Conduct
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       =======  Understanding Hinduism  =======

Conduct    

By what does a man become endued with
longevity, and by what is his life shortened?

From The Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva
Section CIV.

Yudhishthira said: Man, it is said, is endued with a period of life extending for a hundred years, and with energy and might that are considerable. Why then, O grandsire, do human beings die even when they are very young? By what does a man become endued with longevity, and by what is his life shortened? Through what does a man acquire the fame that rests upon great achievements? Through what does one attain to wealth and prosperity?

Bhishma said, It is by conduct that one acquires longevity,
and it is by conduct that one acquires wealth and prosperity.
Indeed, it is by conduct that one acquires the fame that rests upon great achievements both here and hereafter.

A man whose conduct is improper or wicked never acquires a long life. All creatures become afraid of such a man and are oppressed by him. If, therefore, one wishes one's own advancement and prosperity, one should, in this world, betake to conduct that is proper and good. Good conduct succeeds in dispelling the inauspiciousness and misery of every one that is sinful. (If a sinful man mends his conduct, he succeeds in warding off the misery and evils to which he would otherwise be subject in consequence of his sins.)

Righteousness has conduct for its indication. They that are good and righteous are so in consequence of the conduct they follow. The indications, again, of good conduct are afforded by the acts of those that are good or righteous.

People esteem that man who acts righteously and who does good acts even if they only hear of him without actually seeing him. They that are atheists, they that are destitute of all acts, they that are disobedient to preceptors and transgress the injunctions of the scriptures, they that are unacquainted with and therefore, unobservant of duties, and they that are wicked of conduct, become shortlived.They that are of improper behaviour, they
that transgress all restraints, they that are unscrupulous in respect of sexual congress, become short lived here and have to go to hell hereafter.

Even those men live for a hundred years, who, though destitute
of all accomplishments, betake themselves to propriety and righteousness of conduct and become endued with faith and
freed from malice. He that is free from wrath, that is truthful in
speech, that never does any injury to any creature in the universe, that is divested of malice and crookedness and insincerity, succeeds in living for a hundred years. He who always breaks little clods of earth, or tears up the grass that grows under his feet, or cuts off his nails with his teeth, or is always impure, or very restless, never succeeds in acquiring a long life.

One should wake up from sleep at the hour known as the Brahma Muhurta (before sunrise between 4 am and 6 am), and then think of both religion and profit. One should never look at the rising sun, nor at the setting sun. Nor should one look at the sun when the sun is in eclipse; nor at the sun's image in the water; nor at midday when the sun is at the meridian. The Rishis, in consequence of their adoring the two twilights with great regularity succeeded in attaining to longevity. Hence, one should, restraining speech, say one's prayers regularly at the two twilights.

There is nothing that shortens life so effectually as sexual congress with other people's wives.

One should never wear sandals or clothes that have been worn
by another. The man of intelligence should never sit close to one that is impure. Nor should one sit close to persons that are
foremost in piety. One should observe the vow of Brahmacharya (celibacy) on the day of the new moon, as also on that of the full moon, as also on the eighth lunar day of both fortnights.
===============
Related articles
Overcoming Difficulties
Thought, Speech & Deed

Self-restraint
Good and pure

Righteousness
Sin

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