Swaminarayan Satsang
    Under Shree Narnarayan Dev Mandir Bhuj
24/04/2014
Shree Swaminarayan Bhaghwan
Articles Home
 
Home > Library > Articles > Guidelines of good conduct of satsangis
Guidelines of good conduct of satsangis
Date Added: 13/08/2002
 
Table of contents
1. Reverence for the Lord
2. Reverence for the Shastras
3. Reverence for pilgrim places
4. Reverence for H.H. Acharyamaharajshree
5. Reverence for elders
6. Reverence for festivals
7. General guidelines of good conduct
1. Reverence for the Lord
 
By ‘God’ we mean idols made of metal, stone, wood or pictorial images as well as the idols of Panchdev installed by Shree Hari.

Only when we experience the physical presence of God in the idols or pictorial images of God installed by Acharya Maharajshree, can we be said to revere God.

The Poojari should do regular pooja with the feeling that God is actually present in the idols.

" The idols which have been given for pooja by the Lord’s own command are of eight kinds. The Lord enters the idols and is physically present in them. A devotee worshipping the idol should do so with the same reverence and devotion as he would to God in person. One must also revere the saints in whom God resides.

One who does not consider God’s omnipresence cannot be said to have faith in God. (Vachnamrut, Gadhdha Pra. 68)

One must never sit with one’s back to the Lord.

One must never go before the Lord with one’s shoes on.

One should never keep things like a walking stick or an umbrella in one’s hands while doing darshan.

One should never wear a garland of flowers while going before the Lord.

One should never enter the Temple without changing clothes after visiting the toilet. If one has attended a funeral, one should do darshan only after having a bath.

It is an insult to God if one wears shoes like socks while inside the Temple.

One should never sit with one leg across the other leg or with tied knees before God as it is an insult to Him (Shikshapatri, shloka 70).

One should never chew pan, laugh loudly, display anger or do any misdeed while doing darshan of God. One should not talk with women or touch them.

One should not circumambulate while God is resting or having meals.

Men and women should be careful not to touch one another in the Temple on days of festivals or ordinary days (Shikshapatri, shloka 40).

One should never go empty-handed for darshan of Guru, God or a king (Shikshapatri, shloka 37).

One should offer fruits, flowers, sweets or money. One should put the money in the money-box only and not throw it.

One should remove one’s cap, turban or other headwear before going for darshan in the Temple. One should do the darshan with bare head and with the feeling of surrender to God.

Sashtang and Panchang Namaskar
 
The dandvat namaskar is a distinct trait of our Sampraday. Men should bow down to the Lord with the eight organs viz. hath (hands), pag (legs), dhichan (knees), chati (chest), mastak (head), man (mind), dhrashti (sight), and vani (speech) .

Women should bow down to the Lord with the five organs viz. hath (hands), mastak (head), man (mind), dhrashti (sight), and vani (speech) .

One should closely observe every part of God, His robes, jewellery while doing darshan.

One should sit in such a way that one does not cause discomfort to other devotees while doing darshan. One should always sit in the sabha mandap for the katha.

One should not say ‘Jai Swaminarayan’ to others, or touch the feet of elders and saints while doing darshan for it is not proper to touch someone’s feet with the gau-mukhi and mala in the hand.

One should not stand in the front to receive prasad, flowers or tulsi while a saint or elderly devotee is doing the dandvat pranam.

It does not make any difference whether one is in the front or behind while doing darshan. One is more rewarded if one does darshan from behind peacefully and with concentration. One should only concentrate on the idol of God while doing the darshan. Nothing is gained by standing in the front but with a wandering mind.

The idol/s in the in-house temple should be only of God or idols of God in any of the forms installed by the Lord like Narnarayandev etc. One may keep pictures of the Guru on the wall, but not in the Temple. One should not keep any idol in the bedroom or bathroom. One should not keep the idol/s in any other place except the altar in the in-house Temple, as there may be breach of reverence. If the number of idols increases then one must give them to other deserving devotees.

One must have a separate pooja room in the house if one has a large house. One should not keep things like T.V., radio or other household items in front of the altar of God in the house.

One should do the aarti, thal, podhan,etc. with the feeling that God is actually present.

One should offer water to God on the house altar when one has to go out of town and pray to God : ‘ Hey Maharaj! As I have to leave the town, please have your thal with Narnarayan Dev at Ahmedabad till I return.’

All the family members should join in the aarti and daily pooja.

Once the daily pooja is over, the pooja-box should be kept on the altar, in a cupboard or bag so as to maintain its honour.

One must carry one’s pooja-box along while going out of town. One must always wear a dhoti while doing the pooja.

One should do at least five dandvat pranam while doing darshan of God.

One must sit on the parapet of the Temple and do darshan of the shikhar, kalash and dhaja and meditate upon the idol of God after the darshan in the Temple is over.

One should recite the maha-mantra or sing kirtans on the way to and from the Temple because the period of darshan really begins from the moment one sets out of home.

One must pay respect to any Temple and do darshan of the deity in the Temple that one comes across in the way. (Shikshapatri, shloka 23)

One must park one’s vehicle in the proper place when one goes for darshan in the Temple so that others are not put at inconvenience. One should also not make the noise of horns in the Temple.

There are many other ways of revering God, but to keep God happy is the most important thing. True reverence to God lies in obeying His words by being pure, surrendering, and having unshakeable faith in Him

2. Reverance For Shastras
 
One should bow down to the Shastras before beginning to read.

If one needs to get up in between the reading, one must fold the Book and put it in its proper place.

One should never fold the pages of the Book or use it as a pillow, lean against it or put it under one’s feet.

One should keep the Book in a bag or cover it with a cloth if one needs to take it out, so that it is not soiled with perspiration of the hands.

One should not wet one’s fingers with saliva for turning the pages of the Book. One should not talk or stand up before the reading of one chapter is over.

One should place the Book in a high place and touch it only after becoming pure because it is the form of Shree Hari.

3. REVERENCE FOR PILGRIM PLACES
 
One must have one’s bath at a distance from the well so that the impure water does not run into the well.

One should not clean one’s mouth in a river or a lake. It is very bad to excrete or urinate, to throw garbage, stones, thorns, etc. in rivers or lakes.

One should measure the depth of the water of an unknown river or lake before entering into it. one should not go in deep waters if one does not know how to swim.

One should not dirty the surroundings of rivers and lakes.

Shikshapatri shloka 32 mukvo.

One visits pilgrim places to wash away sins, so one must observe cleanliness and not dirty the place.

One should go to pilgrim places with a pure mind. One should concentrate on God and keep the company of saints.

One should not pay attention to facilities or discomfort in the pilgrim places for one must remember that one’s main aim is darshan.

One should remember the adornments of the idols of God and the places of Prasadi.

4. REVERENCE FOR H.H. ACHARYAMAHARAJSHREE
 

One should never enter into argument with Acharyamaharajshree and one must in accordance to one’s capacity pay reverence to Acharyashree with grains, wealth and clothes. (Shikshapatri, shloka 71).

When one learns of the arrival of Acharyamaharajshree, one must go to receive Him respectfully at the outskirts of the village and also go to see Him off at the outskirts when He departs. (Shikshapatri, shloka 72).

One should welcome Him with musical instruments, celebrations and shobhayatra.

One should not be a debtor of Acharyamaharajshree or any Temple of Lord Shree Krishna. One must never borrow things such as jewellery, utensils or clothes for one’s personal use. (Shikshapatri, shloka 150)

One should do dandvat pranam to Acharyamaharajshree when one goes for His darshan. One must remove one’s cap, turban or other headwear before bowing down to Him.

One must respectfully stand up when Maharajshree comes into the sabha and should sit only after He takes His seat. One must stand up and do namaskar to Him when He leaves the sabha.

One should offer a garland or Shrifal or any gift when one goes for darshan.

When there is a crowd at the time of Samaiya, one should not rush to touch the feet of Acharyashree. One should only stand at a distance and do namaskar to Him with folded hands. People should stand on either side of the road with folded hands and make way for Acharyashree to pass through. This is more than touching His feet.

One should take the gurumantra from Acharyashree and do one mala while chanting this mantra everyday.

One must pay name-tax every year.

One may look up the book ‘Motera ni maryada’ for more rules.

Women should take the gurumantra from pujya Gadiwala.

One should always go to take the blessings of Acharyashree on personal and social occasions like marriage etc., but should not insist on Acharyashree’s presence on such occasions.

5. REVERENCE FOR ELDERS
 

Acharyas, tyagi saints, brahmacharis, gruhasth elders, elders from social point of view like kings, officials, wealthy and prestigious persons are all included in the category of elders.

Shree Hari has written in a letter that when elders arrive in a sabha, the young should stand up, give them seats, do namaskar and welcome them with smiling face.

One must speak politely with elders. One may speak as instructed, but never argue with them.

The young should sit after the elders for meals in a bhojan samarambh and get up only after the elders finish.

One must sleep only after the elders go to bed and should wake up before them. One should wake the elders with the name of Shree Hari.

One should treat the elders as gurus and serve them. One should not listen to the criticism of the elders. One who disrespects the elders lose the strength gained from penance.

All My followers shall raise up, bow down, give a comfortable seat and say pleasant work to a Guru, a King, a senior citizen, a saint, a learned man or an ascetic, on their arrival.

(Shikshapatri 69)

We know the consequences of King Parikshit’s insult in the Rishi ashram and the insult of Daksh Prajapati by Shivji in the sabha of Brahma. Therefore one should not insult elders in sabhas. When one insults elders it not only leads to misery, but also comes in the way of bhajan and meditation. (Vachnamrut, Gadhadha Pr. 61)

When one serves the devotees of God with mind, heart and soul, one achieves great spiritual benefit and happiness. NO other means can provide such happiness. Thus, one should behave in such a manner that one does not disrespect the devotees of God. (Vachnamrut, Gadhadha madhya pr. 40).

I do not like if one disregards my words inspite of one’s faith in me or interrupts me when I am speaking with someone – Shree Hari.(Vachnamrut, Antya pr. 25)

I do not also like if one is egotistically vocal about one’s sacrifice, devotion, service or humility.

I do not like if one who enters last into a sabha does not sit where he is supposed to. (Gadhada Antya pr. 25).

If a discussion with God or great saints results in argument, and even if one is on the verge of winning, one should give up the argument in favour of the elder. One should not put the great saints in an embarrassing situation in discussions in sabhas. One should always accept defeat against God and great saints. (Vachnamrut Sarangpur – 2).

One should readily accept the words of God and great saints even if one thinks they are appropriate or inappropriate.

If one does not agree with the words of God or great saints, one should with folded hands humbly and devotionally tell them if they permit you "O Maharaj, I have heard your words but I have some questions."

If God is not willing, one may say so to a great saint or devotee staying close to God. Later on, the great saint may put your doubts to rest and also take you to God for reassurance on the subject , but one should never instantly counter the words of God whether one thinks they are inappropriate. One should patiently put off argument, but should never impulsively oppose. (Vachnamrut, Sarangpur pr.2).

One should never be proud in front of a great devotee of god no matter how poor he is. (Vachnamrut, Loya – 6)

One should address the elders as ‘aap’ amd not ‘tame’.

One should always remember to say ‘Jai Swaminarayan’ to elders at the first meeting in the morning and before going to bed.

One should always answer saying politely ‘jee ha’ when one is called by elders.

One should address elders in letters as either ‘Param bhagwadiya’, ‘Satsang shiromani’, ‘Haribhakt shiromani’, ‘Pandit’, ‘Shastri’, or ‘Sadguru’, whatever is appropriate. One should never write the courtesy title ‘Shree’ or any such other titles before one’s own name.

One should never sit with one’s back towards elders.

One should walk two steps behind one’s guru while walking together. If one’s guru is walking behind, one should stop to let the guru go ahead. One should lift the guru’s luggage for him and also open the door for him.

One should not get up or talk in the middle of a katha, vyakhyan or bhajan. If one arrives late, one should sit at the back and not try to find a seat in the front. One should not cough and disrupt the katha or sleep while the katha is going on.

If one is on a parapet and wishes to talk to an elder, one should get down and do so.

One should stand up while talking to an elder, particularly if he is standing. One should also step out of a car to talk to an elder.

One should stand up and welcome an elder and go to the door or car to see him off.

One should serve food to an elder with one’s own hands and sit for meals only after he has finished.

One should always sit in an appropriate place in a sabha or a bhojan samarambh so that one is not asked to vacate the seat.

One should be courteous in a sabha and should not laugh loudly if there is something to laugh.

One should speak politely with others who are higher in wisdom, age and authority.

One should not sit on the asan ( chair, gaadi, seat) of one’s guru, an elder or owner, even in their absence.

One should not reply to a king, wealthy person, child, aged, scholar, woman, or fool so as to give rise to an argument.

One should even if one is angry with someone, consider him to be Shree Narnarayandev’s devotee and immediately do namaskar. One should do shastang dandvat to an elderly saint. Sankhya-yogi women should also do namaskar while sitting to other women. We all devotes of Shree Narnarayandev should avoid anger and pride. (Vachnamrut, Ahmedabad, 8).

6. REVERENCE FOR FESTIVALS (SAMAIYAS)
 
We attend samaiyas to worship God and be in the company of saints. One should cast off laziness and attend kathas and sabhas.

Electricity and water should not be unnecessarily wasted.

One should go in discipline for doing darshan, for meals, or for sabhas. One should follow the instructions of volunteers.

One should not stand in the middle of the way and talk. One should also not talk in a sabha or katha.

One should maintain cleanliness in such large religious gatherings to avoid the spread of disease.

One should not throw garbage or banana peels in the middle of the roads.

If one finds any belonging lost by someone, one should try to find its owner or deposit it in the kothar.

One should pick up pieces of glass, bricks, stones or thorns that are lying in the middle of the road.

One should return the things that one has taken from the Temple in the same condition. When one is lodging in the Temple, one should fold the mattresses and keep them aside during the day.

One should observe cleanliness in the lodging area. One should clean the place properly because it is to be used again by either oneself or other devotees.

One should eat out of one’s own pocket while on a pilgrimage.

If facilities of meals are available in the Temple, one may donate the amount worth the meals to the Temple.

One should not cause discomfort to saints for one’s comfort while participating in samaiyas.

One should look after children in groups and not make them wear any valuables.

One should not scribble on the walls of the lodging place nor should one dirty the walls with leftover food.

One should behave lovingly with other devotees. One should not pick up a quarrel with either the volunteers, saints or other devotees for one’s own selfish purpose.

7. GENERAL GUIDELINES OF GOOD CONDUCT
 

Just as householders honour saints, saints should also respect them. Just as householders serve saints by means of grains and clothes, saints should also do kathas and serve the devotee. Thus there should be mutual respect . (Vachnamrut, Gadhada pr. Madhya 47)

When one encounters someone who is against the Sampraday or someone who speaks ill of God and great saints, one should counter him vehemently with words as sharp as arrows. It is not sensible to exhibit humility in such circumstances. (Vachnamrut, Panchala – 5)

Saints should not reside in places where family members or relatives visit them frequently. They should leave such places, company or activities on some pretext where they encounter women while doing our darshan. One should immediately leave a place where there is crisis to save oneself from assault. (Vachnamrut, Loya – 6).

My followers shall take into consideration the time, the place and the status of the person they are addressing, and shall never threat them otherwise.

(Shikshapatri 68)

No confidential and secret matter of anybody shall be disclosed to others at any place. Every one shall be treated with due respect one deserves. None shall transgress this rule of conduct out of distorted notion of spiritual equality.

(Shikshapatri 75)

One should never throw a burning matchstick or coal on the road.

One should never trespass in a restricted or enclosed area.

One shall never enter or exit through a secret way, nor stay on private property without the permission of its owner.

(Shikshapatri 33)

One should not take many persons along when one goes for official work.

One should not visit someone’s house at the time of meals or at bedtime.

One shall never commit theft, even for the sake of performing an act of Dharma. Even articles such as firewood, flowers, etc. owned by others shall never be taken without their permission.

(Shikshapatri 17)

One should not walk across in a sabha to take a seat. If one has to do so, one must bend down and go.

One should do mansi pooja before meals. When one is eating in a mass, one should wait for the others to finish and stand up only after taking permission. One should take only as much food as one can eat and not waste food for it is an insult to the God. Those who serve food should also serve according to the eater’s capacity.

One must always cover one’s nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing in a gathering respectively ( it is said that we disperse three lacs bacteria in one sneeze).

One should not eat or drink in restaurants.

One must never have a bath or do pooja before four o clock in the morning except when going out of town because this is considered to be night bath (ratri-snan).

One should always do the Tilak-Chandalo because the Lord does not accept the darshan, pooja or good deeds.

One should never take even prasad in return for donations because it is sinful to do so.

Secret donation is the best donation. One gets rid of one’s sins or good deeds by announcing them. Donations made for name are futile.

One should selflessly donate one tenth or one twentieth part of one’s income to the Lord. One should calculate the one tenth or one twentieth part of one’s income from the savings of one’s business, farming, etc. One tenth part is ten percent of the income and one twentieth part is five percent of the income.

One should donate money in the main temple in the region where they reside. One should not donate money in just any Temple or institutions as per one’s wish, because that part of one’s income belongs to the Lord and one has no right on it.

The money collected for donation to the Temple should not be used for rasoi or thal. Sometimes people use part of the donation for rasoi and give the remaining amount as donation to the Temple. This is not proper.

One should deposit the donation before the end of the year.

If a devotee of Vadtal region resides in Ahmedabad region, then he must donate to the Ahmedabad Temple/s and a devotee of Ahmedabad region residing in Vadtal region must donate to the Vadtal Temple/s.

One should honestly donate the rightful amount for the Lord; one who does not do so always remains unhappy.

Shreeji Maharaj has not given the right to anybody for the management of donations received from satsangis

 
Related Information:
Email Notifications
Register today to get free e-mail notifications of all religious events worldwide.

There is a hassle free way to know when an event or religious day occurs. Simply register your details and an e-mail notification will be sent out to you two days before the event date.

Register to receive email news
Stanmore Progress
View video for yoga
Read More
 
 
Lord Swaminarayan | Contact Us | Search | Privacy | Terms |    © 2014 Swaminarayan Satsang. All Rights Reserved.