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Shikshapatri
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  Shikshapatri   Vachnamrut   Bapashri Ni Vato  
 
 

 
 

 
  · Five Vows (Panch Vartmān) for Householders  
  · Compulsory Rules For All Devotees  
  · Five Vows (Panch Vartmān) for Ascetic Saints  
  · Additional Rules For All Ascetic Saints  
     
 

Five Vows (Panch Vartmān) for Householders

 
 

(Based on Satsangijivan, Shikshāpatri and Commentary on 78th Vachanāmrut of Gadhadā First Chapter)

 
     
 

(1) Daru Vartman

 
 

Vow of non-consumption of Liquor (Dāru Vartmān)
“All those things, items or actions, by whose sight, eating, drinking, listening or enjoying the senses and antahkaran get intoxicated, are equivalent to liquor.”

  • E.g.: Tea, coffee, cigarette, hemp, opium, tobacco, gutkā, māvāmasālā, pān, etc and any type of beer or any other liquor are prohibited.  One must not use these things and must not encourage others.

  • All medicines containing alcohol are also equivalent to liquor.

TV, cinema, shows, plays, movies, gambling, chopāt, lottery, circus, etc intoxicate one’s mind and hence are equivalent to liquor.

 
     
 

(2) Māti Vartmān

 
 

Vow of not eating of Non-veg food (Māti Vartmān)
Māti means Non-vegetarian food.

  • All the items and medicines that contain meat, eggs or any products containing eggs or meat are equivalent to non-veg food.

  • Unfiltered water, milk, oil, ghee are also equivalent to non-veg food.

  • Uncleaned or unsieved grain, floor and the vegetables that include small insects (or aphids) e.g. cauliflower, certain other green vegetables… etc.

  • Certain objects that generate irritation and hot temper and are having too strong smell like onion, garlic, asafoetida, etc.

In short, one should abandon all above items at home.  Further, this vartmān is violated by eating all readymade and junk food from market and also at marriage functions where the rules and regulations (regarding this vartmān which are mentioned above) are not followed appropriately.  Therefore, to please Bhagwān Swāminārāyan, the devotee shall certainly abandon all readymade food and drinks available in the market.  If required, one should prepare the same at home observing all rules and regulations and shall consume the same after offering it to God.

 
     
 

(3) Chori Vartmān

 
 

Vow of not committing theft (Chori Vartmān)
Theft is not just taking away something from someone’s house.  But, one should not take any even minor thing owned by someone without permission of the owner.

  • One should not take anything owned by other by force or snatch it.

  • One should not take even anything (he comes across) that is lying on the street.

  • One should not embezzle deposits placed (with him) by someone.

  • One should not accept any object or money which is not rightfully belonging to its offerer.

  • One should not accept bribe, shall abandon adulteration or giving less in weight, and shall not commit treachery and deceit.

  • One should not stay in the bound place without the permission of the owner.

  • In service one should not shirk his responsibility in discharging his duty, which is theft of time.

  • One should not commit theft of government properties or utilities like electricity, water, telephone, etc.

  • One should not do any illegal profession, business or service (which is prohibited by the law of the Land).

  • Theft from God: One should offer 10% of income from the legitimate business, profession, service or agriculture to God as dharmādo for the purpose of purification of the wealth.  If one is financially weak, he should offer 5% to God as dharmādo.

  • One should offer one tenth of the time given by God, i.e. age, as dharmādo; means one should spend that much time in service and association of God or saints; otherwise the Chori Vartmān is violated.

 
 

(4) Averi Vartmān

 
 

Vow of observance of Celibacy (Averi Vartmān)
Averi Vartmān means observance of Celibacy. A householder is though engaged in Sansār (worldly life), he/she must observe this Vartmān (described as following) to please Bhagwān Swāminārāyan.

  • A man should not lustfully gaze or think about other woman. Similarly a woman should not lustfully gaze or think about other man.

  • A man should not keep company of a woman other than his wife and a woman should not keep the company of other man.

  • A man should not stare at his mother, sister or daughter of young age and should not stay with her at lonely places.  Similarly, a woman should not stare at his father, brother or son of young age and should not stay with him at lonely places.  (Then it is obvious that there would be similar prohibition for distant relatives, friends of opposite sex and others for staring of and staying with at lonely places.)

  • Nude, semi-nude and vulgarly dressed scenes and pictures available through plays, cinema, TV, channels, shows, movies, Internet and other modern gadgets of entertainment are similarly very harmful.  They are prohibited for all devotees. All devotees should abandon them strictly.

  • One should not wear semi-transparent and short clothes that vitiate one’s thoughts and reveals his/her body.  In addition, one should not watch scenes of woman/man dressed in such clothes.

  • One should not participate or attend lustful occasions like Garbā, Parties, Dance programs, Discos, etc which instigate lust.

  • One should not read and look at vulgar publications, articles, books or magazines.

  • Women shall strictly observe rajaswalā dharma (not touching anywhere during menstruation).  They shall not touch clothes, any person or anything for three days; and can touch them after bathing (with all the clothes worn) on the fourth day.

  • Even with his own wife, one should associate according to the seasons without deep attachment.  Moreover, one shall stay away from copulation with his wife, on the days before and after ekādashi, Manifestation of God and Amāvasyā, days of the month of Shrāvan and Adhik, days of Yajna Samaiyo (special religious fete) and fasts and in also pilgrim places.

 
 

(5) Vatlavu Nahi and Vatlāvavu Nahi

 
 

Do not get proselytized and do not proselytize (Vatlavu Nahi and Vatlāvavu Nahi)

One should not eat anything that is not suitable for him and one should not make someone eat that is not suitable for him. In other words, one should not eat at someone’s home who is not observing all rules and regulations (here it means the Panch Vartmān) properly and similarly if one is not observing rules and regulations properly, he should not force others to eat, who are observing all rules and regulations properly.

 
 

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Compulsory Rules For All Devotees

 
 

In addition to these five vows, all devotees shall mandatorily follow below mentioned orders given by Bhagwān Swāminārāyan as summary of the Shikshāpatri.

 
     
 
  1. One shall never kill any living being and he shall never intentionally kill even small insects such like lice, bugs, etc.

  2. When in some difficulty or problem if someone has done an unacceptable deed, he shall never commit suicide in any way owing to depression, confusion or repentance.  And one shall never mutilate any part of his own body or that of others by using weapons or any other means.

  3. One shall not steal, even for the sake of religious purpose.  No item, even firewood, flowers etc., shall ever be taken without the permission of its owner.

  4. One shall never falsely blame anyone even for personal gains. One shall never abuse anyone verbally.

  5. One shall never speak or listen to talks of slander, betrayal or vices of others.

  6. My devotee shall always speak truth.  However, one shall never speak such truth as is detrimental to interest of oneself or others.

  7. One should not keep the company of an ungrateful person i.e. who does not realize one’s deed.

  8. One shall never keep company of six type of people i.e. thief, sinner, addict, hypocrite, lustful and deceitful.

  9. One shall not associate with one who behaves hankering after woman, wealth and tastes under the pretext of devotion and knowledge.

  10. One shall never urinate, defecate or even spit in public places such as dilapidated temples, banks of rivers or ponds, main roads, fields sown with seeds, shades of trees, orchards, gardens, etc.

  11. One shall never enter or exit from a stealth way (through a way which is not meant for his purpose).

  12. Men should not listen to the religious discourses delivered by women, nor debate with them.

  13. One shall never insult a guru, a person who is renowned, dignified, learned or armed.

  14. One shall never perform a task pertaining to one’s household affairs without careful consideration, but work pertaining to religion shall be done instantly.

  15. One should always have communion with the saints.

  16. One should not go empty handed while going for darshan of God or saints.

  17. One should not commit a breach of trust.

  18. One should never praise oneself.

  19. Man should not touch a woman and a woman should not touch a man after entering into a temple.

  20. One shall always wear a kanthi of tulsi or wood in neck.
  1. One shall always wake up before sunrise and recite Swāminārāyan name.

  2. After defecating, one shall wash the left hand ten times and both hands together seven times with clean clay or powder.  One shall not use soap or liquid.

  3. Thenafter, one shall brush one’s teeth sitting at one place and then take bath with clean water.

  4. Then (man shall wear dhoti and wrap around one cloth on upper part of the body) always compulsorily offer the personal Pujā.  Without offering the Pujā, one shall not eat or drink anything.

  5. Man shall apply a tilak with sandalwood on the forehead, both upper arms & middle of the chest, and apply a chāndlo of kumkum on the forehead.

  6. Thereafter one shall perform Mānsi Pujā with visualizing the manifestation of the God and thenafter shall move rosary chanting “Swāminārāyan” mahamantra and move one rosary with Gurumantra “Aham Anādimukta Swāminārāyan Dāsosmi”

  7. Any food item such as vegetables, fruits, roots, etc or anything else shall not be eaten without offering first to God.  No item shall be used without offering first to God and making it prasād.

  8. One should daily go to the temple of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan and sing devotional songs, dhun, etc and commune with the saints.

  9. One should be assigned work considering his virtues and should be respected accordingly. Moreover, whenever some elderly or socially respected person visits, he should be duly respected and offered an appropriate place.

  10. When in a sabhā (religious assembly) one shall not sit cross-legged or with an inappropriate posture.

  11. One should never give up one’s religion in the hope of some benefits.

  12. If one knows any secret of others, he shall never divulge it.

  13. During the Chāturmas, one shall undertake extra observances such as communion with saints, counting rosary, pradakshinā, reading of religious scriptures, observing fasts, ektāna, celibacy, etc and act accordingly.

  14. One should observe fast with respect on all ekādashi and Hari Navmi.  And one shall, if necessary with great effort, give up daytime sleep on those days.

  15. In the event of afflictions caused by any evil spirits, one shall chant “Swāminārāyan” Mahāmantra and make dhun of the Mahamantra in loud voice.

  16. At the time of solar and lunar eclipse, one shall give up all activities and chant the name of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan.  After the eclipse is over, one shall take bath along with all the clothes that one is wearing; and the householder devotee shall make donation as per his capacity and the ascetics (saints) shall perform the Pujā of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan.

  17. Each devotee shall observe the sutak related to birth or death as prescribed in the scriptures.

  18. If one commits some small or big sin, knowingly or unknowingly, he shall atone to it consulting with Motāpurush and saints.

  19. A man shall never touch a widow who is not his close relative.

  20. One shall serve his parents, dependents and ill people throughout his life.

  21. One shall store food and accumulate wealth for his future requirements according to his circumstances and his means. If one owns cattle, he shall store sufficient stock of fodder.

  22. One shall not undertake any sort of dealings pertaining to land or money, even with his son or friend, without a written document duly witnessed.

  23. One shall never spend more than his income.  And one shall always keep daily records of his income and expenditure.

  24. One shall pay the agreed remuneration, in cash or kind, to workers or labours employed by him; and under no circumstance pay less than the agreed amount. 

  25. In the event of a disaster or other such worse situations or circumstances, even if the place of stay is one’s native place, he should leave such place immediately and reside elsewhere, where he can live happily without difficulties.

  26. The wealthy devotees shall sponsor Samaiyo (religious fete), festivals and construction of temples of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan. In addition, they shall offer a feast to the saints and devotees. 

  27. Married women devotees shall serve and worship their husbands in the manner in which they serve and worship God, even if one’s husband is blind, ailing, poor or impotent and shall never utter harsh words towards him.

The widow disciples shall worship God with the sense of husband and they shall always obey their father, son or other such relatives but never act independently.

 
 

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Five Vows (Panch Vartmān) for Ascetic Saints

 
 

(Based on Dharmāmrut, Nishkām Suddhi, Shikshāpatri and Commentary on 78th Vachanāmrut of Gadhadā First Chapter)
An ascetic shall observe the Five Vows for Householders and in addition he shall also observe….

 
     
 

(1) Nishkami Vartmān

 
 

Vow of Non-lust
Ascetic saints shall observe the eightfold celibacy.  Accordingly,

  • He must not associate with a woman.

  • He must not touch any cloth of a woman.

  • He must not touch a woman.

  • He must not talk about appearance of a woman and must never decide about complexion or age of a woman.

  • He must not ponder about a woman.

  • He must not look or touch even a picture of a woman.

  • He must not even think of enjoying a woman.  Henceforth the act should be abandoned

  • He shall never speak to women.

  • For strict compliance of the above,

Saints shall never go out or walk without being in a pair. Reason of this command is that the vow of Non-lust would remain firm because of mutual restrain due to presence of the other saint and even if there is some mistake, one shall atone it as prescribed by Nishkām Suddhi.

 
     
 

(2) Nirlobhi Vartmān

 
 

Vow of Non-greed

  • Being a Saint, if he keeps, makes someone keep for him or touches wealth, even worth a penny, it is equivalent to the sin of killing thousand cows every minute.

  • One shall never keep additional twelfth cloth over and above the prescribed eleven.

  • One shall always wear thick clothes made of coarse cotton (mādarpat) and shall never wear fine clothes.

  • The clothes should be coloured using the saffron clay of Rampur village (Surendranagar District, Gujarat, India) and not by artificial colour.

  • One shall not wear stitched clothes.

One shall not use Rajoguni clothes like silk, muslin etc. or other such Rajoguni objects for his own use.

 
     
 

(3) Nirmani Vartmān

 
 

Vow of Humility

One shall never have any type of ego.  Respect or disrespect (or insult), whatever comes by wish of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan, one shall behave with equanimity in both the situations.

 
 

(4) Nisnehi Vartmān

 
 

Vow of Detachment

  • One shall never keep any dealings with his parents, brothers or other close relatives of his past life (i.e. before initiation as saint).

  • One shall never keep any dealings with his birth place or his past home.

One shall have affection towards Bhagwān Swāminārāyan and saints and devotees of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan owing to their relation with God.

 
 

(5) Niswadi Vartmān

 
 

Vow of Non-gourmandize (Niswadi Vartmān)

  • One shall not use metallic utensils for eating or drinking, but shall always use wooden bowl and tumbadi only.

Whatever food is available by wish of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan; one shall eat after making it tasteless by mixing all items of food and adding water in it.

 
 

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Additional Rules For All Ascetic Saints

 
 

Further, the ascetic saints shall mandatorily abide by all other orders of Shikshāpatri as under:

  1. One shall not go to a place, even for taking bath, which is frequented by women.

  2. One shall not knowingly see towards lustful animals or birds in conjugal posture.

  3. One shall not touch, look at or talk to a man disguised as a woman.

  4. One shall not even deliver religious discourses of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan, kirtan, etc. addressing a woman.

  5. One shall not obey orders, even if from his Guru that violates vow of Celibacy and five vows of saints. 

  6. One shall immediately stop any woman forcefully coming closer by speaking harsh words or by disdain, but shall not let her come closer.

  7. One shall never, himself or by anyone else, massage his body with oil.

  8. One shall specifically restrain himself over the sense of taste and preference. 

  9. One shall win over the inner enemies like lust, anger, greed and ego.

  10. One shall never let a woman enter into his place of stay.

  11. One shall never waste time without devotion of Bhagwān Swāminārāyan.

  12. One shall never speak or listen to any worldly talks.

  13. One shall never sleep on a bed unless he is ill.

  14. One shall always behave guileless, without deception, with great saints.

  15. Even if some evil minded person abuses, physically or verbally, the saint shall suffer it but shall not retaliate towards him.  Further, he should never think ill of him but rather think for his well-being. 

  16. One shall always bow, bear and suffer.  One shall abide humbleness.

  17. One shall never have any type of profound affection for oneself or his past relatives.

Oh…! Bhagwān Swāminārāyan! Kindly make us behave in all these (Your) commands which are the summary of the Shikshāpatri.

 
 

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