The second Chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras - contains instructions for our Practice - Sadhana Pada.



Sentence 30

ahinsa-satya-asteya brahmacharya-aparigrahah yamah ||30||

अहिंसासत्यास्तेय ब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहाः यमाः ॥३०॥

ahiṁsā-satya-asteya brahmacarya-aparigrahāḥ yamāḥ ॥30॥

Respect for others (yama) is based on non-violence (ahimsa); truthfulness (satya); not stealing (asteya); non-covetousness (aparigraha); and acting with an awareness of higher ideals (brahma-charya). ||30||

ahiṁsā = non-violence; not doing harm
satya = truthfulness; speaking the truth; not lying
asteya = to not steal
brahma = God; a higher ideal
carya = change to
brahmacarya = a change that results in a consicousness of a higher ideal; acting with an awareness of God; being a monk; celibacy; abstinence
aparigrahāḥ = (nom. from aparigrahā) non-covetousness; to not hoard; modesty
yamāḥ = (nom. from yamā) code of conduct vis-à-vis others


~Yama~~, the first stage on the path to yoga, translates as “respect for others” or “rules of conduct vis-à-vis others.” Respect for others forms the indispensable basis for any spiritual path. Absent such respect, problems with interpersonal relationships undermine the concentration you need for spiritual practice, since you will constantly be distracted by various cares, problems and anxieties. Yama is also a key form of self protection. The practice of yoga soon engenders supernatural powers known as siddhiḥ, beginning with simple physical siddhiḥ, which enable you to achieve seemingly impossible physical feats. As you continue with this practice, the siddhiḥ will occur in the energetic, mental and emotional realms as well. The longer you practice, the stronger these powers become, which can easily distract you from the true goal of yoga. For example, you may use your newfound powers to manipulate others and gain personal advantages. Being rooted in yama is the only way to avoid straying from the path of yoga.

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