Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yama = the 1st step = Of Ashtanga Yoga = Unconditional = Extraordinary Vow






Ø  Yethe = These
Ø  jaathi = by differentiation based on  of birth
Ø  desha = specific place
Ø  kaala = specific period
Ø  samaya = circumstances or conditions
Ø  anavachchhinnaah = not limited by
Ø  saarvabhoumaah = totality, universal
Ø  mahaavratham = great sacred vow

We have seen five pillars of Yama : non-violence; truth; non-stealing; abstinence from sex and following path of eternal truth; not receiving anything without paying just price. We have examined their deep implications – and how they purify us.

When we adhere to them in thought, word and deed, we are taken into a different dimension of life.

These are to be followed by the Yoga Sadhakas totally unconditionally, at all times and places and without differentiation of caste, religion, race, colour, status and any other difference based on birth. These four major factors limit the following of Yama by most people usually. But, these factors should not operate in respect of the Yoga Sadhakas :

Jaathi – usually signifies caste. But, it also signifies any differentiation of people based on birth - like religion, race, colour, status and so on. A Sadhaka’s practice of Yama (non-violence, truth etc) must transcend all these barriers of birth.

Desam : Some People follow extreme non-violence, truth etc – at some places like- Kasi, Tirupati, Prayag, Sabarimala and so on. But once out of these pilgrimage centres – they revert back to their relaxed self – and indulge in falsehood, violence etc. This will not do for Yoga Sadhakas. They must adhere to Yama at all places.

Kaalam : On the Amavasya day, on Saturday, on festival days etc - I will not kill any animal or eat non-vegetarian food. Some people do such limited vratham. It implies that they do understand the better quality of non-vegetarianism and non-violence. But, they limit it to certain periods of time only. At other times, they indulge in violence, untruth etc. But, A sadhaka’s practice must be at all times.

SAMAYAM : If you are non-violent, I also will be; but, not otherwise. In presence of guests, I will be very civilized and Polite;but, not when they are not there. If it is not against myself, I will follow. Not otherwise. I will not use obscene words in big congregations. After that, I will use such words. Some Politicians regularly use such conditional adoption of truth, non-violence etc.  But Sadhakas cannot keep such conditions. Practice of Yama must be totally unconditional.

PRECAUTION : Are these practices limited to Males only – is a doubt that arises especially in respect of some practices like Brahmacharyam.  The answer is an absolute no. It is to be followed by all Sadhakas - Males and Females alike. But, it is initially better to stay away from all objects and persons which tempt us into violating the 5 pillars of Yama.

Then, there can be gradual exposure to such objects / persons. There must be conditioning the self into absolute adherence of Yama  - in presence of all objects, persons, times and circumstances. It must be a conscious, self controlled practice at all times – until one achieves total success. When the Sadhana becomes a 24 hours x 7 Days (per each week) Sadhana throughout life – the scope for diversion will be limited. As we have seen in ch.1,Vs.12. Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (removing impurities in thoughts & emotions) – are the 2 keys which gradually bring control on all Chittha Vritthis. What we are witnessing here in Yama practices is precisely the achievement of this control on Chittha Vritthis. We are seeing them in greater detail and precision here.

When YAMA is not limited and conditioned by all these four factors, and it transcends all of them, then, it becomes a Great, Sacred Vow or Mahavratham.

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