Thank you, Padma Kuppa, for answering our question this week!
Hinduism is a family of traditions that emphasizes experience and evaluation and thus, offers overarching guidelines rather than absolute lists of do’s and don’ts or commandments in regulating individual behavior. For a Hindu, all actions are to be guided by dharma. Hindu ethical values flow from one’s understanding of the nature of reality and inform the Hindu understanding of right and wrong. The Hindu Sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra lays out ten principles found in many Hindu scriptures and teaching: five yamas or guides for social behavior and five niyamas, or guides for personal behavior. The five yamas include non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sexual responsibility and abstention from greed. The five niyamas include cleanliness, contentment, austerity, scriptural study and loving devotion to God.