Your Day as a Hindu
Five Constant Duties of a Hindu
PaŮcha Nitya Karmas
addition to the normal activities associated with one's profession (varna dharma) and
stage in life („shrama dharma), the daily routine of a devout Hindu is to perform paŮcha
mah„ yagŮas (five daily duties) and paŮcha nitya karmas (five constant duties). These
are the minimal practices which guide a person in everyday life and ensure peace, material
and spiritual prosperity.
- Dharma (Righteousness):
Live a virtuous life in accordance with the teachings of the scriptures. Cultivate virtues
of purity, self-control, detachment, thinking of others first, truth and ahims„. Be
respectful of parents, teachers, and elders. Dharma also means performing all duties
associated with one's normal profession, and individual and social obligations. Work must
be performed purely for its own sake. This means that all actions must be performed for
excellence and not merely for reward (nishkama karma). "Fix thy heart upon thy
work, but not on its reward. Work not for a reward; but never cease to do thy work."
(Bhagavad GÓt„ 2.47)
(Pilgrimage): Regularly visit regularly holy persons, temples, and sacred pilgrimage
sites. Such journeys provide freedom from routine life and thereby freshen the mind.
Pilgrimages also help to create a sense of togetherness in the family, since all members
undertake the pilgrimages together.
- Utsava (Holy Days):
Participate in festivals and holy days in the home and temple. Observe fasts on holy days.
This practice inculcates God-consciousness, refreshes the mind and creates a sense of
togetherness in the family and the community. Hindu sages tell us that occasional fasting
prevents bodily diseases, restores the body's healing power, and heals the mind by
removing lust, anger, hatred, pride, and jealousy.
(Sacraments): Perform various Samsk„ras in accor-dance with the scriptures. Samsk„ras
are the religious ceremonies which mark and sanctify an individual's passage through life.
They purify the mind by inculcating truthfulness in the mind, and purity and generosity in
- Sarva Brahm„ (God
is in all): God lives in the hearts of all beings. Practice this truth, realize it and be
Taken from Hindu Dharma by Shree