Ayurvedic ethical guidelines for a peaceful mind
The mind influences many physiological functions, therefore having a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. In Ayurveda, the mind is healthy when it posses sattvic qualities, which are purity, harmony,
contentment, positivity, truth, serenity, peacefulness, and virtuousness.
On the other hand, Rajas and Tamas are considered to be more harmful qualities of the mind. This manifest as egotism, desires, chaos, anxiety, destructiveness, self-centredness, delusion, negativity, apathy, inertia or lethargy, violence, viciousness and ignorant actions.
When the mind is predominantly in the state of Rajas and Tamas, it tends to generate wrong judgments and misconceptions, which lead to wrong actions that cause disease. Therefore we should always strive to increase the Sattvic qualities of the mind.
According to Ayurveda, following an ethical regimen, also known as Sadvritta, helps to maintain a healthy sattvic state of mind. ‘Sad’ means good and ‘Vritta’ means regimen. When we violate or ignore these guidelines our feelings, emotions and the mind becomes agitated.
These principles are not culturally biased and can be applied to all people of all times and places. The ethical guidelines include:
Avoid violence in thoughts and actions.
Abstain from anger, extreme grief, jealousy and greed.
Always speak the truth.
Never loose your temper under any circumstances.
Do not expose yourself to hardships as much as it is in your control.
Try to control your passions and desires.
Strive to speak pleasant and sweet words.
Meditate daily for tranquility of mind.
Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.
Try to distribute knowledge, good advice and money to others.
Be devoted to spirituality, charity or a good cause.
Be straightforward and kind.
Avoid criminal activities.
Do not reveal secrets of others.
Consume food of Sattvic quality.
Respect the elders, forefathers, teachers, and scholars.
Always behave in a courteous and polite manner.
Control excessive desires of the five senses.
Create a habit of doing all that is good and avoiding all that is bad.
Do not associate with bad mannered people or those with evil thoughts.
Share joys and achievements with those that wish you well.
Do not be envious of others.
Allow others to express themselves.
Avoid gossiping, unhealthy criticism, and being judgemental.
Do not discuss or disclose other people’s faults in public.
Do not take another's wealth or property.
Care for elderly, children, the sick, weak, physically challenged.
Do not keep company with people who break the rules of good conduct.
By adhering to these rules as much as possible, we can maintain a balanced, sattvic state of mind, which will also promote health and vitality in the body.
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Dewan Shweta Chouhan Mahesh Baldev Kumar, "The Basics of healthy Living (Swasthavritta) - A boon from Ayurveda", International Ayurvedic Medical Journal ISSN:2320 5091
Frawley, D.,& S, Ranade., (2004) “Ayurveda's Nature Medicine"