Shikshapatri of Swaminarayan
Shikshapatri of Swaminarayan
Shikshapatri means The Code of Precepts. It is the direct words and teachings of the founder of the tradition of Hinduism known as Swaminarayan Hinduism.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan Himself wrote this quintessence of the scriptures, a code of conduct for the devotees, in Vadtal, in 1826.
It contains 212 Sanskrit verses in couplets. Five verses are read every day by disciples; each word venerated as His personified form. The illiterate worship it as the Lord's divine form.
In such a short treatise, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has covered an amazing range of subjects, prescribing practical injunctions for the followers. To those who implicitly obey them, He grants happiness and peace, both in their mundane existence and in the life hereafter.
You can read more about the biography and works and philosophy of Swaminarayan in my earlier article Swaminarayan | Life and Teachings.
1. Introduction 1-10
2. General preaching 11-122
3. Ethical duties of Acharyas 123-132
4. Ethical duties of the wife of Āchāryā 132-134
5. Ethical duties of householders 135-154
6. Ethical duties of rich householders 155-156
7. Ethical duties of a king 156-158
8. Ethical duties of a married woman 159-162
9. Ethical duties of a widowed woman 163-172
10. General Ethical duties of a woman 173-174
11. Ethical duties of a Varni (celibate) 175-187
12. Ethical duties of a saint 188-196
13. General Ethical duties of the Varni's and saints 197-202
14. conclusion 203-212
1. I (SAHAJANAND SWAMI) meditate in my heart upon Lord Krishna, on whose left stands Rādhā, on whose bosom resides Lakṣmī and who plays (with his Bhaktas) in Vrindāvan.
2. I, SAHAJANAND SWAMI, write this SHIKSHAPATRI - Gospel of Life Divine-from Vadtal to all my followers, residing in various part of country, i.e.
3. Ayodhyaprasad and Raghuvir who have been installed by Me as Āchārya at Ahmedabad and Vadtal respectively, sons of my brothers, Rampratapji and Ichharamji, born of Śrī Dharmadev.
4. All naishtic Brahmachārīs, Mukundanand and others and all house-holders. Mayaram Bhatt and others, all who have become My followers.
5. All female, married (including virgins also) and widows and all Sadhus, Muktānanda and others, all who have become My followers.
6. All mentioned above, shall accept My Blessings Divine, Blessings which protect their Dharmas, which carry with them the Divine memory of Śrīman Nārāyaṇa and which are endorsed by the Shastras.
7. All the above shall ponder deeply in their mind My object in writing this SHIKSHAPATRI - which is to ensure ultimate good for all living beings.
8. All those who follow the rules of good conduct as prescribed by the Shastras (Such as Śrīmad Bhāgavat etc.) do indeed attain happiness both in this world and the world beyond.
9. And all those who disregard them and behave according to their own whims are indeed evil-minded and shall verily meet with great miseries in this life and the life beyond.
10. Therefore, you all, My followers, shall always follow the precepts of this SHIKSHAPATRI with care and caution, and with love and sincerity.
11. My followers shall never kill any living being under any circumstances, knowingly, not even small insects like lice, bugs, etc.
12. (My followers) shall never kill goats and/or other living beings in sacrifice performed for the propitiation of deities and Pitris (ancestors), for non-violence is declared (by the Shastras) as the highest Dharma of all the Dharmas.
13. None shall ever kill a human being for obtaining women, wealth or even sovereignty.
14. None shall ever commit suicide even in a place of pilgrimage or through anger or on account of some untoward action by taking poison or by hanging or by falling into a well or from a hill-top or by any other means.
15. None shall ever eat meat, even if it be an offering in a sacrifice or shall ever drink liquor or wine even if it be offered to a deity.
16. When an untoward action is committed either by oneself or by others, none shall through anger or excitement cut or mutilate one's limbs or limbs of other persons by means of any kind of weapon.
17. None shall ever 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.
18. All my followers, males and females, shall never practice adultery and/or gambling and such other bad habits, nor shall eat or drink intoxicants like hemp, opium etc.
19. No one shall eat food prepared by a person, taking (cooked) food from whose hands prohibited in the Shastras or drink water from the vessels of such a person even as a prasad (eatables offered to a deity) of Śrī Krishna, in any place, except at Jagannāth Purī (where prasad of Śrī Jagannāth may be taken).
20. No one should level false accusations against anyone, even for the sake of achieving some self-interest or shall utter indecent words/abuses to others.
21. None shall ever speak or hear ill of deities, places of pilgrimage, Brahmins, chaste women, Sadhus and the Vedas.
22. None shall ever accept prasad of a deity to whom offering of meat and/or liquor-wine are offered and /or before whom goats and/or other living beings are sacrificed.
23. When (my followers) on their way, come across temples of Shiv, and other deities, they shall bow down to them and have their darśan respectfully.
24. None shall give up Dharma of one's own varṇa (class) and Ashram nor shall practice Dharma of persons of other varṇas (classes) and Āśramas or shall follow pseudo Dharma or Dharma dictated by one's own whims.
25. No one shall ever here sermons or religious discourses or philosophical talks from a person whose words are likely to lead one astray from the path of devotion to Lord Krishna and/or from the path of one's own Dharma.
26. None shall speak even truth which is likely to cause fatal misery to oneself or to others and shall avoid company of ungrateful persons or shall ever except illegal gratification from anybody.
27. No one shall ever associate with a thief, an addict, a hypocrite, a debauch, and a deceit.
28. No one shall also associate with persons, who under the grab of Bhakti (devotion) and Jñāna (knowledge) indulge in committing sins, themselves being after women, wealth and (various) attachments (sexual gratification), objects of worldly pleasures, delicious dishes etc.
29. None shall ever hear or believe in the Shastras which clearly refute (the name, glory, form and existence of) Lord Śrī Krishna and his incarnations.
30. None shall ever drink water and/or milk (including all kinds of edible oils) unfiltered nor shall use water containing many insects for purposes of bath, etc.,
31. None shall ever take medicines which are mixed with meat and/or liquor-wine or with both; or take medicines given by physician whose antecedents are not known.
32. One shall never pass urine or answer call of nature or even spit in places prohibited for such use by people and by Shastras (e.g. places like dilapidated temples, bank of river or pond, sown fields, trees and their shadows, garden etc.)
33. No one should enter in or go through a door, not meant for the purpose or camp in a private place without the permission of its proprietor.
34. Male followers shall not here religious or philosophical discourses from females nor shall they enter into arguments with them or with a king or with his men.
35. None shall insult one's Guru, a very great person, a person highly placed in society, a learned man and a man with arms.
36. One shall never act under sudden impulse in haste; but an act pertaining to Dharma shall be done all at once. One shall impart knowledge, acquired by oneself, to others and shall always associate with saintly persons.
37. None shall go with empty hands for darśan of Guru or of a deity or of a king or shall ever commit breach of trust or shall praise oneself.
38. My followers shall never wear clothes so thin and fine as would expose their limbs for such clothes are considered indecent (bad).
39. None shall ever practice Bhakti of Lord Śrī Krishna devoid of Dharma or shall ever give up his Bhakti, for fear of criticism from ignorant people.
40. When they go to the temples of Lord Śrī Krishna for darśan either daily or on days of festivals, male followers shall not touch females and vice-versa (but when they come out of the temple premises, they may behave with each other according to their relation and social customs.
41. My disciples, who are twice-born (i.e. who belong to the first three classes, Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaiṣya) and who have been initiated as such (i.e. as disciples) by their Āchārya, (who is a descendant of the family of Śrī Dharmadev) shall wear on their neck, double lined necklace prepared from Tulsi beads and shall put on their forehead (and on bosom or chest, and two arm also) a vertical mark (tilak).
42. This vertical mark (tilak) shall be made either with Gopichandan or with sandal paste with saffron, etc. receive as prasad after puja of Lord Śrī Krishna.
43. And in the middle of this mark shall put on a round mark, either with Gopichandan or with Kum-Kum (red-powder) received as prasad of Śrī Rādhā and/or Lakṣmī.
44. Persons, who are classed as higher Śūdras (sat-śūdra) and who are Bhaktas of Lord Krishna and who do follow their Dharmas properly, shall wear necklace on their neck and put on marks on their forehead etc. in the same way as twice born disciples do.
45. All other Bhaktas (who are classed below sat-Śūdras) shall were on their neck a double lined necklace prepared from sandal wood or other such wood and shall put on their forehead round mark only but shall not put on vertical mark.
46. Brahmin and other followers who are required on the account of their family tradition, to put on horizontal mark on their forehead and to wear on their neck a necklace prepared from Rudrākṣa beads shall not give up wearing them, even after becoming My followers.
47. All shall realize that Narayan and the Mahesh are one, for as Brahman they have been described as one in the Vedas.
48. My followers shall not adopt rules of exigency prescribed in Shastras as ordinary routine ones when the exigency is light.
49. My followers shall get up daily before sun-rise, offer prayers to Lord Krishna and then shall go to answer call of nature.
50. Thereafter, sitting in one place, shall cleanse teeth, then shall take bath with filtered and clean water and then shall wear one washed cloth and put on another such cloth as apron.
51. Thereafter, facing either north or east, shall sit on a pure and comfortable sheet, placed on pure ground and untouched by any other article (and then sip pure water three times).
52. Thereafter, all male followers shall put on their forehead and on bosom or chest and on the two arms also a round mark in the middle of the vertical one (as explained before) and all married women shall put on their forehead the round mark only with red powder.
53. All female followers who are widows shall not put on their forehead either the round mark or the vertical one. Thereafter, all male and female followers shall worship Lord Śrī Krishna mentally.
54. Thereafter, all shall have darshan of and shall bow respectfully to the image(drawn on paper or cloth) of Lord Śrī Krishna with Radha, then shall chant His mantra (eight syllabled one) according to their ability and then shall attend to (their worldly affairs) jobs.
55. My Bhaktas, who like Ambarish, have dedicated their lies completely to Lord Śrī Krishna, shall also similarly go through all procedure of worship of lord Śrī Krishna, (as explained above) up to mental worship.
56. These Bhaktas, shall worship the idol of Lord Śrī Krishna, made either from stone or metal or Saligram with offering like flowers, sandal paste, fruit, etc. according to time place and their means and then shall repeat His eight syllabled mantra.
57. Thereafter, they shall chant according to their ability, the Stotras (verses in Sanskrit) in praise of Lord Śrī Krishna and those who do not know Sanskrit, shall sing His name and glory.
58. Then they shall offer food to him and then shall partake of it as His prasad, they shall thus always remain in service of Lord Krishna with love.
59. Shastras proclaim these Bhaktas as Nirguna (i.e. completely free from mundane qualities like Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) since Lord Śrī Krishna (Hari) is Nirguna. Because of their intimate relation with him, all their action also become Nirguna.
60. These Bhaktas shall never drink even water nor shall eat leaves, fruits, roots etc., without first offering it to Lord Krishna.
61. All Bhaktas, who are incapacitated by old age or by some great adverse circumstances and who are, therefore, unable perform worship (puja) of Lord Śrī Krishna themselves, shall give over the idol to some other Bhakta for worship, etc. and then shall offer puja according to their abilities.
62. All shall worship with singular devotion only that form of Lord Śrī Krishna which is installed by the Āchārya (who is a descendant of the family of Śrī Dharmadev) and which is given to them for the purpose by him. All other forms of Lord Śrī Krishna shall but be bowed and respected.
63. All my followers shall daily go to the temple of Lord Śrī Krishna, in the evening and shall sing loudly the name of Lord Śrī Krishna.
64. And shall read and/or listen to with deep reverence, the narratives of His glories and shall celebrate all festivals, with His songs, in accompaniment of musical instruments.
65. All my followers shall invariably act daily as laid down above, shall study the Śāstras either in Sanskrit or regional language according to their abilities.
66. one must always entrust, after proper consideration, a person with work just befitting his aptitude and ability but shall not act otherwise.
67. One shall always provide one's servants with food, clothing etc., according to one's means and according to their worth (merit).
68. One shall always speak to a person just befitting one's person and position and just in accordance with the time and place; but shall not act otherwise.
69. All my followers who are prudent shall receive their Guru, a king, a very old man and a person who has renounced the world, a learned man and an ascetic, respectfully, by rising from their seat going forward, by offering them proper seat by sweet words.
70. In the presence of a Guru, deity and/or in an assembly none shall sit with one leg raised and placed on another and/or with knees raised and tied with piece of cloth.
71. None shall ever enter into arguments with Āchārya. All shall treat him with respect by offering him food grains, money, cloths etc. according to their means.
72. My followers, on hearing about the his arrival shall immediately go forward to receive him and when he departs shall also go forward to receive him and when he departs shall go upto the outskirts of their village to give him a worthy send-off.
73. None shall ever perform an act, which is likely to yield great advantage but which is devoid of or is against Dharma, for Dharma alone is capable of fulfilling the four Puruṣārthas (aims of life i.e. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha).
74. Action of past great men which are not in conformity with Dharma shall never be accepted and followed as precedent; but those actions which conform with Dharma shall only be adopted (and followed).
75. Never shall ever divulge secrets of other persons anywhere and to anyone. Others shall be treated as they deserve. This rule shall not be violated in the name of equality.
76. All my followers shall practice as additional rules, which are explained below during the period of four months (i.e. from the 11th day of the bright half of Āṣāḍha to the 11th day of the bright half of Kārtika). Those who are weak and feeble, however, shall practice them only for the month of Śrāvan.
77. 1. Listening to and 2. reading narratives of glories of Lord Śrī Krishna 3. singing his name and songs 4. performing His worships (puja) with elaborate rites 5. repeating (chanting) His Mantras (names) 6. Chanting his Hymns (Stotras) 7. going round His image/idol and 8. lying down prostrate before Him.
78. These eight rules are considered best by Me. My followers shall adopt anyone of them as additional rule (Dharma) with devotion.
79. All shall observe devoutly and with proper festivities, the Vratas of all Ekādaśī days of every month as well as the birth day of Śrī Krishna and Shiv.
80. All shall avoid with care sleeping by day time on such days, for such an act destroys merits of the fast just as sexual intercourse does on such days.
81. Śrī Vitthalnathji, son of Śrī Vallabhācārya, a king among the Vaishnavas, has given decisions regarding all Vratas and festivals.
82. All shall observe them accordingly. The mode of worship of Lord Śrī Krishna as explained by him shall also be followed.
83. All followers shall undertake pilgrimage to place like Dwārkā and others, observing all rituals properly, and shall always be kind to the poor according to their means.
84. My followers shall regard the five deities named here with reverence - Vishnu, Shiva, Ganpati, Parvati and the Sun.
85. In times of trouble caused by evil spirits like Ghosts etc. none shall invoke inferior deities but shall repeat the Mantra, known as Nārāyaṇa Kavācha or of Hanuman.
86. Whenever an eclipse of the Sun or of the Moon takes place, all followers shall immediately suspend all work and after purifying themselves (by means of bath, etc.) shall repeat the Mantra of Lord Śrī Krishna.
87. And when it is over, all shall take bath together with all clothes worn at that time, and thereafter, those who are householders shall give alms according to their means and others shall perform worship of Lord Śrī Krishna.
88. All My followers belonging to the four varṇas (classes) i.e. who are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaiṣyas and Śūdras shall observe days of impurity (days of Sutaka) consequent upon birth or death, as the case may be, according to their social relations and as prescribed for them by the Shastras.
89. The followers, who are Brahmins, shall acquire the qualities of tranquillity, self-restraint, forbearance and contentment, the Kshatriyas shall acquire the qualities of valour, fortitude etc.
90. The Vaiṣyas shall go in for agriculture, trade, banking etc. and the Śūdras shall take to service of the above three varṇas (classes).
91. The followers, who are twice-born, shall perform as occasion requires, all saṁskāras with (beginning from conception) daily ceremonial offerings to deities and the Śrāddhas (obsequies) of the Pitris (ancestors) as prescribed by in their respective Gṛhya Sutra according to their means.
92. Whenever an untoward action or sin is knowingly or unknowingly committed, all concerned shall make amends (as shown in the Shastras and by saintly persons) for it as best as they can.
93. The Vedas, the Vyāsa Sutras, the Purāṇa, named Trimmed Bhāgavat, Śrī Vishnu Sahasranāma;
94. Śrī Bhāgavad-Gita and Vidurniti all these (three) from Mahābhārata, Śrī Vāsudeva -Mahātmya, contained in Vishnu-khāṇḍa of Skanda Purāṇa
95. The Yājñyavalkya- Smṛiti from among the Dharma Shastras, these eight are My favourite Shastras.
96. All my followers who desire to secure their welfare shall hear them and those who are twice-born shall study them, teach them to others and shall read them.
97. Of these eight Shastras, the Yājñyavalkya Smṛiti with the Mitakshara commentary thereon shall be followed while taking decision on matters relating to the conduct of life, social and legal matters and expiation.
98. And for realizing glory and greatness of Lord Śrī Krishna, the tenth and the fifth canto of the Trimmed Bhāgavat shall be pre-eminently followed.
99. the tenth and fifth canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavad shall and the Yājñyavalkya Smṛiti shall be treated as My favourite Bhakti shastras, Yoga shastras and Dharma Śastra respectively.
100. And the commentary on Vyāsa-sutras and Śrī Bhāgavad Gita by Rāmānujācārya shall be treated as my favourite Shastras on philosophy.
101. Those portion of these Shastras which explain the merits of knowledge of the form of Lord Śrī Krishna, of Dharma, of Bhakti and of Vairāgya (non-attachment) in highest terms only.
102. Shall be treated as taking precedence over all other portions. The sum and substance of all these Shastras is Bhakti of Lord Krishna with Dharma.
103. Dharma means the path of good conduct as enjoined by Smṛiti and Śrutis. Bhakti of Lord Krishna means profound love for Him accompanied by knowledge of His glorious greatness.
104. Vairāgya (non-attachment) means absence of love for objects other than Lord Śrī Krishna, and knowledge means clear comprehension of the nature and form of Jiva, Maya and Īśa.
105. Jīva is one who is installed in the heart, is atomic and subtle, is all-consciousness, is the knower, is pervading all over the body by means of his power of knowledge and bears characterization such as indivisibility, invulnerability, eternality, and so on.
106. Maya is one which constitutes the three qualities - Sattva, Raja and Tama, is ignorance incarnate, is power of Lord Śrī Krishna and is the cause prima for ego and personal attachment for body physic and everything else related to it, on the part of Jīva.
107. Just as Jīva is installed in the heart, so does Īśa abides in the heart of Jīva as the inner controller, is absolutely independent and is the judge Supreme of all action s of all Jīvas.
108. This Īśa is Lord Śrī Krishna, is Supreme Brahman, is Bhagwan and is the source of all incarnations.
109. When Lord Śrī Krishna is with Rādhā He is known as Rādhā-Krishna, when He is with Rukmiṇī, Rāma, i.e. Lakṣmī, He is known as Lakṣmī-Narayan.
110. When he is with Arjun He is known as Nar-Nārāyaṇa and when He is with Balbhadra and others He is named and known accordingly.
111. These bhaktas, Rādhā and others, sometimes stay by His side, and sometimes on account of love par-excellence stay in His Body Divine then He is described as alone.
112. Therefore, none shall draw lines of differentiation between His various forms, be it four-armed, eight-armed, thousand-armed and so forth, for He always has two arms and assumes all these forms according to His will.
113. All people on the earth, therefore, shall with fervent devotion worship Him alone. All shall know that in this world there is nothing more conducive to the realization of salvation than His Bhakti.
114. Bhakti of Lord Śrī Krishna and association with saintly persons (these two) are the highest-achievements for persons endowed with merits like learning etc. Without these two qualities even the most learned shall decay and degenerate.
115. Lord Śrī Krishna, His incarnations and His forms, only shall from the objects for meditation. One shall never meditate upon Jīvas-men as well as deities, however great, as Bhaktas and knowers of Brahman they may be.
116. One shall first consider oneself as distinctly different from the three bodies i.e.: Gross, subtle (Sūkṣmā) and causal (kāraṇa) then shall identify oneself with Brahman and then with that form sublime shall always worship Lord Krishna.
117. All shall here with respects, daily or once a year the tenth canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavat. Those who are learned shall read it daily or once a year.
118. And shall perform Puraścharaṇa (Reading and listening sacred Shastras with due rites and ceremonies) of the tenth division of Śrīmad Bhāgavat and Śrī Vishnushahstranam and such other books, for the performance of such Puraścharaṇa always brings in desired results.
119. In times of difficulties, caused by forces of nature or by human beings or by diseases, all shall behave in a way so as to protect themselves and others but shall not act otherwise.
120. Ācār (conduct), Vyavahāra(behaviour) and Prāyaśchitta(expiation) in life shall always be adopted according to place, time and age, monetary condition, varṇa (class) and physical ability.
121. Know you all, qualified monotheism, Viśiṣṭādvaita is the doctrine of philosophy, favour, Goloka is the Abode Divine, dear to Me, and in that Abode with Body Divine, to be in Service of Lord Śrī Krishna, is the final beatitude according to Me.
122. So far are described general Dharmas for all the followers, males and females, tyagies and householders. All alike shall act accordingly. I now proceed to describe hereunder their special Dharmas.
123. Ayothayaprasad and Raghuvir, sons of My elder and younger brother respectively (and who has been installed by Me as Āchāryā) shall never preach to females except those who are their nearest relatives.
124. They shall never touch or speak with them. They shall not be cruel to any living body nor shall they accept deposits from anyone.
125. They shall never stand as surety of any person in social dealings and in times of distress, shall (if need be) maintain themselves on alms but shall never incur debt.
126. They shall not sell food-grains received by them from their followers but old food grains may be exchanged for new ones, for such an exchange is not considered as sale.
127. They shall perform worship(puja) of Śrī Gaṇapatī and Hanuman on the 4th day of the bright half of the month Bhādrapada and on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Aśvin respectively.
128. They are installed as Āchāryā (Ayodhayprasadj at Ahmedabad and Raghuvir at Vadtal) with a view to (safeguard) guide all the followers in their respective dharmas. They, therefore, shall initiate into discipleship all male and aspirants (for final beatitude).
129. They shall see that all followers act in conformity with their respective dharmas and shall employ them in a way that just befitting their merits, shall treat (all) saintly persons with respect and shall study the Sat-Shastras with reverence.
130. They shall perform with proper rites and ceremonies, the worship of Śrī Laxmi-Narayan and other icons of Lord Śrī Krishna, installed by Me in big Temples.
131. They shall courteously and according to their means give food-grains and alms to a person who has come to seek food to the temple of Lord Śrī Krishna.
132. They shall establish an institution with a learned Brahmin as teacher, and through it shall propagate Sadvidya (right knowledge) on the earth for the promotion of such learning in this world is indeed a highly meritorious act.
133. the wives of these Acharyas with the concurrence f their husbands shall initiate and give Mantra of lord Śrī Krishna to females only but never to any male.
134. They shall never touch nor speak with nor show their faces to any male who is not their nearest relative.
135. My male followers who are householders shall not touch widows who are not their nearest relatives.
136. They shall never stay alone in a lonely place even with their young mother, sister or daughter, except in emergencies and shall never give away in alms their wives to anybody.
137. They shall never keep close relation with a woman who has any kind of relation with a king.
138. Whenever a guest comes to their house, they shall treat him courteously with food etc. (according to their means), and shall perform all rites and ceremonies pertaining to deities and Pitris (ancestors) according to their means.
139. All my followers during their lifetime shall serve their parents, Guru and ailing person, according to their ability.
140. They shall follow vocation just befitting to their class and Ashram. Those who follow agriculture for maintenance shall not castrate their bullocks.
141. They shall make provision for food-grains and money, according to their requirements and according to their time and their capacity and those who own cattle shall also store-up sufficient fodder according to their means.
142. Cows and other cattle shall be maintained only if they can take care properly with fodder, water etc. but not otherwise.
143. They shall never enter into any transaction regarding land and/or money even with their own sons and friends, without putting it in writing with proper attestation.
144. They shall make transaction regarding money to be paid in connection with marriage of themselves or others, in writing with proper attestation; but shall never do it orally.
145. Expenses shall always be in proportion to the income but shall never exceed it. All shall clearly understand that those who spend more than what they earn shall verily land themselves in great miseries.
146. Recollecting their income and expenses incurred during routine and/or special transactions, they shall daily write clearly in their own hands, an account thereof.
147. They shall offer to Lord Śrī Krishna one tenth part of food-grains and or money, derived as income from their vocation, but those who are financially weak shall offer one twentieth part instead.
148. They shall perform ceremonial observance of all Vratas, such as Ekādaśī and other according to their means as laid down in the Shastras, for such observance yields desired results.
149. They themselves or through someone else shall perform or get performed with love the worship (puja) of Śrī Mahādeva with leaves of Bilva tree (Angle marmaloss) in the month of Śrāvan.
150. They shall never borrow money from their Acharyas or from the temple of Lord Śrī Krishna and shall never bring utensils, ornaments, garments and such other articles, for use on social occasions from them.
151. Whenever they go for darśan (paying homage to) of Lord Krishna, their Guru or Sadhu, they shall not partake enroute or at their places food etc. belonging to others, for partaking such food deprives them of religious merit. therefore, (on such occasion) they shall partake their own food.
152. They shall pay in full whatever remuneration either in cash or in food-grains or both as promised to person employed for the work, but shall never give less. They shall never conceal an act of repayment of debt, family lineage, matrimony of their daughters etc. and shall never deal with wicked persons.
153. When loss of prestige or estate or life is threatened in a place where they reside either due to very bad times like famines or by enemies or by a king.
154. My followers, who are wise and discreet shall immediately leave that place, even if it be their native place or a place received as gift (giras) and shall migrate to a place where such calamities do not exist (or are not likely to arise) and live there in peace and happiness.
155. Those who are rich, shall perform non-violent sacrifices like Vishnu-yag, and shall feed Brahmins and Sadhus in place of pilgrimage and on auspicious days like twelfth day of each half of a month and such other days:
156. They shall also celebrate big festival in temples of Lord Krishna and shall give various kind of alms to deserving Brahmins.
157. The rulers who are my followers shall treat their subjects as their own children according to Dharma Śastras and shall establish a rule of dharma on earth.
158. They shall thoroughly acquaint themselves with the ways of administration of their state viz.: characteristics of seven Angas, four Upāyas and six Guṇas, four Tirthas of persons who possess legal and administrative practical abilities, and of persons who deserve punishment and who do not deserve it.
159. Female followers who are married shall serve their husbands like God, even if the are blind, sick, poor or impotent and shall not speak harsh words to them.
160. They shall not even unintentionally maintain any relations with persons who are young, handsome, and/or who may be well versed unlearning, art, etc.
161. All chaste women shall never expose their navel, breast and thigh to any other male and shall not keep their bodies uncovered by a garment. Also they shall not go to see vulgar shows nor shall they associate with immodest and immoral women.
162. When their husband have gone out to another town or country they shall not wear fine clothes and ornaments, nor shall make merry and cut jocks with others nor shall pay visit to houses of other persons.
163. Female followers who are widows shall serve Lord Śrī Krishna as their husband and shall always follow the advice of their father, son and such other relatives but shall never act independently.
164. They shall never touch males who are not their close relatives and (especially) when they are young shall never speak to young persons who are not their nearest relatives unless absolutely necessary.
165. If they happen to touch a suckling accidentally no blemish attaches to them, just as touching animal carries no blemish for them. In times of sheer necessity, if they touch or speak with an old man, no blemish attaches to them.
166. They shall not receive lessons of any kind from males who are not their nearest relatives and shall control their bodies an senses by frequent observances of various Vratas and fasts.
167. They shall not give any money even for religious and charitable purpose, if the money is just sufficient for their maintenance, but if it be in excess, then only they may give some.
168. They shall take food once a day only, shall sleep on the floor and shall never knowingly look at any living beings in coitus.
169. They shall not wear dress like married women, nor like a Sanyasini (a female recluse) nor like a Vairagini (a nun) nor shall they put on dress which is against the custom of the place and the practice on their family.
170. They shall never associate with nor even touch women who practice abortion, nor shall indulge in or hear amorous talks regarding males.
171. Young widows shall never stay alone in a lonely place even with their close relatives, who are also young, except in exigency.
172. They shall never play Holy nor shall ever put on ornaments and /or fine cloths interspersed with thread of gold or such other metals (materials).
173. All female followers, married (including virgins also) and widows shall never bathe naked nor shall never bathe naked nor shall they ever conceal the fact of their menstruation.
174. And when they come into menses they shall not touch any person or other clothes for three days but on the fourth day, after taking bath, they may do so. (All Acharyas and their wives, shall observe all the above Dharmas of house holders, males and females).
175. All Naisthic Brahmachārīs who are My followers shall never touch nor speak with nor even knowingly look at any female.
176. They shall never talk nor hear talks about them nor shall go for bath etc. to places frequented by them.
177. They shall never touch nor even knowingly look at idols of females made from wood, stones etc. and pictures of females other than those of deities.
178. They shall never draw a facsimile of females nor shall touch clothes worn by them and shall never knowingly look at any living being in coitus.
179. They shall not touch nor look at nor speak with a male in guise of a female and shall not deliver sermons or religious and philosophical discourses addressed directly or indirectly to females.
180. They shall disregard commands of even their Guru, if such commands are likely to lead to a breach of their vow of celibacy and shall always be patient, contented and humble-minded (free from ego).
181. They shall instantly check a female who tries forcibly to come near them, either by advising her or by administering reproaches, but shall not allow her o come near.
182. But when life of a female and/or their own is in danger they shall protect her and or even by touching her.
183. They shall not smear their bodies with oil and shall not keep or carry arms and/or dress which is not proper for them and shall control sense of taste.
184. They shall not go for taking food to a place of a Brahmin, where food is served by a female but shall go to a place of another Brahmin where service is done by a male.
185. They shall study the Vedas, the Shastras, etc. and shall serve their Guru (faithfully) and shall always avoid association with effeminate males just like females.
186. They shall never drink water carried in leather bags/buckets nor shall eat onion, garlic, etc.
187. They shall not take their meals without taking bath and without performing Sandhya and chanting Gayatri Mantra, and worship (Puja) of Śrī Vishnu and Vaiśvadeva sacrifice.
188. All Sadhus like the Naishtic Brahmachārīs shall avoid sight of, speaking etc. to women and effeminate males and shall master all inner enemies like lust, anger, greed etc.
189. They shall control all senses, specially the sense of taste and shall never receive or keep money themselves or through others.
190. They shall not accept deposits from anyone, shall never lose patience and shall never allow a female to enter their premises.
191. Except in emergency, they shall never got out alone without a companion at night or at any other time.
192. They shall never put on or use costly clothes with gaudy colours and designs or valuables shawls even if they are willingly offered to them by others.
193. They shall never go to a place of a house holder except for the purpose of taking food or religious assembly and shall never while away their time but shall pass it in devotion of Lord Śrī Krishna.
194. To the place of householder where food is served by a male and females are not likely to be visible.
195. To such a house only, My Sadhus shall go for taking food, if this be not possible, they shall beg uncooked food stuffs only and then prepare (cook) food for themselves and partake it after offering to Lord Śrī Krishna.
196. In remote past, Bhartji, son of Ṛṣabhadeva lived and behaved on earth like a detached Brahmin. All my Paramahamsa and Sadhus here also live and behave similarly.
197. All Brahmachārīs and Sadhus shall carefully abstain from the use of betel leaves, opium, tobacco etc.
198. They shall not take food prepared bin connection with the performance of Saṁskāras like conception, all rites of obsequies up to the eleventh and twelfth day after death.
199. Except in emergency like sickness they shall not sleep by a day nor knowingly indulge in or hear gossips.
200. Except in emergencies like sickness they shall not sleep on a cot and shall always be frank and be straight forward with other Sadhus.
201. Whenever a wicked person abuses them or beats them they shall never abuse him nor beat him, in return, but shall pardon him and always wish good of him.
202. They shall not act as an agent for others nor shall they do back-biting nor shall they be spies nor shall they have attachment to their body nor shall they entertain feelings of intimacy with their relatives.
203. I have thus described above in short, general and special Dharmas of all My followers. For further details, they shall refer to other Shastras of My Sampradāya.
204. I have Myself extracted substance from all the Satshastras and then have written this SHIKSHAPATRI which fulfils all desires of all men.
205. Therefore, all My followers shall always lead their lives with care in conformity with the precepts of this SHIKSHAPATRI but shall never act according to their whims.
206. All my male female followers who act according to the precepts of this SHIKSHAPATRI shall indeed attain all the four Puruṣārthas.
207. All male and female followers of My Sampradāya shall consider all the males and females who live and behave against the precepts of this SHIKSHAPATRI as outcast from My Sampradāya.
208. All My followers shall daily read this SHIKSHAPATRI. Those who are not able to read shall hear it daily with respects;
209. And when a reader of SHIKSHAPATRI is not readily available, they shall worship it daily. All followers shall honor My word as My Image with deep reverence.
210. This SHIKSHAPATRI shall only be given to persons endowed with spiritual qualities but shall never be given to persons with wicked tendencies.
211. This SHIKSHAPATRI is written by Me on Vasanta Pañchamī i.e. on the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Maha of V.S. 1882 and is indeed all auspicious.
212. May Lord Śrī Krishna, Destroyer of all miseries of His followers, Protector of Bhakti with Dharma and Giver of all desired happiness to His Bhaktas, bestow on us all Bliss and Peace Divine.