The Siddha vows, also known as the Siddha precepts or Siddha yama, are a set of moral and ethical guidelines followed by practitioners in the Siddha tradition. These vows serve as a code of conduct that helps practitioners cultivate inner awareness, mindfulness and spiritual progress on their path of self-realizsation.
The specific vows may vary depending on the lineage and teacher, but below are vows common to many lineages.
Siddha Vows Common to Many Lineages
1. Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
Practitioners commit to non-violence in thought, speech, and action. They refrain from causing harm or injury to any living being and cultivate compassion and kindness.
2. Truthfulness (Satya)
Practitioners vow to speak and live truthfully, avoiding falsehood, deception, and dishonesty.
3. Non-Stealing (Asteya)
Practitioners observe honesty and refrain from stealing or taking what does not belong to them.
4. Celibacy (Brahmacharya)
Some Siddha practitioners may take a vow of celibacy to conserve their vital energy and direct it towards spiritual pursuits. Others may interpret this vow as practicing moderation and balance in relationships.
5. Non-Attachment (Aparigraha)
Practitioners cultivate detachment from material possessions and non-attachment to desires and outcomes. They embrace simplicity and contentment.
6. Purity (Shaucha)
Practitioners maintain physical and mental purity through cleanliness, inner purification, and mindfulness.
7. Contentment (Santosha)
Practitioners practice contentment and gratitude for what they have, avoiding excessive desire and discontent.
8. Austerity (Tapas)
Siddha practitioners may engage in austerities such as fasting, self-discipline, or other practices to purify the body and mind.
9. Study of Scriptures (Swadhyaya)
Practitioners dedicate time to the study of spiritual scriptures and teachings to deepen their understanding and knowledge.
10. Surrender to the Divine (Ishvarapranidhana)
Practitioners surrender to the Divine or the higher power, recognizing that they are part of a greater cosmic order.
Siddha Vows are Taken Voluntarily
It’s important to note that Siddha vows are voluntary and are taken by individuals who are committed to the Siddha path and wish to deepen their spiritual practice. The vows are not rigid rules but serve as guiding principles for personal growth and spiritual evolution. They are not initiation rules or rituals.
Siddha vows are part of the broader context of the Siddha tradition, which emphasises inner transformation, self-realisation and holistic well-being. Practitioners strive to align their actions and intentions with these ethical guidelines to support their spiritual journey and ultimately attain liberation (moksha) or self-realization (mukti).