Yoga Sutra 2.30

1 Mar

Sutra 2.30: ahimsa satya asteya brahmacharya aparigraha yama

  • ahimsa = non-violence
  • satya = truthfulness, honesty
  • asteya = non-stealing
  • brahmacharya = brahma-Divine, God, Sacred = charya – chastity, continence, fidelity, practices, conduct
  • aparigraha = non-attachment
  • yama = restraints

Translated loosely into English;

The restraints (yamas) are; non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sacred study and acceptance of the Divine and non-attachment.

The student must understand methods of cultivating practice externally. This pertains to all actions, speech and thought.

Non-Violence (Ahimsa); Non-violence towards the self and others. For example not injuring the body to get into a yoga posture or to achieve certain states of the physical body (anorexia/bulimia/overindulgence/addiction/abuse). Not to wish or injure beings of any type (justification for vegetarianism), living or non-living, sentient or non-sentient. To have compassion for the body, Self and others. To not support others who create violence or harm other beings. (This can include military, meat butchers, hunters, etc). Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Peace, peace, peace.

Truthfulness (Satya); Honesty at all times, with the Self and with others. To not tell lies, hide truth in any form, and to not talk inappropriately. This includes idle chatter, gossip, talking about a person not present, talking of ill will to other people or beings, exaggerating, talking partial truths, etc. Maintain discipline to be honest with the Self and body (go to bed when needed, etc), talk only when needed (Do I need to say this? Do I need to speak now? Is this helping me towards my goal?).

Non-stealing (Asteya); To not take from other beings what is not needed or necessary, to not take what is not given, to not waste the time of others (be punctual ALWAYS), to not waste of any object, physical or non-physical (to not waste the time in this life not working towards liberation, to not waste food, energy, time, water, etc, etc).

Divine-conduct (Brahmacharya); To maintain an acceptance of the Divine, of God or the Sacred by any other name. This also means Divine conduct. To be faithful in relationships, to not flaunt sexuality but hold it sacred, chastity, purity of the Self, body. It does not necessarily mean that one can not be in a sexual relationship, but to treat the Self, body and others as sacred. To ‘walk with the Divine’ in all action, thought and speech.

Non-Attachment (Aparigraha); Non-attachment to the external physical world. To know that all things come and go, to remember ‘this too shall pass’, and maintain equanimity at all times. To not be greedy, to give to others less fortunate, to not get caught up in the ‘woe-me’. Awareness that a death, disease, injury, loss of fortune, sudden challenges are the result of karma and to not become attached in its manifestations. Everything is a cycle of life, death and re-birth.

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