Yoga moral principles - yama and niyama


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Meditation, morals, ethics, yama, niyama, ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacarya, aparigraha, shaoca, santosha, tapah, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana. Practical tips on yogic ethics and insights.

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Yoga moral principles - yama and niyama

  1. 1. Yoga - Moral Principles
  2. 2. Namaskar  It means: I salute the divinity within you with all the good feelings of my mind and love of my heart.
  3. 3. Overview  Calming the Conscious Mind  through Yama & Niyama,  i.e. moral principles.
  4. 4. The First Step • Calming the Conscious Mind … • The process to develop and elevate the Conscious Mind is to apply certain principles to one’s life. • Achieves mental equilibrium.
  5. 5. Mental Equilibrium  Our energy is drained by disharmony within ourselves and with those around us.  The first level of the mind is the Conscious Mind which relates through the senses with the external world.  Mental equilibrium is the first step to move towards higher realization.
  6. 6. Developing and elevating the mind  To develop and elevate the Conscious Mind, the yogis and spiritualists through deep reflection synthesized certain principles in order to attain mental equilibrium and lead a good life.  These moral principles are called Yama and Niyama.
  7. 7. Yogic Principles  In the practice of Yoga there are two sets of principles for leading a good life: There are 5 principles related to the external world (Yama).  There are 5 principles related to oneself or internal development (Niyama). 
  8. 8. The Practice of Yama     Principles that guide one’s relationship with other entities. There must be a second entity to relate the principle to. These principles bring balance to the conscious mind (the first layer of the mind). They also enhance social welfare, as the establishment of a society depends on the mutual help of its members and their cooperative behaviour.
  9. 9. Principles of Yama      Not to inflict pain or hurt on anybody by thought, word or action. Use of mind and words for welfare. Not to deprive others of what is their due, including planning in the mind to deprive others - ‘non-stealing’. Keep the mind always absorbed in Supreme Consciousness. Live simply – non accumulation of superfluous things.
  10. 10. Not harming anyone - Ahimsa’  You harm someone when you stop their physical, mental or spiritual progress.  It is not ‘non-violence’ (therefore allows for self-defence and the protection of others from harm by use of force).
  11. 11. Not harming anyone - Ahimsa’ Food - one organism is the food of others. • Articles of food should be selected from among those items in which development of consciousness is comparatively little; i.e. if vegetables are available, animals should not be slaughtered. • The policy of eating, without due consideration, whatever is available cannot be supported in any case. • How to practice Ahimsa‘ – requires auto-suggestion, as it does not just happen automatically. •
  12. 12. Use of words for welfare - Satya  Proper use of mind and words with the spirit of welfare.  Not exactly the same as telling the fact or the truth (because you may need to shelter the innocent from the knowledge of someone wanting to cause harm to them).  It implies welfare.
  13. 13. Satya gives hope  Through Satya hope is encouraged and it strengthens humanity.  The capability to do what is necessary or good for humanity; in the realm of spirituality such thought, word or action has been defined as Satya.
  14. 14. Non-stealing - Asteya  Not to deprive others of what is their due.  Including not planning in the mind to deprive others.  Non-stealing means both materially and mentally.
  15. 15. Non-stealing – Asteya (4 types)     Physical theft of any material object. Psychic theft - Here you did not take material possession of anything, but you planned it in your mind. Depriving others of their due physically, so you become responsible for their loss. Depriving others of their due mentally planning in your mind to do so.
  16. 16. Keep the mind in the stance of the Supreme - Brahmacarya  To remain attached to the Universal Consciousness – recognizing all as One.  Treat the objects as different expressions of that Universal Consciousness.  To feel the Cosmic Entity in every material object and living being.
  17. 17. Brahmacarya – results of practice  Attraction towards the ultimate reality, and not attraction towards crude material objects.  Desire for the Infinite, and not for finite objects.  It is control over subjectivity.
  18. 18. Live Simply - Aparigraha     Non-indulgence in the enjoyment of such amenities and comforts of life as are superfluous for the preservation of life is Aparigraha. It is control over objectivity. However, society is obliged to provide the minimum requirements to all (food, housing, clothing, education, medical care). But complete establishment in Aparigraha ultimately depends on the individual.
  19. 19. Aparigraha – social aspects  It is a constant effort to reduce one’s own objects of comforts out of sympathy for the common people, …  … after ensuring that individuals are able to maintain solidarity in their physical, mental and spiritual lives for themselves and their families.
  20. 20. The Practice of Niyama  It is an internal practice.  Its field is inside you.  No second entity is needed.
  21. 21. Principles of Niyama  Cleanliness of the body and of the mind.  Contentment.  To undergo discomfort or hardship to help and service others.  The study, with proper understanding, of scriptures and philosophical works.  Meditation on Supreme Consciousness.
  22. 22. Shaoca – Cleanliness  Shaoca – means cleanliness of body and mind  physical and mental.  Purity and cleanliness in all respects  external and internal.
  23. 23. Cleanliness of body - external  External physical cleanliness by: Bath  Half-bath  Use of water  Soap  Clean environment and household 
  24. 24. Cleanliness of body - internal  Internal physical cleanliness by proper food. The physical body is conditioned by the food you eat.  3 forces in the Universe:  Sentient  Mutative  Static Sentient (good for body and mind) plant based food is the cleanest. 
  25. 25. Cleanliness of body - internal  Internal - Physical: The physical body is composed of countless cells.  Each cell has its own mind.  The human mind is a unit microcosm plus the collection of the minds of the cells.  Cells grow from the light, air, water and food we take in. 
  26. 26. Cleanliness of body - physical  Static food creates static cells:  has no real life force .
  27. 27. You are what you eat.
  28. 28. Cleanliness of body - physical Static cells create a static influence on the mind.  A static mind becomes easily depressed and frustrated. 
  29. 29. Cleanliness of body - physical   Sentient food creates sentient cells … and  sentient cells create a sentient influence on the mind. Sentient means conducive to physical and mental well-being, awakens intuition and bringing effulgence and lucidity to human existence.
  30. 30. Cleanliness of body & mind  A sentient mind experiences a deep sense of harmony and balance within. • Fasting: helps to purify the body and mind.
  31. 31. Cleanliness of body & mind  Environment: The environment has an impact in one’s mind.  All vibrations reaching the mind through the sensory organs affect the mind.  You should take care with all that you see, touch, smell, taste or hear. 
  32. 32. Cleanliness of mind  Internal psychic cleanliness: In this case one does not get swayed, conditioned, or think or act according to the external stimulus.  If there is a negative idea around, you can take an opposite positive idea to neutralize the negative impact. 
  33. 33. Cleanliness of mind  How to develop internal mental cleanliness:     Jealousy – impose opposite idea of friendliness. Problematic behaviour – impose opposite idea of compassion. Envy – impose opposite idea of encouragement and help others progress. Win a miser with charity.
  34. 34. Cleanliness of mind  Other hints: Conquer an angry person by your controlled temper.  A dishonest person by your honesty.  A liar by your truthfulness. 
  35. 35. Santos’a – Contentment    It means to maintain an state of mental ease. When the mind hungers for something it is in a state of uneasiness. Upon satisfying that desire the moment of ease or relief which the mind gets is called tos’a in Sanskrit.
  36. 36. Contentment – Santos’a     Then, the mind again will run in pursuit of new objects leaving behind the objects already tasted. Once long cherished objects loose their importance quickly. Achieving the desired objects may give a temporary pleasure for an hour or so. Human desires knows no end.
  37. 37. Contentment     Millionaires want to become multi-millionaires. Ask millionaires if they are happy with their money. They will say: “Where is the money? I am somehow pulling on.” A small donation brings no physical discomfort for millionaires.
  38. 38. Established in contentment  If a man is established in Santos’a he is the king of kings.  Without Santos’a a person remains a beggar, even if a multi-millionaire.  Objects of enjoyment go on increasing in number and one’s mind can never rest.  To remain content needs a special mental effort to keep aloof from external allurements.
  39. 39. Happiness and contentment  Happiness is when one gets a favorable feeling from an object as desired.  After getting enough happiness when one feels that more of that is not needed then it is contentment.  The essentialities of life are very limited…  …but human hunger is infinite.
  40. 40. Contentment – other points     Continuous enjoyment of favourable vibrations is happiness. The feeling that you need no more is contentment. The agony of the rich – they want more and more … Aparigraha (to live simply) helps Santos’a (contentment).
  41. 41. Santos’a (Contentment)    Those people who are easily satisfied and maintain a state of contentment are following Santos’a. It means to accept ungrudgingly and without complaint the results of one’s mental and physical work. Contentment is not at all possible if the individual is running after every pleasure imaginable.
  42. 42. Tapah – Undergoing hardships  To undergo physical hardship to attain the objective / goal.  To undergo hardship to make others happy.  To undergo hardship for one’s progress in the mental and spiritual sphere.
  43. 43. Purpose of Tapah?  There is only one purpose behind the practice of penance (tapah) and that is to shoulder sorrows and miseries of others to make them happy, to free them from grief and to give them comforts.
  44. 44. Sva’dhya’ha – Study of philosophy  The study, with proper understanding, of scriptures and philosophical books.  Not doing things without understanding why.  Nor just repeating empty words without knowing the meaning.  Nor accepting illogical tales in name of dogma or religion.
  45. 45. Study of philosophy      Social philosophy changes according to the age – ideas develop. Internal intuition of spiritual philosophy does not change, even if expressed diversely. Those who cannot read can listen to the philosophy. One can learn through association with the wise - keeping good company. One should shun away from bad company.
  46. 46. Ishvara pran’idha’na – Devotion to a higher principle of life    It is an auto-suggestion of the idea that each and every entity is an instrument in the hands of the Divine:  a mere spark of the supreme fire. Iishvara pranidhana also implies implicit faith in the Supreme irrespective of whether one lives in momentary happiness or sorrow, prosperity or adversity. Meditation on Supreme Consciousness.
  47. 47. Meditation  Our technique of meditation is based on mantras.  Mantra is a word or phrase in Sanskrit language which expresses a thought…  …the thought of the Supreme Consciousness.
  48. 48. Process of Meditation  Withdraw the mind from all external objects and concentrate that you are an entity within Supreme Consciousness.  Let the mind flow with the eternal feeling.  One should do it twice a day for complete benefits.
  49. 49. Meditation Practice  For beginners, a simple technique …  Mantra meditation with: Baba Nam Kevalam Baba: Dearest Nam: Expression Kevalam: Everything
  50. 50. Baba Nam Kevalam meaning  All is the Supreme Consciousness  Love is all there is
  51. 51. Let us meditate now  Baba Nam Kevalam