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7 months back Sanjay Pisharodi compiled a list of questions based on lifestyle, culture, social

interaction etc. and some questions were also asked by Nrsingha-tirtha Dasa in one of his
posts some time back on his facebook.
Here's one reply - please add or correct anything as necessary:
Anything with 'BVPS' hereafter means they've been heard directly from HH Bhaktividya
Purna Maharaja in person or in lectures. They may not in all cases exactly address the
numbered injunction. Any sentence without BVPS is something that's been heard from other
devotees or from personal discovery and research while living.
1. Trespass the shadow of sacrificial altar, respectable people, flag posts, aasta (?) - BVPS
said in his manu samhita overview lectures to chapter 4 that a shadow is still also part of a
person or thing, so to step on it is also disrespectful toward that person or respectable thing
2. Treading upon ashes, chaff of grains, dirty places, arkara, lump of earth (los t a),
sacrificial altar, bathing place - Ashes generally (not in all cases) would've been remnants
from a sacrificial fire. BVPS said for some of these others, they belong to people so by
treading on them you'll damage the effort they've taken to look after it, like grains. A dirty
place - BVPS mentioned it's very difficult to make spiritual advancement when one is not
internally and externally clean. Also Manu mentions by stepping on these things your life
expectancy goes down: Let him not step on hair, ashes, bones, potsherds, cotton-seed or
chaff, if he desires long life. [v.4.78.]
3. Swimming across river, bonfire, boarding malfunctioning boat or vehicle - BVPS has said
the Vedas gives injunctions to keep brahmanas safe, so with a river you never know what
could be inside, and boarding a malfunctioning boat or rickshaw or vehicle these can give
you problem and unnecessarily waste time if they break down
4. Sneezing, laughing, yawning and twisting nose without covering face - Here's a post from
this group on the 8th July: Reading from SB 3.20.41: The ghosts and hobgoblins took
possession of the body thrown off in the form of yawning by Brahma, the creator of the living
HH BVPS: That's why if you yawn you're supposed to cover your mouth. Because for these
fiends, it's their cue [laughter].
Reading from SB 3.20.41: This is also known as the sleep which causes drooling. The
hobgoblins and ghosts attack men who are impure, and their attack is spoken of as insanity.
HH BVPS: Whenever somebody sleeps while drooling it generally means there are these
wallas around.
5. Writing on the earth - BVPS mentioned in Manu that the earth itself is a respectable deity,
so defecating, urinating directly on the earth, it's disrespectful to mother bhumi
6. Awkward movement of body - At least in sports, any sportsperson will share that an
awkward movement of the body can cause serious injury, which can hamper one's physical
ability to serve Krishna. I remember damaging a ligament for 8 weeks just by rising from a
chair in an awkward way

7. Prolonged sitting in squatting position - I learned in physical education this is not good for
some of the internal organs
8. Thinking speaking or working till exhaustion - BVPS mentioned part of a King's schedule
would to watch some drama performances in the evening with his friends and family to take
his mind off of all the anxiety he would have thinking and running the kingdom throughout
the day. So balance is recommended so that one has energy and is sufficiently rested for the
next day's tasks. Prabhupada in SB 1.1.10 mentions irregular habits cut your life expectancy
9. Trees at night - I've heard ghosts and living entities dwell in them.
10. Cross roads, funeral places, liquor shops, abandoned and lonely houses, cremation sites,
empty towns in both day and night - yes as Madhavi-lata Devi Dasi pointed out in Manu
BVPS mentioned cross roads are the places for yakshas and rakshasas, they get their own
locations to hang out here. So now out of respect Manu suggested to circumnavigate a
roundabout in a clockwise direction (which luckily UK and some other countries have
adopted, but many in Europe haven't!) to respect those entities
Prabhupada says in Canto 3 liquor shops is a dwelling place in the mode of ignorance.
BVPS says Manu mentions don't go into an abandoned house because you never know what
can be in there, wolves, foxes, mice etc. To address empty towns Canakya says do not inhabit
a country where you are not respected, cannot earn your livelihood, have no friends, or
cannot acquire knowledge. And: Wise men should never go into a country where there are no
means of earning one's livelihood, where the people have no dread of anybody, have no sense
of shame, no intelligence, or a charitable disposition. And his principles are based on 20
dharma-sastras like Manu-Samhita
11. Looking at the sun - Even when it's not bright, like in sunset in science i've heard that
looking at the sun can seriously damage your eyes
12. Carrying weight over the head - That can induce neck problems and crush the spine
13. Continuously looking at minute or bright objects - Generally to see a minute object it has
to be close to you. Now, looking at close objects for a long time can tire the eyes because the
lens must contract to give the brain a clear focussed image of the object in front of us. The
lens relaxes at further distanced objects. Bright objects again may damage the retina but it
depends on what it is. Like I don't think this injunction is referring to a bright yellow t shirt or
14. Looking at unpleasant and unclean objects. The mind is pretty sensitive. What we look at
has a mode and affects the mode we're in. Of course the devotees recommend to use our eyes
for the deities. This injunction in Manu is followed by others that say one should not look at
these things if he desires a long life. Let him never enter a place, difficult of access, which is
impervious to his eye; let him not look at urine or ordure, nor cross a river (swimming) with
his arms. [v.4.77.]
15. Brewing, selling, donating and consuming alcohol - All induces a reaction.

16. Exposure to eastern wind, heat, dust, frost and storm - Haven't heard the specific reason
why for this. I know Manu mentions that in these conditions one shouldn't study or recite
Vedic mantras - they're too extreme to properly concentrate: A Brahmana shall not recite (the
Veda) during a dust-storm, nor while the sky is preternaturally red, nor while jackals howl,
nor while the barking of dogs, the braying of donkeys, or the grunting of camels (is heard),
nor while (he is seated) in a company. [v.4.115.]
Manu also mentions not to urinate toward the wind for obvious reasons if one understands the
basic laws of physics, and the laws of instant karma. Let him never void faeces or urine,
facing the wind, or a fire, or looking towards a Brahmana, the sun, water, or cows. [v.4.48.]
17. Crooked or abnormal body positions while sneezing, belching, coughing, sleeping, eating
and during sexual intercourse - Sneezing, belching, coughing is trying to clear the system of
impurities. I heard from a devotee who researched a little in Ayurveda that by stopping these
natural maintenance activities by the body it can increase one's chances of contracting vata
related diseases. Sleeping awkwardly can make someone awaken with bodily pain.
18. Shadow of river banks - I can relate to what BVPS said about being careful about
unknown rivers, you never know what dwells in them. One can also slip too.
19. Enemies of the king - i think we can see how dangerous it can be to associate with a
group of people who are against the government.
20. Wild animals - BVPS in Manu lectures said you never know what they can do: Let him
not travel with untrained beasts of burden, nor with (animals) that are tormented by hunger or
disease, or whose horns, eyes, and hoofs have been injured, or whose tails have been
disfigured. [v.4.67.]
21. Animals having sharp teeth - You might be their next dinner. BVPS quotes Krishna,
someone in the mode of goodness knows what they shouldn't do it. If someone doesn't know
what they shouldn't do also, Maya can creep into their lives through that avenue.
22. Poisonous animals - same as above
23. Low class, uncivilized, oversmart (atinipun a) people - BVPS said the recommendation of
our acaryas is that we associate with like-minded individuals (sva jati) who are more
advanced than us. We want to always be seeking that association. Canakya says never trust a
politician. BVPS mentioned in Manu that you're not supposed to honour a guest who's
adamantly against the Vedas: Let him not honour, even by a greeting, heretics, men who
follow forbidden occupations, men who live like cats, rogues, logicians, (arguing against the
Veda,) and those who live like herons. [v.4.30.].
24. Picking quarrels with excellent people (uttamaih ) - This is stupid because the only person
that loses out is oneself. BVPS mentions respect is so important because you can only gain
and profit from something or somebody you respect. If you don't respect somebody you can't
gain from them. He who habitually salutes and constantly pays reverence to the aged obtains
an increase of four (things), (viz.) length of life, knowledge, fame, (and) strength. [v.2.121.]
Aged here means learned, not just physical age.
BVPS mentions also: Here, old doesn't mean by age. Means, there is the element of age, of
course, but old specifically means, the brahmanas, those who are mature. Manu

mentions...means, that's why I was thinking whether it's worthwhile to do this parallel, or to
do after, because all these points will all come up with Manu. And then here, it's just getting
to the essence, connecting them. So the old means that someone is mature, so it's said that the
brahmana, because he studies the shastras and all that, he is older than a kshatriya. So it says
that if a brahmana and a kshatriya come together, and a brahmana is ten years old, and the
kshatriya is 90 years old...Because any man who is 90 years old, no matter what varna, he is
to be respected, even if he is a shudra, he is to be respected, because 90 year olds have a
different way of looking at the world, they know they are going. They are probably just
surprised they haven't gone already, but they have a view of the world that's very different.
So, if the kshatriya is 90 years old, but the brahmana is 10 years old, they are like father and
son in their relationship, the brahmana is the father, the kshatriya is the son. Do you
So here, fostering the old means, the brahmanas, specifically, or anybody who is mature in
that particular area of knowledge that the kshatriya needs to know. Like let's say, something
about, let's say, gardening, they wanna do nice gardens. He will ask someone who is mature,
he will take their advice. Here, fostering means he takes care, he is respectful, he deals
properly. Not that, "I am the temple president and he is just a shudra, so what do I care?" No,
that's why devotees generally aren't successful in the world. And why it's been allowed that
all these modern nonsenses come up, just because devotees aren't following the Vedic. They
will say, "oh, because we are so fanatic, that's why it doesn't work." No, fanatic means, it
should mean that you are so strict in following the Vedic rules, but they are not following the
Vedic rules, they are just being idiots. The point is, "I am a devotee," what does that have to
do with the gardening? I may know the highest knowledge, but I don't know gardening. So if
I wanna know gardening, I ask a gardener, I don't say, "Well, I am the devotee, what does he
know? He is the stinky, smelly karmi." But devotees do that, so that's not intelligent. That's
not intelligent on the Vedic platform either, because otherwise that what it is saying here is
you know nothing, they know more, that means they are older than you, because knowledge
is the main basis of respect, that's the main.
25. Eating, intercourse, sleeping, studying, thinking during Sandhya - Mother Madhavi-lata
has already linked the seminars on this in the comment section to your post which she may
kindly link again in this comment section also.
26. Accepting food from enemies, inns, merchants, prostitutes, remnants of sacrificial
ceremonies - One time an advanced guru, disciple of Prabhupada looked at some food
prepared for him and immediately said I'm not eating that. He could see the food was full of
envy and that food would effect his consciousness. There are whole scientific studies now
about how a person's consciousness while cooking actually effects the consciousness of the
person eating that food. Kings in Africa would have the food first tasted by the cook to see if
the cook didn't line it with a little tasty poison. Remnants of sacrificial ceremonies that I'm
not sure - I'd be guessing those ceremonies referred to are not for the ultimate purpose of
pleasing Vishnu, but something possibly karma-kandic. Not sure.
27. Producing sounds using body, mouth, nails, hands, hair by shaking them - Not sure. Only
thing I was told is a devotee was chastised for whistling in the deity kitchen because he'd
blow saliva everywhere all over the Lord's plates.

28. Walking through water, fire, respected persons - BVPS mentioned that fire is Agni and
water, Varuna they're also respectable. BVPS mentioned in Manu injunctions like this is to
help shift your consciousness, so that one is conscious always, compassionate and respectful
to all living entities.
29. Inhaling smoke of funeral pyre - Careful, lungs. That smoke is the remnants of a dead
body which would be considered impure.
30. Excessive addiction to alcohol - BVPS mentions Canakya says a man fallen in bad habits
can never be successful. In Manu we have: Let him not, out of desire (for enjoyments), attach
himself to any sensual pleasures, and let him carefully obviate an excessive attachment to
them, by (reflecting on their worthlessness in) his heart. [v.4.16.]
One avoids vices because they kill his life: Let him carefully shun the ten vices, springing
from love of pleasure, and the eight, proceeding from wrath, which (all) end in misery.
For a king who is attached to the vices springing from love of pleasure, loses his wealth and
his virtue, but (he who is given) to those arising from anger, (loses) even his life. [v.7.46.]
Excessive addiction to alcohol is the most abominable vice of the 18 top vices in this world,
according to Manu:
The tenfold vices springing from love of pleasure
Hunting, gambling, sleeping by day, censoriousness, (excess with) women, drunkenness, (an
inordinate love for) dancing, singing, and music, and useless travel are the tenfold set (of
vices) springing from love of pleasure. [v.7.47.]
The eightfold vices produced by wrath
Tale-bearing, violence, treachery, envy, slandering, (unjust) seizure of property, reviling, and
assault are the eightfold set (of vices) produced by wrath. [v.7.48.]
Greediness; the root of both sets of vices
That greediness which all wise men declare to be the root even of both these (sets), let him
carefully conquer; both sets (of vices) are produced by that. [v.7.49.]
The seven most pernicious vices
Drinking, dice, women, and hunting, these four (which have been enumerated) in succession,
he must know to be the most pernicious in the set that springs from love of pleasure. [v.7.50.]
Vritti: Drinking (intoxication); dice (gambling); women (gives rise to illicit sex); hunting;
(gives rise to meat eating)
Doing bodily injury, reviling, and the seizure of property, these three he must know to be the
most pernicious in the set produced by wrath. [v.7.51.]
Vritti: Doing bodily injury (violence), reviling (steming from intoxication), and the seizure of
property (steming from theivery); are all included in the five main catagories of sin.
A self-controlled (king) should know that in this set of seven, which prevails everywhere,
each earlier-named vice is more abominable (than those named later). [v.7.52.]
BVPS also adds: " if you are controlled by the senses, then doesn't matter what you have...
So, he has the great forces, the four, so he has infantry, he has cavalry, he has elephants and
he has charioteers. These are the four great forces. But still, if he is under the control of the
senses, then he will be destroyed, because he won't be able to control properly or direct

And, "If you are addicted to something, you don't think about what's going to be safe and
good. You think about the addiction. So therefore one has to be very careful, the king has to
be very careful of becoming too addicted to anything."
And finally, "gambling, excessive hunting, excessive addiction, because that addiction can
also mean to wine and this, whatever it may be, but also here. And then the illicit sex, so we
see in 72 through 75 it's dealing with the control of the 4 regulative principles. So here is
another example that these four regulative principles aren't something that Prabhupada made
up, or Bhaktisiddhanta made up. These are just, these are eternal principles and Manu talks
about them as well, more detail. This is giving one line, Manu will have many, many verses
on each one. So just in case you come across that "Prabhupada made this up." No, it's right
there in the shastra."
31. Giving excessive freedom to or trust women
Whatever's valuable is carefully taken care of. That's the 1st part, 2nd part is women are
innocent, the tendency is they are more likely to trust a person who is not trustworthy, like
trusting a guy who then uses the woman for sex or service. So if you trust a woman, who out
of innocence then trusts someone else who's not trustworthy, that person may try to use that
woman to get to you.
Prabhupada writes in BG 16.7 where he interestingly enough mentions Manu-Samhita 4
times in the purport: Now, in the Manu-sahit it is clearly stated that a woman should not be
given freedom. That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like
children. Children are not given freedom, but that does not mean that they are kept as slaves.
BVPS mentioned the biggest wars in history were caused because a chaste women was
insulted, Sita and Draupadi .
BVPS mentions a women's nature is to follow, but she has to follow a suitable man who's
actually moving: "Girls are always conscious, so the boys tend to be unconscious, you have
to wake them up. That's why the scriptures address the men. Because if they do it, the women
will follow it. You know what I am saying? The problem is not waking up the women, the
problem is waking up the men. So women only really have problems if the men, all the men
they associate with are still asleep."
BVPS said once in a SB class in London. Women appreciate a man's control, but control
applied according to how it fulfils the women's interests, needs and concerns. So not giving
freedom doesn't mean slavery, but it means you look after them in such a way that they get
more emotional support, intellectual support, physical support, spiritual support following
you than striving independently.
More from Manu on freedom of women: 17b.1.2.1 Six causes of:
Drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separation from the husband,
rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling in other mens houses, are
the six causes of the ruin of women. [v.9.13.]
If a female's not looked after it opens her up to be exploited by uncivilised boys, who after
taking advantage BVPS says, "ripchord time" the boy moves onto someone else. The boy
flatters her with words as Prabhupada describes, SB 5.2.17: "Since King gndhra was a
devotee, he actually had no attraction for material enjoyment, but because he wanted a wife

for progeny and Lord Brahm had sent Prvacitti for this purpose, he expertly pleased her
with flattering words. Women are attracted by a mans flattering words. One who is expert in
this art of flattery is called vidagdha."
Now if someone is wise, if they desire to live they wouldn't disrespect women as a
principle...or principal...
Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-inlaw, who desire (their own) welfare. [v.3.55.]
Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no
sacred rite yields rewards. [v.3.56.]
Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family
where they are not unhappy ever prospers. [v.3.57.]
In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband,
happiness will assuredly be lasting. [v.3.60.]
Finally, let's end with Tulasi devi herself who is a woman speaking about how a woman
should be protected always, and the consequences of not doing so: "I tested you to determine
how strong you are in knowledge. One should choose one's husband by examining a man's
merits and defects. If one gives his daughter in marriage to a man devoid of good
qualifications, to an old man, to a man who is ignorant or poor, illiterate, diseased, ugly,
wrathful, harsh, lame, limbless, deaf, dumb, inactive, or impotent-this sin is equivalent to the
sin of murdering a brhmana. But if one gives his daughter in marriage to a young Vaisava
who is learned, well-qualified and peaceful, one acquires the fruits of performing ten horse
sacrifices. If one raises a daughter and then sells her out of greed for profit, he falls to the hell
known as Kumbhipka. There, for a period equal to fourteen of Lord Indra's lifespans, such a
sinner has to drink his daughter's urine and eat her stool as well as be bitten by worms and
crows. When this period ends, he has to be born in this world as a diseased person and earn
his livelihood by selling and carrying meat."