Simple guidelines as set down by the Mahaperiyava of Kanchi for righteous living:
• Men should not put out an oil lamp inside the house.
• Do not blow at fire with your mouth. Your spit should not touch the God of Fire, Agni.
• Everybody must learn Sanskrit, at least as a spoken language. Those who live overseas know the value of Sanskrit.
• We must offer as much food as we can to those who come to us hungry – be they beggars, the cow, the dog, the cat, or a crow. Driving them away is contrary to humane behaviour.
• Killing other creatures for our selfish needs and comforts is immoral and great sin. In one family that killed monkeys, all children were born dumb.
• Killing cow for meat is a great sin. Our good and bad actions impact our progeny.
• Non-violence and truthfulness – both are important.
• More than committing a sinful act, it is an even greater sin to stand by mutely and watch someone doing wrong. This silence will cause more sins to be committed with impunity.
• The man who reveals the hiding place of a cow to the butcher, is the greater sinner. Even remaining silent thinking that it is none of your business, or saying, ‘I don’t know,’ is also a sin, as the butcher may be able to find it and kill it. Protecting the cow by misleading the butcher is the best thing to do.
• Instead of sending cows that have stopped producing milk to the butcher, we must take care of her the way we would care for our mothers. People who do that need not do anything special to earn merit. All our sins will be negated because of this one good thing we do!
• Before developing knowledge, we must develop our character! Good character can be developed effectively only by associating with spiritual people or organizations.
• Even if you are rich, live a simple life.
• Do not become addicted to coffee and tea.
• Do not step on Vilva and Tulsi leaves.
• Do not abuse children with bad words. You will remain childless in the next birth.
• Men should apply sacred ash, sandal paste or thiruman on the forehead.
• Light a lamp at dawn and dusk every day. It should be lit with gingelly oil and clarified butter from the cow. Keeping a lit lamp by the doorway will prevent the evil eye from affecting the family.
• If you live in a place inhabited by snakes or if you come across a snake, light a lamp with gingelly oil. Do not kill it.
• Chant the name of Hari in the morning, Siva in the evening and Devi before going to bed.
(Every day when Sri Maha Periyava got up in the early hours of the morning he would chant, “Sri Hari, Sri Hari!”
A college student noticed this. Periyava had sacred ash on his forehead, rudraksha around his neck, which were signs of Shaivism. But here he was chanting the name of Sri Hari. What was this?
The boy questioned Sri Maha Periyava himself. A vaidhik who was nearby scolded the boy. “You must not question Periyava in this manner.”
Sri Maha Periyava said laughing, “Don’t scold the boy. Let him voice his doubt. I will answer him.”
The boy repeated his question. Sri Maha Periyava gave the boy an explanation. “Creation, preservation, and destruction are the three-fold tasks. Vishnu is the preserver. From the moment we wake up, till we go to bed we perform a number of tasks. We must pray to Hari, Vishnu, to be with us so that all work done during the day is successful and done well. Bhagavan Krishna is called an ‘Idayya’, which means the one who does the job in between creation and destruction. In the evening it is our tradition to offer prayers to Parameswara.”
The boy was very satisfied with the explanation. Source: Kanchi Paramacharya Fb).
• At least on holidays, wake up early, and visit a temple after taking a bath. Circumambulate the deity.
•Those who go walking everyday can take bathe and walk around the temple. It’s not just exercise for the body, but is beneficial to the soul too.
When your problems and difficulties make you sad, remember this advice from Kanchi Paramacharya:
Hara Hara Sankara !
Jaya Jaya Sankara !