Monday, May 18, 2009

Yama: First Limb of Yoga

Yoga is currently getting a lot of popularity in the western world with a twist to its original concepts. Especially strange is the idea of doing yoga in the evening and then going for quick drinks at the local pub. But achievers do have their own goals when they pursue the ancient art of yoga . I wish that every Monday I would keep on this blog as a day for an article on Yoga .This series of articles that would be published would help reader's gain some insights what I think and may be some guest posts. There might be a some mistakes due to lack of understanding on the part of the author of this article and no fault whatsoever should be in regards to the original philosophy and its teacher who have taught the author.

The most ancient philosophy of yoga comes from the work of Patanjali from his text namely Patanjali Sutra. In this work some were around second or third chapter are the words which looks too simple but too hard to follow them called the Astanga Yoga { 8 limbs of yoga}
Note: Its not the class that is around your area namely Astanga yoga.{ just a name sake }
“Asta” means Eight ,”Anga” means parts of the body or limbs those eight limbs of yoga which are must for any follower of yoga to know , are of tremendous significance .We would try to shed some light on each one of those in our blog one at a time . .

Astanga Yoga :
The first of the limb of Astanga Yoga is called as "Yama". Here is the explanation of this limb

1] Yama :

Yama represents the first limb of yoga from the Astanga yoga . It literally means Ethical discipline. Every follower should have his own moral discipline to the society, his family member and lastly to himself. If this ethical discipline is vanished it would bring all the roots of evil which are governed by different emotions namely lust, greed, attachment, anger, desire ,creating a world of chaos. There are 5 different branches of this Yama

a] Ahimsa:
The word Ahimsa is made more famous due to the works of Tolstoy, Martin Luther King second, Mahatma Gandhi in their respective role they played in the world politics. Ahimsa literally means Non violence not only physically but also not even in our deepest thoughts. Some time we do think in rage of anger some thing bad about a person ,even that thought would be clasified as "Himsa" or violence . Ahimsa in due course brings in us another important quality that is abhaya meaning freedom from fear .

2] Satya: Being Truthful.
Being Truthful and not saying lies that is the second part of Yama . Swami Saraswati puts this in a very nice word. He Quotes " Satya is not merely abstinence from telling lies , but also the ability to see the truth, to be aware of the truth behind every thing .Telling one thing and doing another thing would be seen as not following the principles of "Satya" or Truth.

3] Asteya: {a=not, steya=stealing} Not to steal :
This is the third part of Yama which is also commonly known as honesty , to be honest .Asteya would be not of just material things but also of thoughts .. but why do we do it . Stealing can be from any way currently stealing ideas are more common in this white collar world .Well another example would ,i do bet how many have not use their office fax machine or telelphone to do personally things .Even this nature would be against the principles of Asteya .Thus try to follow Asteya in our life.

4] Brahmacharya:
Life of celibacy is the literal translation of this word. But while trying to write this blog came upon a great article by Swami Saraswati which refer Brahmacharya as Brahma means Divine consciousness and Charya means living . Together they mean is Living for Being with the Divine consciousness, or being one with the higher consciousness.
Celibacy especially which is seen in ascetic of India, monks of Tibet or any other religion never have advocated suppression of desire .Many people in the western society have always pointed it as suppression of desire or urges . Its the whole idea of channelizing the energy used for the desire in some thing fruitful which is to be one with the Divine Self.

5] Aparigraha:
Being the fifth Yama it means Non Possessiveness or absentee from greed. This is very similar to the above one Yama namely Asteya. Passiveness is seen in normal humans all the time .Human race is known to hold stuff this is my car, my girlfriend, my purse , my blog , my thoughts my philosophy .. What is this all my thing. This is the idea behind Aparigraha.. Avoid having this desire to hold stuff.
As Asteya brings destruction in one's happy life same is true with the Aparigraha.. if we do not have hold on stuff , we would be stress free environment.

Thus finishes all the section of the first part of the Astanga yoga .Next Monday I will try to bring the second part of this seris .Till then Namaskar !!

Posted by Sudeep
Related link:
1] 6 things to Know before doing Yoga :

The Body is your temple.Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in .
- B.K.S Iyengar.


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5 comments: on "Yama: First Limb of Yoga"

PeacefulWmn9 said...

Whether one practices Yoga or not, these are some very precious values to live by.


Anonymous said...

Well said

Sudeep Chitnis said...

Thanks Shamir for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! I do not know where to start but hope this site will be useful for me.
Hope to receive any assistance from you if I will have any quesitons.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

Sudeep Chitnis said...

Hey you,
Your questions are always welcome.. please feel free to ask. Hope we can help you in some way.

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