Five Yamas As Listed In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra


Yama, which prescribes self moral restraints or rules for living virtuously, is the first part of Patanjali’s Ashtangyoga or eight-fold path of yoga.

In simple words, Yamas are the moral and ethical guidelines prescribed for the practicing yogi. These guidelines describe and suggest how a yogi should behave and relate to his/her world while trying to blend the self with the divine or universe through yoga. Irrespective of whether a person strives or not to blend the self with the universe, the five Yamas listed by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra are really highly relevant and valued guides for leading an honest, ethical and societal life.

 The five Yamas listed by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra are as mentioned below:


 www.letmesay.in image showing five Yamas

Ahimsa (the practice of non-violence): Ahimsa means to abstain from violence. One should adopt and practice of concept of non-violence on physical, mental as well as emotional levels towards others. We often create violence in our reactions through anger, criticism or irritation. The practice of compassion in the Buddhist culture is perhaps the best tool to foster non-violence in life.

Satya (Truthfulness): the practicing Yogi must speak truth and live a truthful life at all times. Living a truthful life creates respect, honor and integrity. In addition, it provides the practicing Yogi with the vision to see the superior truths of the yogic path.

Asteya (Non-stealing): Stealing is definitely a bad deed that drains our good energies out. Thus, Patanjali instructed us not to take anything that isn’t freely/willingly given. It should be practiced on all levels -- actions, words and mind. On the level of society, Asteya or non-stealing means one should oppose exploitation, social injustice and oppression, while practicing Ahimsa.

Brahmacharya (Celibacy): The main goal of yoga is to create and maintain balance so that we can blend the self with the divine, which requires strong will power and courage. The best way to achieve this balance is to practice Brahmacharya, which means celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married. It represents a virtuous lifestyle that also includes simple living, meditation and other behaviors. It conserves our energy, which we can then apply to attain higher /yogic/ divine/spiritual purposes.

Aparigraha (Non-coveting): The principle of aparigraha or non-coveting recommends us to let go everything that we don’t need. I other words, the practicing Yogi should possess only as much things or resources as necessary to live a simple life. Worldly objects shouldn’t be possessed because they are all subject to change and will eventually destroy. The more the worldly things we have the greedier or more covetous we become; and we lose the ability to see our eternal possession -- our “True Self” or “Aatama”.

Patanjali advised that the Yamas should be practiced on all levels, viz. actions, words and thoughts. The Yamas aren’t confined to any particular class, action, location or time.

Practicing these Yamas removes the accumulation of our bad karmas and prevents the draining of energy. It is worth mentioning here that we unconsciously drain our good energies out when we lead a false life by engaging in bad practices. In practical sense, the five Yamas help us in living a healthier, holier as well as a peaceful life in addition to strengthening our powers of consciousness, spirit and wisdom. However, adopting and practicing the abovementioned five Yamas isn’t an easy task in the modern-day world. One needs to have a strong will power and the honesty to make really sincere efforts to remain firm on pursuing these self moral restraints.
5/12/2016
Five Yamas As Listed In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra

Yama, which prescribes self moral restraints or rules for living virtuously, is the first part of Patanjali’s Ashtangyoga or eight-fold path of yoga.

In simple words, Yamas are the moral and ethical guidelines prescribed for the practicing yogi. These guidelines describe and suggest how a yogi should behave and relate to his/her world while trying to blend the self with the divine or universe through yoga. Irrespective of whether a person strives or not to blend the self with the universe, the five Yamas listed by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra are really highly relevant and valued guides for leading an honest, ethical and societal life.

 The five Yamas listed by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra are as mentioned below:


 www.letmesay.in image showing five Yamas

Ahimsa (the practice of non-violence): Ahimsa means to abstain from violence. One should adopt and practice of concept of non-violence on physical, mental as well as emotional levels towards others. We often create violence in our reactions through anger, criticism or irritation. The practice of compassion in the Buddhist culture is perhaps the best tool to foster non-violence in life.

Satya (Truthfulness): the practicing Yogi must speak truth and live a truthful life at all times. Living a truthful life creates respect, honor and integrity. In addition, it provides the practicing Yogi with the vision to see the superior truths of the yogic path.

Asteya (Non-stealing): Stealing is definitely a bad deed that drains our good energies out. Thus, Patanjali instructed us not to take anything that isn’t freely/willingly given. It should be practiced on all levels -- actions, words and mind. On the level of society, Asteya or non-stealing means one should oppose exploitation, social injustice and oppression, while practicing Ahimsa.

Brahmacharya (Celibacy): The main goal of yoga is to create and maintain balance so that we can blend the self with the divine, which requires strong will power and courage. The best way to achieve this balance is to practice Brahmacharya, which means celibacy when unmarried and fidelity when married. It represents a virtuous lifestyle that also includes simple living, meditation and other behaviors. It conserves our energy, which we can then apply to attain higher /yogic/ divine/spiritual purposes.

Aparigraha (Non-coveting): The principle of aparigraha or non-coveting recommends us to let go everything that we don’t need. I other words, the practicing Yogi should possess only as much things or resources as necessary to live a simple life. Worldly objects shouldn’t be possessed because they are all subject to change and will eventually destroy. The more the worldly things we have the greedier or more covetous we become; and we lose the ability to see our eternal possession -- our “True Self” or “Aatama”.

Patanjali advised that the Yamas should be practiced on all levels, viz. actions, words and thoughts. The Yamas aren’t confined to any particular class, action, location or time.

Practicing these Yamas removes the accumulation of our bad karmas and prevents the draining of energy. It is worth mentioning here that we unconsciously drain our good energies out when we lead a false life by engaging in bad practices. In practical sense, the five Yamas help us in living a healthier, holier as well as a peaceful life in addition to strengthening our powers of consciousness, spirit and wisdom. However, adopting and practicing the abovementioned five Yamas isn’t an easy task in the modern-day world. One needs to have a strong will power and the honesty to make really sincere efforts to remain firm on pursuing these self moral restraints.