'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Meno-C-ritical; It Matters

cr[vt!
Charanavat - of good conduct.

cr/char = conduct; by extending with the [/n, it relates to walking and to stability by reference to root of a tree, or pillar; vt!/vat = possessed of.

One might ask, 'is this not the same as yesterday's post?' The answer would be, 'no.' Brahmacharya is undoubtedly about good conduct, but it is contained only within ourselves. Charanavat is our conduct in our external dealings, with other beings and with the environment.

This may seem an obvious word to use concerning self-improvement, but the point is, how well do we apply it?

It pays to be questioned at times, to be challenged. It pays to examine ourselves and hold ourselves culpable for falling below the mark.

What is the mark, exactly?

Each must decide this for themselves. However, there are some marks which are quite generally accepted by society as to what is appropriate behaviour and what is not. That is what rules and law are about. The basics, then, are clear.

At a personal level, though, we can do better than the basic - can't we? This is why people join up with various spiritual organisations, or other groups which hold high philosophical ideals that we are expected to adhere to if we seek to belong and, what is more, attain the self-improvement we seek. It is how self-help billionaires have made their money, cashing in on people's desire to get better at being who they think they are.

Here's a rocker for you. It should cost you nothing other than your purushaartha, your self-effort. The Lord helps those who help themselves.

Most of us need something to get us properly on the road, though. So joining a group is absolutely fine. Until the time when we can consistently and adequately walk on our own, we need our aides. People who are travelling with us and who can offer support and guidance and point out where we might be going adrift. We need guides to help us see ourselves and to learn how to measure our conduct against the standard we have chosen.

Today, then, think about the current level of conduct, at work or home, and consider whether there might be cause for raising the bar, for working to improve. Regardless how high your standard, it might be surprising to find that there is still room to lift.


25 comments:

  1. Oh YAM every day I see way too many who don't know a thing about
    "Charanavat is our conduct in our external dealings, with other beings and with the environment." Rude behavior, lack of consideration for all around them and no respect for the property of others. Dare I say many are all about 'me me'!!
    Hugs HiC

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    1. Hari OM
      This is very true, Cecilia... however, today the invitation is to look to oneself. The invitation at all times in the Vedantic approach is to see ourselves and hold ourselves to a standard. Let others see or not see, but be the example...

      Thank you so much for your support of this series! YAM xx

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  2. Oh yes, there is always room for improvement - too bad more people in the world don't realize this. Complacency rules too many.

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    1. Hari OM
      A good 'c' word to describe the pitfalls in conduct... complacency! Thanks for dropping it in... Yxx

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  3. I always need to improve my patience. I will keep that conduct in mind.

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  4. We can all do better or we can self improve

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  5. Such intense yet such interesting posts
    visiting from Second thoughts First

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  6. Lovely Post. I always feel that I have not done enough. Do you think its the same? I often feel that I need to do better to please elders or spouse. I need your guidance to feel good about myself

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    1. Hari OM
      Neha, I suspect the 'doing better' you are referring to here is more about others than it is yourself - quite often withing family connections there are expectations (real or imagined) andn 'history' which produce feelings of guilt or low self-worth, criticism and self-criticism... whilst conduct may be part of it, there is a lot more to what you mention here - and it will all go back to ahangkaara (first post). We have to balance that before all else... contact me via the forms here or at Aatmaavrajanam if you would like to explore a personal programme. Yxx

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  7. I've been a church goer all my adult life and I find it has given me a really strong and stable belief system - it also (fortunately or unfortunately?) gives my higher expectations of others who profess to having a spiritual belief system. It's about walking your talk isn't it? That's when the rubber hits the road!

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    C for Consider Every Angle

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    1. Hari OM
      Walking the talk - YES! Philosophy and scripture are there not 'for others' but for ouselves only!!! &*> Love to you Leanne, Yxx

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  8. there is always room for more... we just have to imagine this big room and then we can fill it much better than before

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    1. Hari OM
      That's a nice image; we must empty ourselves in order to 'redecorate'! Yxx

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  9. Always scope for improvement, esp in the patience department personally. Though everyone must come to it in their own time and own way I feel. I must say I notice a certain lack of basic courtesies and roughness in behaviour more now than before. Lack of consideration for others seems to be paramount everywhere!

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  10. Indeed. We should always strive to improve and be better in our behavior towards others. Lovely post :)

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  11. being an example is what most groups are about. support groups are a good example. we need others going through the same life issues to keep us accountable and lead us towards what we need to be..... i found that the few years i was co leader in a support group for addictions and abused people... i would try to be an example, for them, because i ahd been there done that. it is so easy to look at others and thinkg what they should be or do, but when looking at ourselves so much harder.

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    1. Hari OM
      That's it Sandra! Sadly, it is too much like hard work for some... but we must see whether we are up to it ourselves... Yxx

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  12. Hi Yamini - it's good to see your post and other examples in the comments ... we definitely need to set examples and take care of our world ... thank you - cheers Hilary

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  13. Sadly, I met the most hurtful and selfish people at the local church. They just aren't the same.
    I am so happy NOT being in a group. My volunteer work gives me great pleasure, and I strive to do my best there. Much back-biting occurred in school staffs.
    I think the only thing to do is to model the behaviour you expect on one another. That's been tough.
    All the best, friend.

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  14. Laws really are the basic level, aren't they - I wish more people would think 'how can I be better' rather than 'what can I get away with'.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

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  15. There's always room to grow, no matter where we are on our journeys
    Debbie

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  16. There is definitely always room to improve. A very thought-provoking post!

    @IsaLeeWolf
    A Bit to Read

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  17. More wisdom from you and your studies. namaste, janice xx

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  18. There is always room for improvement! Change isn't always easy, but it is necessary even if it just a small change.

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