Yoga Sutra 2.32

3 Mar

Sutra 2.32: saucha santosha tapah svadhyaya ishvarapranidhana niyama

  • saucha = cleanliness, purity
  • santosha = contentment
  • tapah = austerity
  • svadhyaya = self-study of sacred texts, scripture, ancient wisdoms
  • ishvara = Divine, God, Supreme Being
  • pranidhana = surrender, devotion, fixation
  • niyama = restrictions (inner)

Translated loosely into English;

The (inner) restrictions are; cleanliness (saucha), contentment (santosha), austerity (tapas) , self-study (svadhyaya)  and devotion to the Divine (ishvara pranidhana).

Having learned in the previous sutras that ‘yama’ means restraint, directed to the external world, surroundings and social conduct. The ‘niyamas’ mean inner restraints, targeting the students personal conduct and maintaining harmony within.

Cleanliness (saucha); To keep the body clean, regardless of place, time or such conditions, to protect the body from injury, illness and harm, to eat ‘clean’ healthy foods, to drink clean, etc. To keep personal environments clean, to eliminate external distractions such as TV and social media, reduce day-dreaming in the past or future, to limit clutter, to keep clothing clean and respectable, etc.

Contentment (santosha); To be satisfied with the present moment, to use gratitude to see the joy and pleasure in all moments, to see negative events as a path to growth and to find peace in all moments, good or bad.

Austerity (tapas); To try with earnest to maintain a steady practice, to have determination to overcome challenges, to control the mind and senses, and the have the conviction to succeed. To face challenges and downfalls as a tool for growth, to acknowledge the laws of karma, to remain equanimous in adversity.

Self-Study (svadhyaya); To self-study sacred texts, scriptures, treaties, books, etc. To discover the truths, investigate and question knowledge.

Surrender to Supreme (Ishvara pranidhana); To have a devotion to the Divine, in  action, thought and speech, to embrace all beings as infinite consciousness.


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