Article by – Dr Renita D’Souza
A healthy education system should have codes of conduct for work place, society and family. Ayurveda has explained these codes of conduct under the title Sadvritta. Ayurveda emphasizes on social and personal behavior as they both affect mental and physical aspects of health. Sadvritta is the code of conduct which helps to gain health and control over mind.
Table of Contents
Mind control and happiness
How control over mind contribute to healthy and happy life?
Control over mind is to control impulses of emotions which otherwise may cause mental illness. Such as controlling anger, jealous leads to mental calmness and improved health.
Definition of Health in Ayurveda:
Health is the state of equilibrium of doshas, normal functioning of tissues and waste products along with the cheerful soul, unimpaired senses and well being of mind.
Ayurveda covers spiritual, social, mental and physical aspects of health, under this definition.
Healthy state is not only the physical well being but also well being of social and mental aspect of life.
- Swasthavritha (health and hygiene),
- Dinacharya (daily routine),
- Ratricharya (night regimen)
- Ritucharya (seasonal regimen) and
- Sadvritta (personal and social code of conduct) as per mentioned in Ayurveda will help to gain long, happy, peaceful and healthy life.
Meaning of Sadvritta
What is meaning of Sadvritta in Ayurveda (code of conduct)?
Sad – good
Vritha – regimen
Sadvrutta refers to good personal and social behaviour which gives hitha ayu (life beneficial to society) and
sukha ayu (life which gives individual happiness).
It is also called sadachara.
Acharya Vagbhata defines sadvrutta as, compassion for all creatures, sacrificing, control of mind in physical, verbal and mental actions with aid of his wisdom and considering others feelings as one’s own and acting accordingly.
Code of conduct related to mind
- Have independent opinion and be impartial in decisions
- Do not feel exhilarated in success and depressed in failures.
- Accept both failure and success confidently
- Be enthusiastic, modest and intelligent
- Be sympathetic to those disappointed in life, innocence, who have taken immoral route for livelihood.
- Do not believe nor suspect everything around you.
- Should be free from anxiety, fear and shy.
- One should neither dishonor himself nor should be self boasting.
- Trust your loved ones
- Friends should be served with affection and good deeds, whereas others (wicked) should be kept at distance
- Do not indulge anti social activities
- Speak few words on right occasion in soft pleasing tone
- Have determination to accomplish your goals
- Never disrespect those who are inferior by experience, money, beauty, status, strength and knowledge.
- Be first to greet and start conversation.
- Do not reveal failures or insults you underwent
- Console frightened and angry persons.
- Admire and adore relatives, rich, educated and model persons.
- Host guest and show hospitality.
- Follow the path of righteousness
- Have daily shower, trim your nails, hair and mustaches.
- Be dressed with clean and well fitted clothing.
- Always cover mouth while yawning, sneezing, laughing and regurgitation.
- Avoid blowing nose, biting teeth or nails, tapping feet over ground, scratching head in public.
- Avoid awkward movements of body parts and sitting on ones own heels for long time.
- Avoid direct exposure to wind, smoke, dust, cold wind and snow
- Reside in place where pure water, air and basic requirements are easily accessible for its continuous use.
- Avoid excess straining over senses. Example – Hearing loud sound, gazing at minute, shining objects for long time.
- Avoid bearing heavy weight over head.
- While having food maintain hygiene, offer prayers to God, serve first elders and children.
- Eat on time and in right quantity
- Avoid taking food, sleeping, sex and studying at time of dusk.
- Avoid suppressing natural urges
- Worship God
- Do not move disrespectfully at places of worship.
- Do not show disrespect to religious priests
- Perform religious sacrifice in holy manner
- Make best use of time
- Be enthusiastic and modest at work
- Do not lie nor take others possession
- Never envy others progress
- Do not reveal the secrets
- Avoid intake of excess alcohol, smoking etc
- Avoid being cruel or violent to others
- Avoid argument with learned intelligent people
- Respect elders, teachers and other learned intelligent persons
- Do not desire to be happy alone
- Do not desire others property
Read related –Best Stress Relief Tip – Just Be Truthful And Avoid Lies
Self analysis of our deeds and adopting the right way, will avoid being victim of sorrow.
Thus following the rules of good conduct (sadvrita) help to attain long life, wealth, health, reputation and eternal life.
Ashtanga Sangraha Sutrasthana 5th Chapter
Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 2nd chapter
Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 8/19
Sadvrutta as per Vagbhata
Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 2nd chapter:
जीर्णे हितं मितं चाद्यान्न वेगान् ईरयेद्बलात् ।
न वेगितोऽन्यकार्यः स्यान्नाजित्वासाध्यमामयम् ॥ १९ ॥
jīrṇe hitaṃ mitaṃ cādyānna vegān īrayedbalāt |
na vegito’nyakāryaḥ syānnājitvāsādhyamāmayam || 19 ||
Jeerne hitam mitam chaadyat – One should always eat, only after digestion of previous food, in limited quantity,
Na vegan neerayet – one should not induce natural urges forcefully,
Na Vegito anya kaaryaha – one should immediately attend to natural urges, whenever they occur, prior to other involvements.
Na ajitva sadhyam amayam – A curable disease should be treated before anything else.
सुखार्थाः सर्वभूतानां मताः सर्वाः प्रवृत्तयः ।
सुखं च न विना धर्मात्तस्माद्धर्मपरो भवेत् ॥ २० ॥
भक्त्या कल्याणमित्राणि सेवेतेतरदूरगः ।
sukhārthāḥ sarvabhūtānāṃ matāḥ sarvāḥ pravṛttayaḥ |
sukhaṃ ca na vinā dharmāttasmāddharmaparo bhavet || 20 ||
bhaktyā kalyāṇamitrāṇi sevetetaradūragaḥ |
Sukhartha sarvabhutanam – All the creatures in the universe aim towards comfort.
Mataha sarva pravrittaya – All their activities are also aimed at happiness and comforts.
Sukham ca na vina dharmat – There is no happiness, without Dharma (righteousness).
Tasmat dharmaparo bhavet – Hence all should follow the path of Dharma (righteousness).
Bhaktya kalyana mitrani seveta – Good friends shall be served with affection,
Itara dooragaha – Whereas the others (wicked) should be kept at a distance.
Dasha Vidha Paapa Karma (Ten Sins):
हिंसास्तेयान्यथाकामं पैशुन्यं परुषानृते ॥ २१ ॥
सम्भिन्नालापं व्यापादमभिध्यां दृग्विपर्ययम् ।
पापं कर्मेति दशधा कायवाङ्मानसैस्त्यजेत् ॥ २२ ॥
hiṃsāsteyānyathākāmaṃ paiśunyaṃ paruṣānṛte || 21 ||
sambhinnālāpaṃ vyāpādamabhidhyāṃ dṛgviparyayam |
pāpaṃ karmeti daśadhā kāyavāṅmānasaistyajet || 22 ||
The following are the ten sins that should not be committed by the body, speech or the mind –
Himsa – violence, injury, torture etc.
Steya – theft,
Anyathakama – unlawful sexual activity, infidelity,
Paisunya – abusive, false speech,
Parusha vachana – harsh speech,
Anruta vacana – speaking untruth,
Sambhinna alapa – speech causing separation, breaking of company,
Vyapada – quarrel, intention of harming,
Abhidya – jealousy, longing for other’s belongings
Drgviparyaya – finding fault, misunderstanding, faithlessness etc. with scriptures, elders etc.
These ten sins pertaining to the body, speech and mind should be avoided.
Of these ten,
The first three – are related to the body,
The next four- are related to speech and
The last three – are related to the mind.
People who should be helped:
आत्मवत्सततं पश्येदपि कीटपिपीलिकम् ॥ २३ ॥
ātmavatsatataṃ paśyedapi kīṭapipīlikam || 23 ||
One should lend as much help to
Avritti – those who have no means of livelihood,
Vyadhi – who are suffering from diseases and
Shoka – who are afflicted with grief.
Even the keeta (insects) and pipilika (ants) should be seen with respect.
अर्चयेद्देवगोविप्र वैद्य वृद्धनृपातिथीन् ।
arcayeddevagovipra vaidya vṛddhanṛpātithīn |
One should worship
Deva – God,
Go – Cow,
Vipra – Scholars,
Vaidya – Physicians,
Vridha – Old people,
Nripa – Rulers and
Atithi – Guests.
विमुखान्नार्थिनः कुर्यान् नावमन्येत नाक्षिपेत् ॥ २४ ॥
vimukhānnārthinaḥ kuryān nāvamanyeta nākṣipet || 24 ||
A wealthy person should not send back someone who approached for help, empty handed, insulted or abused.
उपकारप्रधानः स्यादपकारपरेऽप्यरौ ।
सम्पद्विपत्स्वेकमना हेतावीर्ष्येत्फले न तु ॥ २५ ॥
upakārapradhānaḥ syādapakārapare’pyarau |
sampadvipatsvekamanā hetāvīrṣyetphale na tu || 25 ||
One should be willing to help even his foes, even though they are not helpful.
One should maintain Eka Mana (balanced mind) both during calamity and prosperity.
One should not be jealous of other’s wealth and happiness.
काले हितं मितं ब्रूयादविसंवादि पेशलम् ।
पूर्वाभिभाषी सुमुखः सुशीलः करुणामृदुः ॥ २६ ॥
नैकः सुखी न सर्वत्र विश्रब्धो न च शङ्कितः ।
kāle hitaṃ mitaṃ brūyādavisaṃvādi peśalam |
pūrvābhibhāṣī sumukhaḥ suśīlaḥ karuṇāmṛduḥ || 26 ||
naikaḥ sukhī na sarvatra viśrabdho na ca śaṅkitaḥ |
Kale bruyat – speak only on the right occasion.
Hitam bruyat – speak good words, be pleasant.
Mitam bruyat – speak little, as per necessity.
Avisamvadi peshalam – speak without giving a chance for arguments.
Purva abhibhashi – be the first to greet, to start a conversation.
Sumukhaha – have a smiling face.
Susheelaha – have a good character.
Karuna – be courteous.
Mrudu – be soft in speech and activity.
Na Eka sukhee – Do not be a person who likes to be alone always.
Na sarvatah vishrabdo – do not believe everything around you.
Na shankhitaha – do not suspect everything around you.
न कञ्चिदात्मनः शत्रुं नात्मानं कस्यचिद्रिपुम् ॥ २७ ॥
प्रकाशयेन्नापमानं न च निःस्नेहतां प्रभोः ।
na kañcidātmanaḥ śatruṃ nātmānaṃ kasyacidripum || 27 ||
prakāśayennāpamānaṃ na ca niḥsnehatāṃ prabhoḥ |
Na kanchit atmanaha shatrum – Do not instantly consider someone as your foe.
Na aatmanam kasyachit ripum – Do not consider anybody’s hostility toward self.
Prakashayet na apamanam – Do not publicly talk about insults that you faced.
Na cha nisnehata prabho – Do not publicly talk about disaffection towards your king.
जनस्याशयमालक्ष्य यो यथा परितुष्यति ॥ २८ ॥
तं तथैवानुवर्तेत पराराधनपण्डितः ।
janasyāśayamālakṣya yo yathā parituṣyati || 28 ||
taṃ tathaivānuvarteta parārādhanapaṇḍitaḥ |
One who is skilled in pleasing others, should keep in mind the nature of people, should deal with them in a manner best pleasing to them, and become well-versed in the art of adoring others.
न पीडयेदिन्द्रियाणि न चैतान्यति लालयेत् ॥ २९ ॥
त्रिवर्गशून्यं नारम्भं भजेत्तं चाविरोधयन् ।
na pīḍayedindriyāṇi na caitānyati lālayet || 29 ||
trivargaśūnyaṃ nārambhaṃ bhajettaṃ cāvirodhayan |
Na peedayet indriyani – Never induce much strain over the Indriyas (sense organs).
Na chaythanyatilalayet – Never let the Indriyas (sense organs) remain inert.
Do not engage yourself in deeds that are devoid of Trivarga (The three objects of worldly existence) –
Artha (wealth) and
One should carry out his deeds without going contrary to the Trivargas.
अनुयायात्प्रतिपदं सर्वधर्मेषु मध्यमाम् ॥ ३० ॥
anuyāyātpratipadaṃ sarvadharmeṣu madhyamām || 30 ||
In Sarva Dharma (all dealings / activities) one should adopt the Madhyama (middle) Pratipadam (means) only.
नीचरोमनखश्मश्रुर्निर्मलाङ्घ्रि मलायनः ।
स्नानशीलः सुसुरभिः सुवेषोऽनुल्बणोज्ज्वलः ॥ ३१ ॥
धारयेत् सततं रत्नसिद्धमन्त्रमहौषधीः ।
nīcaromanakhaśmaśrurnirmalāṅghri malāyanaḥ |
snānaśīlaḥ susurabhiḥ suveṣo’nulbaṇojjvalaḥ || 31 ||
dhārayet satataṃ ratnasiddhamantramahauṣadhīḥ |
One should cut his Roma (hair), Nakha (nails), and Smashru (moustache / beard) regularly.
Keep the feet and excretory orifices (ears, nose, eyes, urethra and anus) clean.
Snatha sheela – One should take bath regularly,
Susurabhi – use substances with pleasant fragrance,
Suvesha – be well dressed,
Anuthbanojwala – dress should not be superfluous but should be pleasant to look at.
Dharayet ratna – wear precious stones,
Siddha mantra and oushadi – wear potent hymns and herbs (kept inside amulets) on the body.
सातपत्रपदत्राणो विचरेद्युगमात्रदृक् ॥ ३२ ॥
निशि चात्ययिके कार्ये दण्डी मौली सहायवान् ।
sātapatrapadatrāṇo vicaredyugamātradṛk || 32 ||
niśi cātyayike kārye daṇḍī maulī sahāyavān |
Walk holding an umbrella, putting on foot wear and looking straight to a distance of 3 yuga (i.e. four arms length) in front of you while walking.
In case of urgent travel at nights, one should go equipped with a danda (baton), mouli (head-dress) and sahayavan (an assistant).
Places that should not be trespassed:
चैत्यपूज्यध्वजाशस्तच्छायाभस्मतुषाशुचीन् ॥ ३३ ॥
नाक्रामेच्छर्करालोष्ट बलिस्नानभुवोऽपि च।
caityapūjyadhvajāśastacchāyābhasmatuṣāśucīn || 33 ||
nākrāmeccharkarāloṣṭa balisnānabhuvo’pi ca|
One should not trespass the shadows of
Chaitya – a holy tree on which deities reside (or a Buddhist shrine),
Pujya – materials (or men) of worship,
Dvaja – flag posts,
Ashasta – unholy things,
One should not tread upon
Bhasma – heap of ash,
Tusha – husk,
Ashuchi – dirt,
Sarkara – sand dunes,
Loshta – lumps of earth,
Places of Bali (offering sacrifices to Gods, demons etc.) and Snana (bathing).
नदीं तरेन्न बाहुभ्यां नाग्निस्कन्धमभिव्रजेत् ॥ ३४ ॥
सन्दिग्धनावं वृक्षं च नारोहेद्दुष्टयानवत् ।
nadīṃ tarenna bāhubhyāṃ nāgniskandhamabhivrajet || 34 ||
sandigdhanāvaṃ vṛkṣaṃ ca nārohedduṣṭayānavat |
Nadi taret na bahubyam – One should not swim across rivers using arms,
Na agni skandham abhivrajet – One should not walk facing a huge fire,
One should not travel in a risky boat (Navam), not climb a tree (vriksham) doubtful of strength; or ride on a vehicle (yana), which is in bad condition (dushta).
नासंवृतमुखः कुर्यात् क्षुतिहास्यविजृम्भणम् ॥ ३५ ॥
नासिकां न विकुष्णीयान्नाकस्माद्विलिखेद्भुवम् ।
नाङ्गैश्चेष्टेत विगुणं नासीतोत्कुटिकश्चिरम् ॥ ३६ ॥
nāsaṃvṛtamukhaḥ kuryāt kṣutihāsyavijṛmbhaṇam || 35 ||
nāsikāṃ na vikuṣṇīyānnākasmādvilikhedbhuvam |
nāṅgaiśceṣṭeta viguṇaṃ nāsītotkuṭikaściram || 36 ||
Without covering the mouth, one should not sneeze (kshuti), laugh (hasya) or yawn (vijrimbanam).
One should not blow his nose (nasika), except for forcing out the excretions,
One should not dig the ground (bhumi) without any reason,
One should not move the body parts (anga) in an awkward manner (vigunam),
Sitting on one’s own heels (utkutika) for a long time should be avoided.
देहवाक्चेतसां चेष्टाः प्राक् श्रमाद्विनिवर्तयेत् ।
नोर्ध्वजानुश्चिरं तिष्ठेन्नक्तं सेवेत न द्रुमम् ॥ ३७ ॥
तथा चत्वरचैत्यान्तश्चतुष्पथ सुरालयान् ।
सूनाटवीशून्यगृहश्मशानानि दिवापि न ॥ ३८ ॥
dehavākcetasāṃ ceṣṭāḥ prāk śramādvinivartayet |
nordhvajānuściraṃ tiṣṭhennaktaṃ seveta na drumam || 37 ||
tathā catvaracaityāntaścatuṣpatha surālayān |
sūnāṭavīśūnyagṛhaśmaśānāni divāpi na || 38 ||
One should stop the activities of the body (deha), speech (vak) and the mind (chetas) before getting exhausted;
One should not keep his knees (janu) raised (urdhva) or flexed for a long period.
One should not reside at night (nakta) –
On trees – druma,
At the meeting place of three roads – chatvara,
Chaityanta – vicinity of a holy tree (or a Buddhist shrine),
Chatushpada – meeting place of four roads and
Suralaya – temple (house of God).
One should not reside even during daytime, in
Suna – a place of slaughter,
Atavi – lonely places,
Shunya griha – a haunted house and
Shmashaana – burial grounds.
सर्वथेक्षेतनादित्यं न भारं शिरसा वहेत् ।
नेक्षेत प्रततं सूक्ष्मं दीप्तामेध्याप्रियाणि च ॥ ३९ ॥
मद्यविक्रयसन्धानदानापानानि नाचरेत् ।
sarvathekṣetanādityaṃ na bhāraṃ śirasā vahet |
nekṣeta pratataṃ sūkṣmaṃ dīptāmedhyāpriyāṇi ca || 39 ||
madyavikrayasandhānapānādānāni nācaret |
Sarvatha iksheta na adityam – Never gaze at the sun (aditya) for a long time,
Na bharam shirasa vahet – One should not carry heavy weight (bhara) on his head (shiras), One should not see continuously, objects which are minute (sukshma), shining (deepta), dirty (amedhya) or unpleasant (apriya).
One should not engage in selling (vikriya), brewing (sandhana), free distributing (daana), or receiving (paana) of wine (madya).
The following should be avoided:
पुरोवातातपरजस्तुषार परुषानिलान् ॥ ४० ॥
purovātātaparajastuṣāra paruṣānilān || 40 ||
Exposure to the following should be avoided –
Purovata – eastern wind,
Atapa – heat,
Raja – dust,
Tushara – frost,
Parusha anila – storm.
अनृजुः क्षवथूद्गार कासस्वप्नान्न मैथुनम् ।
anṛjuḥ kṣavathūdgāra kāsasvapnānna maithunam |
Indulgence in the following while adopting an awkward posture should be avoided –
Kshavathu – sneezing,
Udgara – belching,
Kasa – cough,
Swapna – sleep,
Anna – taking food and
Maithunam – Sexual intercourse.
कूलच्छायां नृपद्विष्टो व्यालदंष्ट्रिविषाणिनः ॥ ४१ ॥
kūlacchāyāṃ nṛpadviṣṭo vyāladaṃṣṭriviṣāṇinaḥ || 41 ||
The following are to be avoided –
Koola chaya – shadows of a barricade,
Nripa dvishta – adversaries of rulers,
Vyala – wild animals,
Damshtri – venomous animals,
Vishani – animals with horns.
हीनानार्यातिनिपुणसेवां विग्रहमुत्तमैः ।
सन्ध्यास्वभ्यवहार स्त्रीस्वप्नाध्ययन चिन्तनम् ॥ ४२ ॥
hīnānāryātinipuṇasevāṃ vigrahamuttamaiḥ |
sandhyāsvabhyavahāra strīsvapnādhyayana cintanam || 42 ||
Dependence on those who are socially inferior (heena) and crooked should be avoided.
Quarrel with people of excellent (uttama) conduct should be avoided.
The following activities should be avoided at the time of meeting of night and sunrise –
Abhyavahara – intake of food,
Stri – sexual intercourse,
Swapna – sleep,
Adhyayana – learning,
Chintanam – thinking.
Foods to be avoided:
शत्रुसत्त्रगणाकीर्ण गणिकापणिकाशनम् ।
śatrusattragaṇākīrṇa gaṇikāpaṇikāśanam |
Food of the following types should be avoided –
Shatru – offered by enemies,
Satra – served during sacrificial ceremony, or food served to a gathering,
Ganika – offered by merchants,
Panika – offered by prostitutes.
गात्रवक्त्रनखैर्वाद्यं हस्तकेशावधूननम् ॥ ४३ ॥
gātravaktranakhairvādyaṃ hastakeśāvadhūnanam || 43 ||
One should not make sound with the body parts (gatra), mouth (vaktra) and nails (nakha).
One should not flicker his hands (hastha) or hair (kesha).
तोयाग्नि पूज्यमध्येन यानं धूमं शवाश्रयम् ।
मद्यातिसक्तिं विश्रम्भस्वातन्त्र्ये स्त्रीषु च त्यजेत् ॥ ४४ ॥
toyāgni pūjyamadhyena yānaṃ dhūmaṃ śavāśrayam |
madyātisaktiṃ viśrambhasvātantrye strīṣu ca tyajet || 44 ||
The following should be avoided –
Toya madhyena yanam – Walking amidst water,
Agni madhyena yanam – Walking amidst fire,
Poojya madhyena yanam – Walking between respectable personalities,
Dhumam shavashrayam – Inhalation of smoke of funeral pyre,
Madya atisaktim – Alcohol addiction,
Strishu visrambha – Over trust in (wicked) females,
Strishu svathantrye – Freedom in (wicked) females.
The world as a teacher:
आचार्यः सर्वचेष्टासु लोक एव हि धीमतः ।
अनुकुर्यात्तमेवातो लौकिकार्थे परीक्षकः ॥ ४५ ॥
ācāryaḥ sarvaceṣṭāsu loka eva hi dhīmataḥ |
anukuryāttamevāto laukikārthe parīkṣakaḥ || 45 ||
For an intelligent person the world (loka) is a teacher, hence one should imitate the world after carefully considering their meaning and effects of such actions.
Ethics to follow:
आर्द्रसन्तानता त्यागः कायवाक्चेतसां दमः ।
स्वार्थबुद्धिः परार्थेषु पर्याप्तमिति सद्व्रतम् ॥ ४६ ॥
ārdrasantānatā tyāgaḥ kāyavākcetasāṃ damaḥ |
svārthabuddhiḥ parārtheṣu paryāptamiti sadvratam || 46 ||
Ardrasanthanata – Compassion towards all living beings,
Tyaga – charity,
Kaya, vak, chetasam damaha – controlling the activities of the body, speech and mind,
Parartheshu svarthabuddhi – showing selfless devotion to the cause of others (looking after their interests as if it is his own).
These are sufficient rules of good conduct.
नक्तन्दिनानि मे यान्ति कथम्भूतस्य सम्प्रति ।
दुःखभाङ्न भवत्येवं नित्यं सन्निहितस्मृतिः ॥ ४७ ॥
naktandināni me yānti kathambhūtasya samprati |
duḥkhabhāṅna bhavatyevaṃ nityaṃ sannihitasmṛtiḥ || 47 ||
He, who is constantly involved in how his nights (nakta) and days (dina) are passing and adopts the right way, will never become a victim of sorrow (dukha).
इत्याचारः समासेन यं प्राप्नोति समाचरन् ।
आयुरारोग्यमैश्वर्यं यशो लोकांश्च शाश्वतान् ॥ ४८ ॥
ityācāraḥ samāsena yaṃ prāpnoti samācaran |
āyurārogyamaiśvaryaṃ yaśo lokāṃśca śāśvatān || 48 ||
Thus was ennumerated, in brief the rules of good conduct; he who adopts it will attain
Ayu – A long life,
Arogya – Health,
Aishwaryam – Wealth,
Yashaha – Reputation, fame and
Shaashvata loka – The eternal world.