Monday, January 28, 2013

Yama - universal concepts of interaction and attitude

अहिंसासत्यास्तेय ब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहाः यमाः ॥३०॥
ahiṁsā-satya-asteya brahmacarya-aparigrahāḥ yamāḥ

The first five limbs of yoga deal with concepts of universal nature and are summarised under the header of yama. Yama can be interpreted as the prerequisite for a harmonious and sustainable growth of society and life in general. They are traditionally described as codes of conduct of the individual with the external world.

The first three - ahimsa, satya and asteya - each describe what is required to achieve and maintain a harmonious environment for life and society to prosper.

The following two - brahmacharya and aparigraha - deal with attitudes of selflessness and compassion towards fellow beings, and modesty when utilizing material resources.

Taken together, the principles of yama are guidelines to minimize the potential for conflict. Only with a mindful attitude of consideration and modesty can the best environment for personal advancement be achieved, the prerequisites of which are further detailed in the five concepts of summarised in niyama.

Yama - universal concepts of interaction and attitude