An Epitome of Aryan Morals  ΔΔ

Adyar Pamphlet No 55, July 1915

Compiled by request of the President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, for the use of Aryan Youth

Theosophical Publishing House Adyar, Chennai (Madras) India


The following principles and precepts are free translations, not literal, from the Samskrt texts. They will give the living descendants of the Âryans some idea of the moral tone of their ancestors. - H.S. Olcott




1. “Ishvara (the Supreme Soul) resideth in the heart of every mortal being.” - Bhagavad-Gîtâ, xviii, 61.

2. “O man thou thinkest that thou art alone; and actest as thou likest. Thou dost not perceive the eternal Soul that dwells within thy breast. Whatever is done by thee It sees, and notes it all. This Soul is its own witness and is its own refuge. It is the supreme eternal witness of man. Do not offend it.” - Mahâbhârata, i, 3,015; Manu, viii, 85.

3, “Action, either mental, verbal or corporeal, bears good or evil fruit according as the action itself is good or evil; and from the actions of men proceed their various transmigrations in the highest, the mean, and the lowest degree. Nobody ever enjoys or suffers except from the effects of his own action. Every one reaps the consequence of his conduct.”- Manu xii, 3; Mahâbhârata, Ânushâsanika Parva, vi, 30; Vsihnu Purâna I, i, 18.

4. “Therefore, considering the misery attached to embodied souls from a violation of duty, and the imperishable bliss attached to them from the proper performance of all duties; and considering also with thy intellectual powers the migrations of the soul according to its virtue or vice, thou shouldst constantly fix thy heart on virtue, and be always pure in thought, in word, and in deed.’ - Manu, vi, 64; xii, 23; xi, 232.

5. “Thou shouldst strive to raise thyself by thyself, Self is the friend of Self; and Self, in like manner, is the enemy of Self.” - Bhagavad-Gîtâ, vi, 4.

6. “The mind of man is the cause. both of his bondage and his liberation. Its attachment to objects of sense is the reason of his bondage, and its separation from the objects of sense is the means of his freedom. He who is capable of discriminating knowledge should, therefore, restrain his mind from all objects of sense; and therewith meditate upon Para-Brahma, the Supreme Soul, in order to attain liberation.” - Vishnu Purâna, VI, vii, 22-30.

7. “ In a man’s passage to the next birth, neither his father, nor mother, nor wife, nor son, nor kinsman, will bear him company. The only thing that adheres to his soul is the effect of his action (Karma). Continually, therefore, man ought to accumulate virtue for the sake of securing a good inseparable companion. With virtue for his guide, he will pass through a gloom hard to be traversed.” - Manu, iv, 241, 242.


General Precepts

8. (1) “Contentment; (2) Abstention from injury to others, active benevolence, and returning good for evil; (3) Resistance to sensual appetites; (4) Abstinence from theft and illicit gain; (5) Purity, chastity, and cleanliness; (6) Coercion of passions; (7) Acquisition of knowledge; (8) Acquisition of Divine Wisdom; (9) Veracity, honesty and fidelity; and (10) Freedom from wrath and hatred; are the tenfold system of virtuous duties.” -Manu, vi, 92.

9. “Covetousness, indolence, avarice, slander and calumny, materialism, neglect of prescribed acts, the habit of soliciting favours, and inattention to necessary work, belong to the dark quality; as do also the denial of a future state, neglect of Scripture, contempt of the Deities, envy, hatred, vanity, pride, anger and severity.” - Manu, xii, 33; iv, 163.

10. “Persevere in good actions; subdue thy passions; bestow gifts in a suitable manner; be gentle in manner; bear hardship patiently ; do not associate with the malignant; and give no pain to any sentient being; then shalt thou hope to obtain beatitude.” - Manu, iv, 246.

11. “Walk in the path of good people; the Path in which thy forefathers walked. Take examples of good conduct from all, as nectar is taken from poison, gentleness of speech from a child, prudent conduct from an enemy, and gold from unclean substance.” - Manu, ii, 239; iv, 178.

12. “Endeavour to augment that religious merit which bestows good on all.” - (Vishnu Purâna, I, xi, 23).

13. “Though oppressed by penury in consequence of thy righteous dealings, do not give thy mind over to unrighteousness.” - Manu, iv, 171.

14. “Whenever a man does wrong, it is not enough to say, “I will not sin again.’ Release from guilt depends from true contrition; and this consists in actual abstinence from sinful action ever afterwards.” - Manu, xi, 230.


Special Precepts

15. “Speak the truth (Satyam.) Truth alone conquers, and not falsehood. Truth means the blissful correspondence of mind, speech and actions with one another. No religion or morality is higher than Truth, and no sin is greater than falsehood. Let mortals, therefore, adhere to Truth, and Truth alone, at all times. Truth represents a great devotion; and upon Truth depends the good effect of our actions. There is nothing higher than Truth.” - Taittirîya-Upanishat, I, ii; Mundaka-Upanishat, i; Shândilya-Upanishat, i; Mahânircâna, iv, 70,73.

16. “Do justice. Justice being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved will preserve: it must never therefore be violated. Beware lest justice being overturned, overturn thee and us all.” - Manu, viii, 15.

17. “Do no injury to another. By non-injury is meant the non-causing of pain of any kind to any one at any time, in mind, speech or action. The principle of non-injury helps us in practicing the virtues of mercy, charity, devotion and worship. It is our greatest strength and greatest friend; and it is the source of happiness, veracity and all that is good.” - Mahabhârata, Ânushâsanika Parva, ii, 6, 57, 18.

18. “Mercy is the right of the righteous.” - Vishnu Purâna, I, i, 21. “Being treated cruelly, do not return the cruelty. Give blessings for curses.”—Manu, vi, 47. “A good man thinks only of benefiting all and cherishes no feelings of hostility towards any one, even at the moment of his being destroyed by him, just as the sandal tree sheds perfume on the edge of the axe, at the time of its being cut down.” - Hitopadesha.

19. “Be grateful. Sages prescribe expiations for murderers, robbers, drunkards and other sinners; but no expiation can wash away the sin of one whose offence is ingratitude.”- Ramâyana, Kishkindhâ Kanda, XLIII, ii.

20. “Do not neglect benevolence. The little minded ask, ‘Does this person belong to our family?’ But the noble-hearted regard the human race as all akin.” “He who willingly gives no pain of any kind whatsoever to any one, but seeks the good of all, enjoys everlasting bliss.”- Taittirîya-Upanishat, xi, Shîkshâvallî; Hitopadesha, i, 79; Manu, v, 46, and Mahopanishat.

21. “Gift means the giving of justly acquired wealth, grain and so forth, with a good will, to those who stand in need of relief. Make gifts according to thy means to helpless mendicants, religious or heterodox; and - without inconveniencing those who are wholly dependent upon thee - reserve a just portion of thy wealth for the benefit of all sentient beings.” - Shândilya-Upanishat, ii; Manu, iv, 32.

22. “Be not selfish. A selfish inclination is the root of the two sets of evil, and ought to be suppressed with diligence. Strive not too anxiously for a subsistence: that has been furnished by Providence. No sooner is a creature born than milk for its support streams from the breast of the mother.” “The wise give up their wealth and even their life, for the good of others. The destruction of wealth and life being inevitable, they prefer to sacrifice them for good objects. Remember there is an exceedingly wide difference between our mortal body and virtue; the former falls asunder in a moment, while the latter remains to the end of the Kalpa.’ - Manu, vii, 46; Hitopadesha, i, 177, 43, 49.

23. “Do not covet that which belongs to another. Abstention from theft means the absence of desire to become possessed of another's property, either mentally, verbally or in act.’ -Ishâvâsya-Upanishat, vi; Shândila-Upanishat, i.

24. “Wish for no honour other than such as thine own action shall obtain for thee; and be contented with that degree which appertains to thee.” - Vishnu Purâna, I, xi, 22, 29.

25. “Be contented. Contentment means unalloyed satisfaction with whatever may happen. Desire is not satisfied with the enjoyment of the objects desired, as fire is not quenched with clarified butter; it only blazes more vehemently.” - Manu, ii, 9, 10.

26. “Practice fortitude, which means stability of mind at all times, either when one loses his wealth or kinsman, or gains them. Let not your mind be distressed in adversity, nor let it be elated in prosperity. Be free from anxiety, fear, and animosity; and have always confidence in the rectitude of thy conduct.” - Shândilya-Upanishat; Bhagavad-Gîtâ, ii, 56,

27. “It is certain that man commits some sin or other by the attachment of his organs to sensual pleasure. He ought therefore to subdue them rigorously; and he will then attain a lasting bliss.”—Manu, ii, 93. “Anger is the passion of fools ; it becomes not a wise man.” - Vishnu Purâna, I, i, 18.

28. “All undertakings prove successful if conducted with prudence.” - Vishnu Purâna, I, xiii, 78.

29. “Always speak kindly and pleasantly. Do not maintain unworthy dissensions or altercations, nor indulge in idle talk.” - Manu, iv, 139.

30. “One should look upon others as well as he does upon himself. And bearing in mind that life must be as dear to all living creatures as it is to thee, thou shouldst in all thine actions compare thyself to others and then try to do what is best. In causing pleasure or pain, or in granting or refusing a boon to others, a man obtains an unerring scale through self-comparison.” - Mahâbhârata, Ânushâsanika Parva; 116-5691; Hitopadesha, I, ii, 12.

31. “Abstain from flesh-meat and intoxicating substances. Be moderate in virtuous recreations and actions; in eating and in sleeping; as this is the means of avoiding misery.” - Maitrî-Upanishat and Bhagavad-Gîtâ, vi, 17; and Brhadâranayaka-Upanishat.

32. “The vice of gaming has, from the most ancient times, been found to be productive of great evil. Let no sensible man, therefore, addict himself to gaming or other mischievous play, even for the sake of amusement.” - Manu, ix, 227.

33. “Respect thy mother. Respect thy father. Respect thy teacher. And respect thy superiors.” - Taittirîya-Upanishat Shîkshâvallî, xi; Manu, iv, 134.

34. “Do not spurn thy inferiors, those who are deformed, who are unlearned, who are advanced in age, who have no beauty or wealth, or who are of low birth.” - Manu, iv, 141.

35. “Even a man as brave as a lion cannot attain fortune except by industry and exertion. Therefore, one should perform the appointed functions; for action is preferable to inaction; and the journey of mortal frame will not succeed from inaction.” - Hitopadesha, 31; Bhagavad-Gîtâ, ii, 47; iii, 8.”But the action must be passionless.’ - ibid.

36. “Of all pure things, purity in acquiring wealth is pronounced the most important in this world. Hence the means used for gathering riches should always be pure; especially so, in the case of those public men upon whom the people have to wait for the redressal of their wrongs. The Sovereign shall maintain purity in this respect by banishing bad men from his realm, after confiscating all their possessions.” - Manu, vii, 124.



37. “He who considers all beings as existing in the Supreme Spirit, and the Supreme Spirit as pervading all, is henceforth incapable of perpetrating any sin whatsoever.” - Îshâvâsya-Upanishat, 6.

Where there is Virtue there is Victory.



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