yasmin richa saama yajoonshi yasmin pratis’thitaa ratha-naabhaa-viwaa-raah. Yasmin shchittam sarwa motam prajaa-naam tan-me manah shiva-sankalpa’mastu. Yajur Veda 34:5
The mind in which the knowledge of the four Vedas are placed together like spokes in the navel of the chariot wheel and wherein the cognitive faculty of all the creatures is interwoven, may that mind of mine be possessed of auspicious intentions.
Smritis mean "that which has to be remembered".
Unlike the Vedas which are of divine origin, the Smritis have been composed by humans. These are meant to guide individuals in their daily conduct according to time and place. The Smritis list the codes and rules governing the actions of the individual, the community, society, and the nation. They are also called Dharma Shastras or laws of righteous conduct.
Manu is considered a law giver in the Hindu tradition. Manu Smriti is one of the 18 Smritis. It is important to note that laws given by Manu, in Manu Smriti although followed in some form even today, are not considered divine, and may be modified by the society to keep up with the times. Indeed, it has been speculated that in its current form, Manu Smriti represents laws that have been added or modified throughout the history.
The rules created thousands of years ago by our Rishis were based on divine knowledge. It teaches us how to behave in society. These rules have now over many years become cemented in laws in countries all over the world.
It is important for mankind to behave appropriately in respective places. There are acceptable ways to behave and present yourself in places. For example a person dresses and speaks informally at his home but when he is at work he is accordingly dressed and his mannerisms are different in his work environment then that at his home.
We should all take pride and pay special attention to our behaviour in places. Needless to say, that we should always have impeccable mannerisms and display this all the time.
The society today is made up of people who are extremely busy and all wish there were more hours in the day. Their problems have been compounded with increase in technological inventions. Almost everybody has a mobile telephone with them wherever they go.
Is it appropriate to use them everywhere you go? Our Smritis tell us how we should behave appropriately. Reference is made to various situations in life.
From time to time, we have some unpleasant tasks of attending the funeral of a loved one, a friend, neighbour or someone very dear to us. How should we behave at their funeral? The answer again is appropriately as per our society rules.
Is it appropriate to use a mobile phone while we are attending a funeral? Certainly not. It is most disrespectful. How many times have we been to funerals and while the service is being conducted, mobile phones have rung. And if this is not enough, the phone is also answered during the service.
This behaviour is most inappropriate. When we attend funerals we must do so with due respect to the deceased and their family. We must be appropriately dressed also. At funerals, dress up simply in light colours and not to attract attraction. At the place of the funeral one should be quiet and not join in conversation with friends. It is not a place to meet and greet friends and renew acquaintances.
One should learn these simple rules in life by attending “Satsanghs” and also by observing other people.
A lot can be learnt from observing the behaviour of learned people. It is important that in life we must learn from our experience and from others. It is an on going continuous development.
Om vishwani deva savitar duritaani paraa-suva. Yad bhadran tan-na aasuva. Yajur Veda 30.3
O Self-luminous God! You are the producer of the universe. Every creature receives inspirations from you. We beseech you to dispel our evils and miseries. May we acquire all the virtues through your grace.
Pt Awindra Prasad, JP
Minister of Religion (Vedic Rites)
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