Swami Sivananda had many things common with Lord Buddha. Like Lord Buddha, Swami Sivananda gave great importance to sadachara or ethical and moral life, and advocated a middle path, the path of moderation. Like Maharshi Patanjali, he considers moral life as a prerequisite for the spiritual path. Here are some of his teachings on this subject...
Ethics is the science of morality. Morality is religion in practice. Religion is morality in principle. Basic principles of morality are everywhere the same, because it all comes from God. Universality is the very root of morality.
Practice of ethics will help you to live in harmony with your fellow-beings and all other people. Your heart will be purified. Your conscience will be cleansed. It will confer on you lasting happiness and final liberation by invoking God's grace.
Ethics lead to restraint of the lower self and thereby the mind is calmed. Through calmness of mind, discrimination dawns and one knows the Self. Without ethical perfection there is no spiritual progress.
The way in which a rational being should behave towards other creatures is dealt with in the science of morals or ethics. That aspect of ethical science, which treats of the modes of right conduct, moral living and performance of duty, is sadachara.
To speak the truth, to practise ahimsa (not to hurt others in thought, word and deed), not to speak harsh words to anyone, not to show any anger towards anybody, not too abuse others or speak ill of others, and to see God in all beings is sadachara.
Conduct has been said to be superior to all the branches of knowledge. To speak the truth, to practise ahimsa - not to hurt others in thought, word and deed- not to speak harsh words to anyone, not to abuse others or to speak ill of others, not to show anger to anyone and to see God in all beings is sadachara.
One should be well established in sadachara, if one wants to attain perfection.
When you are virtuous, you are nearer to God.
Truth can never be realised, except by those who are established in morality and goodness.
The man of right conduct always cares for the welfare of all beings. He lives in harmony with his neighbours and all people. He never hurts the feelings of others and never speaks lies. He checks the evil tendencies of the mind and prepares himself through the practice of right conduct to attain the bliss of union with Paramatma.
Let all your life be a radiation of virtue, the inner perfection, that is inherent in each soul.
Unselfishness is the touchstone of virtue. Be unselfish, humble and pure.
Be good, do good. The whole ethics is contained in this. Goodness implies kindness, benevolence and morality. Virtue follows goodness. Doing good is an act of benevolence, compassion, mercy. A good man is ever happy. He always lives with God.
Do all the good you can, to all people, at all times, with all zeal, strength, love and heart. To be good is human. A good is never lost. It purifies the heart and leads to descent of Divine Light and the dawn of Divine Grace.
Goodness is love in action. Good is conquest of evil. Little words of cheer, encouragement, sympathy and kindness, little acts of kindness, little virtuous deeds, little silent victories over temptations will pave the way to the attainment of eternal Bliss, perennial Joy, everlasting Peace and Immortality.
Rigidly observe truth and purity in your thoughts, speech, actions, in your motives and conduct. Be loving, tolerant and charitable in your opinion of men and things, in dealings with others.
He who shows courtesy breeds friendship. He who plants kindness reaps love.
By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny.
If you want to enthrone God in your heart, you must eradicate all evil vrittis. You will have to remove all the dross of impurities from the mind, if you want to have communion with the Lord, if you want to call upon God earnestly to take His seat in your heart.
Virtuous qualities such as generosity, forgiveness, mercy, tolerance, adaptability, courage, patience, balanced state of mind and cosmic love should be assiduously cultivated.
Compassion is the best virtue. Compassion is the attitude of the mind, which impels one to help all creatures who are afflicted.
Love is the greatest healing power in the world. It is love that sustains life.
It is living of life in a noble way characterised by purity, truth, love, compassion, self-control, selflessness and service that takes one towards Self-realisation.
Virtue is punya or merit or dharma. Vice is papa or demerit or adharma. That which makes you sattvic, that which elevates you, that which bestows shreyas or salvation is virtue. That which hurls a man down in the abyss of ignorance is vice.
Virtue on the human plane is the very emanation of the Divine Essence. On this plane God is expressed as virtue; and so if we pracitse virtue, we grow in godliness.
Divine unfoldment is based upon a life of purity, goodness, self-control, selflessness and humility.
Purity is the secret key to the mansion of blessedness.
By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny. You have a free will to act. Purushartha is right exertion.