Some lifestyle recommendations from Lord Sri Krishna Himself!
In 11th canto of Srimad Bhagavatham, Lord Sri Krishna explains and Graces his Upadhesa to Uddhava, one of the Lord’s favorite devotee. During the Upadhesa, Uddhava raised some doubts, for which Sri Krishna provided explanations. Following are an excerpt of the questions asked and Sri Krishna’s updates.
1. Uddhava: How many types of ‘Yamam’ are present?
Sri Krishna: The following 12 aspects of living practices are types of ‘Yamam’.Nonviolence (Ahimsa) Truthfulness (Satyam) Absence of desire for other’s possessions (non-covetousness) Dispassion (Vairagyam) Shame (Lajja) for un-right behavior A state of surrender to Divine without any resolve (Sankalpa) Dharma Vishwaasam [Dharmam – Being true to one’s one religion and live according to rules laid by the Holy books of the followed religion; Vishwasam – staunch faith] Continence (Bhramacharyam)Silence (Mounam) Firmness (without being disturbed/distracted) (Sthiram) Patience (Porumai) Non-fearlessness, at the same time with humility
2. Uddhava: How many types of ‘Niyamam’ are present?
Sri Krishna: The following 12 aspects of living practices are types of ‘Niyamam’Cleanliness Japam – doing meditative repetition of Mantra Tapas – following Spiritual austerities Homam – Performing Religious Rituals Shraddha – Unflinching faith Adhiti Upacharam - Taking good care of visitors to home, especially the holy and sages Worship of Sri Krishna Visiting Holy Kshetrams (Holy Places) Holy dips in Holy Rivers (Snanam) Helpfulness for others Satisfaction (with what is available) Guru Kainkaryam (doing holy tasks for Guru) 3. Uddhava: What is ‘Samam’?
Sri Krishna: Surrendering one’s intellect (Buddhi) in me (Sri Krishna) is Samam
4. Uddhava: What is ‘Tamam’?
Sri Krishna: Winning over ‘Indriyas’ is Tamam (Indriyas – senses and mental faculties which have a tendency to turn our consciousness to the outside world and events)
5. Uddhava: What is ‘Titiksha’?
Sri Krishna: Perseverance during difficult situations, understanding that it is part of Karma is Titiksha.
6. Uddhava: What is ‘Truthi’ (Steadfastness and Braveness)?
Sri Krishna: Controlling tongue and desire is the true sense of Truthi.
7. Uddhava: What is Strength?
Sri Krishna: Pranayama is real strength
8. Uddhava: What is the real fortune (bhagyam)?
Sri Krishna: Receiving My Grace is the greatest fortune and prosperity
9. Uddhava: What is Gain (Laabh)?
Sri Krishna: Appearance of Loving faith (Bhakthi) for Me is the greatest gain
10. Uddhava: What is Education (Vidhya)?
Sri Krishna:That which shines to dispel darkness and show the true nature of Atma is education
11. Uddhava: What is Shame (Vetkam)?
Sri Krishna: Hatred to doing non proper / bad activities is shame
12. Uddhava: What is Shree / Aishwaryam/ wealth?
Sri Krishna: Attributes such as non-desire for worldly things is the real wealth
13. Uddhava: What is joy (sukhaM)?
Sri Krishna: Developing a non differentiating attitude in mind to worldly events that cause happiness and unhappiness is the real joy
14. Uddhava: What is suffering (duhkah)?
Sri Krishna: Desire for undesirable things such as lust is suffering
15. Uddhava: Who is a Pandit (learned)?
Sri Krishna: A person who knows what is the real bonding (Bhandham) and what is real Moksham is a Pandit – learned man.
16. Uddhava: What is Donation (Dhaanam)?
Sri Krishna: The greatest donation is Ahimsa – not harming others. Donation of money and kinds is only next to this.
17. Uddhava: What is Tapas? (Austerities)
Sri Krishna: Casting off desires is the real Tapas.
18. Uddhava: What is Bravery (Shauryam)?
Sri Krishna: Winning over one’s one undesirable habituations and notations (vasanas) is the real sense of bravery. Just winning over others is not real bravery.
19. Uddhava: What is Satyam (‘Satyam’ in Sanskrit, means that thing or a statement, which never changes with time or place. Like Sun is the master source of all energies on earth) ?
Sri Krishna: ‘Sarvam VAsudeva Swaroopam’ – Having an attitude and understanding that everything is a manifestation of The Lord , is Satyam.
20. Uddhava: What is Rutam (‘Rutam in Sanskrit, is that truth which varies according to time and place. For example, to speak truth always is Satyam but it is better not to when speaking is going to hurt someone) ?
Sri Krishna: Affectionate words are ‘Rutam’.
21. Uddhava: What is cleanliness (Pavithram/ Soucham) ?
Sri Krishna: Being uninterested in the fruits of one’s own karma is real cleanliness.
22. Uddhava: What is renunciation (thyAgam) ?
Sri Krishna: Discarding favors on all things (sanyasam) is true renunciation.
23. Uddhava: What is wealth (selvam) ?
Sri Krishna: Adherence to Dharma is the real wealth.
24. Uddhava: What is YagNa (holy sacrifice/yaagam)?
Sri Krishna: ‘Yagno vai Vishnuh’ is the word of Vedas. I am YagNa.
25. Uddhava: What is the greatest offering (dakshinai)?
Sri Krishna: Upadesha (sharing) of knowledge is the greatest offering.
26. Uddhava: Who is a fool?
Sri Krishna: One who believes that his human body is the ultimate truth and continues to engage in activities that are for sensational pleasure is a fool.
27. Uddhava: What is the right way?
Sri Krishna: Path which takes one to attain Me is the right way.
28. Uddhava: What is the wrong way?
Sri Krishna: Path, which is taken towards attaining activities for mortal pleasure due to confusion in mind, is the wrong way.
29. Uddhava: What is heaven?
Sri Krishna: A good mind is a heaven
30. Uddhava: What is hell?
Sri Krishna: Developing laziness (Tamo-guna) is hell.
31. Uddhava: Who is a friend (bandhU) ?
Sri Krishna: I, who is the guru, is the friend.
32. Uddhava: Which is a home?
Sri Krishna: Physical body is the home
33. Uddhava: Who has everything?
Sri Krishna: One who has all great qualities of mind and behavior, has everything.
34. Uddhava: Who has nothing (daridhran) ?
Sri Krishna: One who has no satisfaction, has nothing.
35. Uddhava: Who is a sad/pitiful person (krupanan)?
Sri Krishna: One who cannot control his senses is a krupanan.
36. Uddhava: Who is a leader?
Sri Krishna: One who is impassionate and is equanimous to all happenings is a leader.
37. Uddhava: Who is a servant?
Sri Krishna: One who is bothered with worldly happiness is a servant.
Having said these answers, Lord Sri Krishna further added that “Uddhava! Analyzing and remembering others fault is also a fault on one (dhosha). Being equanimous to both good and bad attributes in others and not being bothered, is indeed the greatest characteristic in one”!