Genuine Masters (Sant Satgurus) from the beginning of time to the living present, East and West, have articulated the following basic ethical principals below. All or any authentic branches of Sant Mat or Radhasoami Faith (founded by Kabir, Dharam Das, Tulsi Sahib, Soami Ji Maharaj, Huzur Maharaj/Rai Saligram, Shiv Brat Lal, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh, Kirpal Singh, Maharshi Mehi, etc… and their successors) have always adhered to these and continue to do so. These same precepts are also to be found in forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. There are also expressions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity that advocate them as well.

I mention this, as there are always a few new age or metaphysical-type voices in the West arguing to minimize the moral component of spirituality, suggesting for instance that strict adherence to a compassionate vegetarian diet is somehow merely “cultural”, based only upon geography. Yet there is no longitude and latitude of Shabd. There is no “East and West” within you, or with the laws of physics, or quantum physics on the material plane. The law of gravity applies East or West, compassion and peaceful ways of living also are the universal values of the soul. To be sure, there is a moral compass within.

Rather than limiting or restricting, these values help to protect us, and others, from harm, promote mental clarity, a peaceful way of living conducive to serious meditation practice, and, if followed, reduce suffering in the world. The Path of the Masters, and it’s spiritual practice known as Surat Shabd Yoga, is a timeless universal path of mysticism.

Of course, the Sant Satgurus articulate many other helpful principals of ahimsa in thought, word, and deed (see the Sakhi Granth of Kabir, the Bijak, Sar Bachan Radhasoami, writings of Sawan Singh, etc…), but these below make for a great beginning! a healthy foundation for one’s spiritual journey.

The Five Precepts (Panch Shila): Ethical Principals of Ahimsa (Non-violence in Thought, Word, Deed, and Diet):

1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. This precept requires strict adherence to a vegetarian vegan diet.
2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.
3) Refrain from taking what is not offered.
4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.
5) Refrain from the use of intoxicants. This includes avoiding all poisons of any kind, such as alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and excessively violent films or literature.

Another Version of the Five Precepts

1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. This precept also requires strict adherence to a vegan (no animal products) or lacto-vegetarian diet (no meat, fish, poultry nor eggs, fertilized or non-fertilized).

2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.

3) Refrain from taking what is not yours.

4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.

5) Refrain from using intoxicants.

Moral requirements for Initiation Into Inner Light and Sound Meditation

1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs (intoxicants);

2. Ahimsa (Non-Violence in thought, word, and deed) including in the area of diet, as in following a vegan (abstinence from animal products) or vegetarian diet (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs);

3. Leading a truthful life;

4. Practising non-stealing: an honest, ethical source of income;

5. Loyalty to ones spouse;