The 4th Yama – Brahmacharya

The 4th Yama is Brahmacharya – meaning celibacy. Celibacy brings you strength; a lot of strength, but Brahmacharya has a deeper or bigger meaning than just celibacy. Brahma means the infinity and charya means moving in the infinity. Brahmacharya is the increased strength one feels when one sees oneself as more than the body, as consciousness, as Brahman.

The 3rd Yama – Asteya.

The third yama, asteya, means non stealing. Guruji says, If you look at somebody and say how nice if I had a voice like them, you have already stolen their voice. You look at someone looking beautiful and think, Oh, how nice if I were to have looks like that, you have stolen. Do you see what I am saying? This creates jealousy.

Astheya eliminates jealousy. Non-stealing. People steal many things, someone else’s poem, some one else’s techniques, things. Comparing yourself with others and wishing for what they have is asteya, and will inhibit your ability to live peacefully.

People who steal they remain poor. The effect of non-stealing, if you are committed to be sincere, non-stealing – sarvaratnopalapati – all the wealth comes to you effortlessly. A little intention to steal can keep you poor.  Most of the time poverty is self-made. A person wants to be sneaky and try to get, grab as much as he can, that is where his luck goes down the drain. Non-stealing brings all the wealth.

Restraints and Observances – 1

Yamas (Restraints) and Niyamas (Observances) are the first two limbs of the Eight Limbed path laid out in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.

The first yama is Ahimsa – Non Violence. Non Violence unites you with the whole creation. Everything is part of yourself and since you do not harm yourself, how can you harm anything? A practice of not harming anything and realizing that everything is a part of you is Ahimsa.

What is the effect of ahimsa? Patanjali Maharishi gives a beautiful explanation in

Sutra 2.35: Ahimsapratishtayam tatsannidhau vairatyagaha
which means “When a person is established in non-violence, then violence is dropped in his or her presence.”

If you are established in non-violence, in your very presence, violence will be dropped by other creatures. For example, someone comes to attack you. As soon as they come near you, because your vibrations are totally nonviolent, they drop down. They stop being violent. Lord Mahavira emphasises on ahimsa. It is said that whenever he walked, twenty kilometers around him, people would stop being violent. The story goes even to that extent and says even the thorns would not prick anybody but would instead become soft.

Ahimsa gives rise to tolerance.

Have you ever felt like hitting somebody? Why is that violence arising in your mind? What is the source of the violence? As you watch the source of violence, you will see that violence disappears, dissolves and peace dawns. Yoga brings that inner peace which in turn establishes non-violence. Practice of non-violence is two-way traffic. Ahimsa or non -violence brings about the union of the mind or peace of mind and when you are peaceful or calm within, you naturally become non-violent.

[Source: Sri Sri Ravishankar’s column in Indian Express]