ASTEYA THE THIRD YAMA
Let us now look at the third yama ASTEYA:.
In yoga we know there are principles of conduct, called:, Yama and Niyama;
The first yama is ahimsa, non-violence, the second yama is SATYA, truth and kindness, and the third is ASTEYA, honesty, do not steal.
ASTEYA THE THIRD YAMA
Lets start from the literal meaning: teya in Sanskrit means to steal asteya therefore is its opposite i.e. not to steal, honesty.
Here we talk about a deep principle and not the simple act of not stealing.
The non-stealing principle can be applied even to food and can also be understood as not to eat too much, because every time you do that, this is going to have an indirect impact on the populations who instead eat much less than required only because of a small part of the world population who consumes most of the resources of the earth.
Not to steal, honesty is in this case in a deep level, the moderation of one’s own behaviour.
Some people for instance who become vegetarians during their yogic path, very often do this because they interpret asteya as not to steal the life of animals.
If we are talking about not to steal and yoga in the physical sense, this may be understood as not to steal the abilities of others, i.e. not to steal the nature of your body in order to impose the nature of someone else, we are not all the same and we must therefore accept our body with its own pace of improvement and even with our own limits and the best teachers are precisely those who having gone through many difficulties also physical know how to transmit their students a way to overcome them.
Patanjali defines Asteya as “NOT TO APPROPRIATE”, and this is in a much more intimate and profound sense.
The desire of appropriation is what puts us even in the condition of suffering, because the desire very often also immeasurable inevitably leads us to be greedy and where we fail to appropriate what we want, leads to suffering, and also here once again it can be applied to physical practice…The fact of not being able to carry out a specific asana, the desire to “steal” that technique, makes us lose sight of the primary sense of control over our body.
Once again then a moderation of ourselves to obtain total awareness!
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