Dharma Sabha of Gujarat, and Surat Shabd Yoga (and its Manavtva or "Humanness") among others.

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References

  1. "Acāraḥ smțlir vedās trividham dharmalakṣaṇam / caturthamarthamityāhuḥ kavayo dharmalaksanam" - Mahabharata 12.59.3
  2. Mahabharata 11.12-14
  3. Mahabharata 13.104.9
  4. P. 102 A Historical-developmental Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals edited by Rajendra Prasad
  5. P. 160 STUDY OF CHARAKA’S CONCEPT OF BUDDHI WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON BUDDHI PAREEKSHA By Vaidya Girish Shyamarao Sarade; "Charaka says that Pooja (workship to God), Satyachara, Sadachara (behaving with good code of conducts), Tapa (penance), Gyana pradana (teaching), and Guru Seva (learning from Guru by Staying with him and serving him) are the drugless modalities to maintain Sama state of buddhi and cure imbalance (Ch. chi.9)."
  6. P. 4022 Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Sasay to Zorgot by Sahitya Akademi
  7. Bhagavad-Gītā 6.5-7
  8. Bhagavad Purana 7.8.11[107]
  9. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 9.34-36
  10. Japu 26, Guru Granth 6
  11. Dharmānk, Kalyan 30, no. 1 (1966): 242-49; said, "Sanātan dharm hi sarvabhaum dharm ya mānav dharm hai."