Path to Siva: A Catechism for Youth

55 What Is Good Conduct?§


A young volunteer serves meals to needy people in her community. She and her friends talk about ways they can help others, sharing ideas about all the forms of service that would be uplifting.§


Good conduct is right thought, right speech and right action. Being right means it agrees with dharma and our refined soul nature. Our religion gives us the great knowledge that all people are divine souls on a wonderful journey, learning many lessons along the way. While they may not be outwardly perfect, we learn to see the beautiful, radiant soul in everyone we meet. We look for the best in others and overlook their faults. We try to help others in any way we can, to always be uplifting and not critical or hurtful. We work with ourself to be a good example and a joy to be around, not a person to be avoided. It is our sadhana to express the beautiful qualities of love, patience and kindness. We protect, guide and encourage those who are younger. We look up to those who are older and eagerly seek to learn from them. We use terms of respect for those close to us, such as “auntie,” “uncle” or “elder brother.” We greet others with “Namaste,” “Vanakkam” or “Aum Sivaya.” Two important customs we follow are to never argue and never interrupt others, especially our elders. The four keys to good conduct are purity, devotion, humility and charity. We cultivate purity by thinking, speaking and doing only that which is conceived in compassion for all. We cultivate devotion through worship and selfless service, and by being loyal and trustworthy. We cultivate humility through showing patience with circumstances and forbearance with people. We cultivate charity through giving to the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the elderly and the unfortunate. The first teacher in matters of good conduct is our conscience. It is the voice of our soul. To know what is right and what is wrong we can also turn to God, to our satguru and swamis, to scripture and to our elders, family and trusted friends.§


GURUDEVA: The Hindu fosters humility and shuns arrogance, seeks to assist, never to hinder, finds good in others and forgets their faults. There is no other way to be called a true devotee, but to conduct ourself properly within ourself and among our fellow men.§