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Gems from Shikshapatri:

Regular Recital
Read this Shikshapatri daily.
If that is not possible, ask someone to read it out to you,
and so listen to it with great reverence.
If that too is not possible, then adore and worship it daily
with great reverence.
Thus revere this Shikshapatri
as the very embodiment of My Divine Personality.
Shloka: 208, 209

Path of Righteousness

He who performs righteous deeds is happy. He who acts thoughtlessly or with a bad intention invites misery.
Shloka: 8

Perform duties appropriate to your station in life. Do not perform duties that are prescribed for others. Do not perform duties that are fictitious or imaginary.
Shloka: 24

Do not act thoughtlessly and without due deliberation. However, act promptly in matters pertaining to religious duties.
Shloka: 36

However beneficial or profitable it may be, do not perform unrighteous actions. Do not give up the path of righteousness out of greed or selfishness.
Shloka: 73

Follow only the righteous deeds of great men but do not follow examples of their unrighteous actions.
Shloka: 74

Ethical Life

Do not gamble.
Do not steal; not even for a religious or a benevolent cause. Do not take fuel, flowers, fruits and such things without the owner's permission - not even for a good cause, such as worship or making an offering to a deity.
Shloka: 17, 18

Do not use abusive language. For the sake of a selfish gain, do not lay a false accusation.
Shloka: 20

Do not accept bribes. Speak only the truth. But do not utter such words that may hurt others.
Shloka: 26

Do not trespass into prohibited areas belonging to others. Do not use the premises of others, without seeking the prior permission of its owners.
Shloka: 33

Do not commit a breach of trust.
Shloka: 37

Do not indulge in self-praise.
Shloka: 57


Non-violence is the highest ethical code of behavior. Do not kill any living creature. Do not kill animals; not even for a sacrificial offering to a deity or to an ancestor.
Shloka: 11, 12

Do not kill a human being; not even for the acquisition of a woman, wealth or a kingdom.
Shloka: 13

Do not commit suicide; not even in a place of pilgrimage or a holy shrine. Whether in a fit of anger or out of guilt for a sinful act, do not commit suicide.
Shloka: 14

Do not mutilate any part of your body or that of others, either out of anger, excitement or as a punishment for misconduct.
Shloka: 16

Being Practical in Life

Keep away from the company of thieves, vicious persons, drug addicts, heretics, sex maniacs and deceivers.
Shloka: 27

When any serious trouble arises from natural calamities, fellow men or illness, act cautiously and carefully to protect your life and that of others.
Shloka: 119

In practical life, even with friends and relatives, do not carry out transactions of sale, purchase, transfer, borrowing, lending, payment, etc., without an appropriate document in writing, and the presence of witnesses.
Shloka: 143

Maintain a daily account of income and expenditure. Do not indulge in extravagant expenses. Let not your expenses exceed your income.
Shloka: 145, 146

Even if it be your native place or usual place of residence, leave it and migrate to a better place, especially when your prestige, property or life is in danger on account of acute famine, harassment from the wicked or the tyranny of the state authority.
Shloka: 153, 154

Diet and Ecology

Do not eat meat.
Shloka: 15

Do not consume tobacco, hemp or hashish nor consume wines, liquors, opium and other such alcoholic drinks and drugs.
Shloka: 18

Do not drink unfiltered water nor use water which contains germs; not even for bathing purposes.
Shloka: 30

Do not consume food, drink and medicine given by a doctor whose conduct and credentials are unknown to you.
Shloka: 31

Do not dirty public places such as mandir premises, holy shrines, lakes or river banks, highways, the ground around trees, farms with standing crops, by spitting, urinating, defecating and throwing garbage.
Shloka: 32

Social Ethics

Entrust tasks to a man for which he is best suited. Do not entrust him duties for which he is unfit.
Shloka: 66

Take good care of your servants in respect of their food, clothing and shelter, according to your means of subsistence.
Shloka: 67

Address honorably and deal respectfully with people in accordance with their social status
and prevalent social customs.
Shloka: 68

Spreading of knowledge and education is a great meritorious deed. If possible, either aid or establish an educational institution and appoint pious scholars as teachers therein to spread
the right knowledge on the earth.
Shloka: 132

Serve fellow beings in their illness and distress. Serve your parents in their old age and take good care of them, especially in their illness.
Shloka: 139

Pay the correct wages in cash or kind, according to the contract to the workers employed by you.
Shloka: 152

If you happen to be in power as the head of a state, then: live a righteous and religious life; treat your subjects like members of your own family; take good care of them; and make an honest attempt to consolidate morality and religion in your kingdom.
Shloka: 157


Do not commit adultery. Do not indulge in pre-marital, extra-marital or illicit sex relations.
Shloka: 18

But for sheer emergencies, avoid the company of the opposite sex in solitary places.
Shloka: 136


Do not indulge in extra-marital relations.
Shloka: 18

Married men and women, should be loving, loyal and faithful to one another. Do not be harsh to one another.
Shloka: 159

Do not keep the company of licentious, lustful and loose persons.
Shloka: 161

Do not have an abortion and do not keep the company of those who encourage or assist in abortion.
Shloka: 170

Respect for All

Do not vilify deities, places of pilgrimage, priests, sadhus, chaste women and holy scriptures. Always see good in others.
Shloka: 21

Offer your salutations with respect to the deities in mandirs you happen to pass by on your way.
Shloka: 23

Be courteous and hospitable in the mandir. Welcome all visitors. Serve them food if they happen to be hungry. Take care of them in accordance with your means of subsistence.
Shloka: 131

Religious Life

Keep the company of sadhus and pious priests.
Shloka: 36

Be honest and regular in daily life. Wake up early in the morning. Remember God and offer your daily worship to the Lord.
Shloka: 49, 50, 51

Remember God, recite His name, sing His glory, say prayers, offer prostrations with reverence, and study scriptural texts daily.
Shloka: 54 - 58

Remember God in all your activities. Visit the mandir daily. Listen to religious discourses with great reverence.
Shloka: 63, 64

In the pilgrim places and the holy shrines, be charitable and serve food to the priests, sadhus and poor worshipers, according to your means of subsistence.
Shloka: 83

Do not believe in superstitions and black magic.
Shloka: 85

As per your capacity, donate 10% or 5% of your total income as an offering to God.
Shloka: 147

Celibate Sadhus

Observe the vow of celibacy strictly and sincerely.
Shloka: 178

Do not accept the command even of your Guru, if it happens to distract you from your vow of practising celibacy.
Shloka: 180

When your life, or that of a woman, is in danger, protect it by speaking to her or if necessary, by physically touching her.
Shloka: 182

Control your sense of taste. Neither hoard nor deposit money or property in any form.
Shloka: 189, 190

But for sheer exigency, do not travel alone, without the company of a fellow sadhu with you.
Shloka: 191

Do not waste your time in fruitless talks and activities. In all your activities and service unto humanity, keep your mind fixed on God devoutly.
Shloka: 193

Control anger and be compassionate and give up concern and attachment for your body and its relations.
Shloka: 201, 202

Even if someone attacks you with abuses, insults and beatings for no reason, do not be harsh to him. Bear and endure the insults. Forgive and bless your tormentors.
Shloka: 201


In normal times,
do not fall back upon the exemptions and relaxations in duties which are sanctioned for sheer exigencies.
Shloka: 48

Regulate and adjust conduct,
dealings in life, and expiation for purification, as per your age, ability, wealth, time, place and community norms.
Shloka: 120

Worship and Devotion

Worship the Supreme Lord, while living a moral and pious life.
Shloka: 39

Do not give up faith and devotion to the Lord out of fear of slander by the unscrupulous and the ignorant.
Shloka: 39

One who keeps his mind fixed on God whilst doing all activities, divinizes all his actions.
Shloka: 59

Worship with devotion unto the Lord who alone is the redeemer from the bondage of Maya. Therefore, worship the Lord with undivided devotion.
Shloka: 113


Comprehension of the essential nature of individual self (Jiva), cosmic self (Ishwar), matter nescience (Maya), Akshar (Brahman) and the Supreme God (Parabrahman),
is called Jnan -right knowledge.
Shloka: 104

Jiva means an individual soul. It is a spiritual substance. It is atomic in size. It is very subtle and imperceptible. It is indivisible and imperishable. It resides in every living being. It has knowability. Its consciousness pervades the whole body. Knowledge is its essential quality. Therefore, the Jiva is the real knower. Jivas are innumerable.
Shloka: 105

Maya means prakriti, the primary matter. It is the basic substance and the cause of all bondage. Its nature is of darkness and ignorance. Its constituents are the three gunas, namely, sattva, rajas and tamas. It is the inseparable power of the Supreme Lord. It is the cause of ego and attachment to the body and its relations.
Shloka: 106

Parmeshwar or Parabrahman means the Supreme God.
He resides in the heart of every Jiva.
He is the inner controller and the Supreme Ruler, and hence, is called Antaryami. He is immanent in everything, and yet beyond everything. He alone is the independent Supreme Being. He is the Moral Governor, for He rewards and punishes the Jivas
according to their good and bad karmas.
Shloka: 107

When Lord Krishna is accompanied by Radha, know them as Radha-Krishna. When Lord Narayan is accompanied by Laxmi, know them as Laxmi-Narayan. When Lord Narayan is accompanied by Arjun, know them as Nar-Narayan. In the like manner, you should know and name the Lord with reference to the ideal devotee who is accompanying Him.
Shloka: 109, 110

Identify oneself with Brahman,
separate from the three bodies, and eternally
offer devotion to God.
Shloka: 116

Concluding Prayer

The Supreme Lord is the redeemer of all.
He alone is the destroyer of all pains and sufferings.
He is the protector and upholder of morality, religion and devotion on the earth. He is the Moral Governor, and the bestower of all desired happiness. O, Lord! Bless mankind with universal good and an auspicious life.
Shloka: 212

© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith