Shikshapatri Q & A
Questions and Answers based on "Shikshapatri"
"My dear followers should, under no circumstances kill
any living being while being aware about that, not even minute insects
like a lice or a bug, etc."
Q.: Why should we not kill any
A.: Killing creates bad impressions on our subconscious
mind and as a result of that we become aggressive, irritable and
Q.: Why should we not kill insects
like lice, bugs, scorpions, serpents, rats, mosquitoes etc.?
A.: We create them through our negligence of hygiene and sanitation.
By biting us they remind us about maintaining the cleanliness all
around as well as within and outside the body. They are thus our
teachers. So we should not kill them and at the same time create
such condition that they neither born nor do they flourish.
Q.: Can sound kill insects?
A.: Yes, harsh and angry words can kill or harm
microscopic insects flying in the air. So, loud, harsh, angry words
are also violence. Such violent persons go to the hell names Andhakoopa.
Q.: Are there other ways of killing
A.: Yes. Those who
raise the sword for killing, those who poison others, those who
set fire to houses etc. and those who curse others, commit the sin
Q.: What about killing by proxy?
A.: If a man gets someone killed or instigates others to
kill someone also commit the sin of killing.
Q.: Are there different kinds of
A.: Yes. Killing gently, with some force and with all force
are all different kinds of killing.
Q.: Can one kill himself except by
A.: Yes, starving the body to death or harming the body by over-eating,
over working or by keeping awake unreasonably is slowly killing
the body. It is also the sin of violence.
Q.: What about mercy-killing?
A.: Mercy-killing is also the sin of violence.
Q.: Is punishing a criminal or hanging
him the sin of violence?
A.: Certainly. A criminal should be detained and
kept in seclusion till he repents and improves himself.
Q.: Can there be exceptions in violence?
A.: Yes, a soldier kills the enemy or someone
injures or kills someone to defend himself commits the sin of violence
if he uses force more than necessary.
Q.: A teacher or a mother punishes
a student or a child to improve him. Is it violence?
A.: Yes, if more force is used than necessary and if the
motive is other than that of improving the child and that to in
excitement, it is violence.
Q.: A doctor uses medicines to kill
germs, and microbes. Does he commit the sin of violence?
A.: Yes, but he can wash off the sin of killing by doing
Q.: Is killing out of ignorance a
sin of violence?
A.: It is, but the punishment would be lighter
for such a person.
Q.: Are carnivorous animals sinners?
A.: No. Nature has made them carnivorous to control the
population of birds, animals and insects.
Q.: A person commits murder but engages
a clever lawyer and the judge absolves the murderer. Will God punish
A.: Yes, and the punishment would be harsher as
he has tried to cheat God.
Q.: God kills being. Will He be punished?
A.: No. He is above the religious code made for men alone. He creates
and protects all beings.
Q.: Sexual act and breathing, heating
water and cooking involve subtle violence without which we cannot
live. Will we be punished for this?
A.: No. Because life would be impossible without
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"My dear followers should serve the mother, the father,
the spiritual teacher and the sick person, as long as they live
and according to their capacity."
Q.: Why should we serve
A.: Indian parents pray God to give them ideal children
and we are born out of the seed. Thus, we being part and parcel
of our parents, when we serve them, in fact, we really serve ourselves.
Q.: Why should we serve our spiritual
A.: Our spiritual teacher moulds our mind and guides our soul for
spiritual liberation. In return he deserves our service.
Q.: Why should we serve the sick
A.: This is our social obligation. Such service
earns merits-punyas for us. It reminds us of how our Lord Shree
Hari served Sevakram during His sylvan tour of India. It also pleases
and satisfies our conscience.
Q.: What does all such service reflect?
A.: This spirit of service shows that we have developed
maturity of mind which is essential to enjoy true bliss.
Q.: What is the significance of this
A.: This commandment is for followers of all religions and
sects. It is for all classes, communities, castes and groups, civilized
or uncivilized, cultured or uncultured. It is for any part of the
world. It is applicable for all times. Therefore, this is Mahavrata,
the universal vow.
Q.: What do scriptures say about
this fourfold service?
A.: The scriptures declare as follows:
Even the step-father or the step-mother should be served. Manusmriti
declares that, a person cannot reciprocate even if he serves his
parents for a hundred years. When such a thankless son dies and
goes to hell, his parents devour him and eat his flesh. Such a son
is dead, though alive.
In Yajnavalkya Smriti-Mitakshara Commentary, Narada declares: A
person who does not serve the parents is not entitled to inherit
his parent’s property.
A sick person should be served with medicines, food, water, etc.
A sick person means any person who is injured, according to Yajnavalkya,
serving a patient is as good as giving away a cow or like serving
Q.: If I don't love my parents
what would happen?
You will be condemned by the society as a heartless fellow. You
are likely to be antisocial and self-centered. As a thankless fellow,
you will be trusted by none. No religious practice done by you will
bear fruit. Shreeji Maharaj will be highly displeased with you and
keep the gates of Akshardham closed for you. If your parents sigh,
their sighs will become curses for you, leading you to hell.
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"No one should level false accusations against anyone,
even for achieving some selfish motive nor should anyone utter indecent
Q. Why does a man/woman
make false allegations?
A.: If a person is jealous of the power, prosperity
and virtues of another person he would make false allegations against
a person who is powerful, prosperous and virtuous. Satrajit had
got a magical jewel that produced gold daily. When that jewel was
lost, allegation of stealing the jewel was made against Lord Krishna.
Kaliyuga was jealous of Chastity of Damyanti. So he stole the valuable
necklace entrusted to her by a queen. So the queen told all that
Damyanti had stolen the necklace.
Sometimes allegations are made out of ignorance. The washerman had
alleged that Sita was unchaste.
Yajnavalkya, the writer of our Sat Shastra, in his Yajnavalkya Smriti
declared that the person who makes such false allegation incurs
double the sin alleged by him. He is punished for all the sins committed
by the person who is the victim of his allegations.
Allegations are made many times for taking vengeance which cannot
be otherwise taken. Shishupal knew that he can't kill Lord Krishna.
Again he was a prospective candidate for marriage with Rukmini.
He wanted to please his friend Rukmini, the brother of Rukmini.
He wanted to please Duryodhana who was his intimate friend. So publicly
made 99 allegations against Lord Krishna but upon making hundredth
allegation Lord Krishna beheaded him with His Sudarshan Chakra.
Q.: How many types of allegations
A.: There are two types of allegations: 1. Abuses which are direct
allegations and 2. rumors which are spread to serve some personal
Q.: What is the effect of allegations
on the person who makes them?
A.: When the truth becomes known, the person who
makes the allegations or spreads rumors is exposed and he is condemned
by the people. None would trust him. None would stand by him. None
would be friendly to him and all good people would avoid his company.
His life would be miserable.
Q.: What is the effect of allegations
on the victim of allegations?
A.: When the truth becomes known, he wins more respect from
people. When king Bhartruhari renounced the world he used a stone
as a pillow. A passer by criticized him for having a stone-pillow.
When he threw away the stone he was again condemned as a sensitive
person. Thus his renunciation became more firm. Q.: What is the difference between telling the truth and
A.: The saint tells the satsangi about his vices
but his motive is to improve the satsangi. The Guru tells the disciple
or a junior saint about his faults so that the disciple may improve.
There is no such noble motive behind making allegations.
Q.: Why do some people use abusive
A.: Use of abusive words reflect anger or the morbid mind
of the man or woman who uses abusive words. This shows that he/she
is mentally sick. This mental sickness can be cured by avoiding
the use of abusive, indecent and obscene words.
Q.: What is the origin of such words?
A.: Some of the abusive words reflect the vices
of a person. Chor, Harami, the son of donkey, the son of a horse
are examples of bad words which were introduced by invaders in India
to run down local people.
Q.: Why should we not use such abusive,
indecent and obscene words?
A.: Such words reflect the bad character of those
who use them. In order to hide their own bad character, they use
such words. The followers of Swaminarayan fellowship are well-known
around the world for not using such words.
Q.: Why do the followeres of Shree
Hari avoid such words?
A.: They love their God as He is always with them. They
would never displease Shree Hari by using such words. On the contrary,
they insist on using sweet words everywhere. They would never displease
anyone with bitter words.
Q.: What is the impact of this verse
on the followeres?
A.: The verse has created the best impression about all the followers
on others and creates harmony among them.
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Swaminarayan Sampraday - Shikshapatri Q & A