Yama includes Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha. Ahimsa is the main yama. Ahimsa is to refrain from injury, refrain from causing pain to any creature in thought, word or deed at all times. In Mahabharata it is stated “How can you expect compassion from a meat-eater”. As compassion is the foundation of Nirvana, please take a moment to think about it. The entire natural, green, eco-friendly movements attracting trillions of dollars of investment is a good sign to observe that mankind is starting to understand Ahimsa in a larger scale.
Satya is being truthful in word and thought all the time. Asteya mans avoidance of stealing, not coveting, not hoarding, not obstructing other people's desires in life. Brahmacharya means continence, celibate when single and faithful when married. In yoga, it is disciplining the use of sexual energy. In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras it is one of the 5 Yamas and it causes unbounded energy or vitality. Aparigraha is non-possessiveness.
Niyama includes Shaucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (self-study and study of spiritual scriptures) and Ishvarapranidhana (self-surrender to divinity).
Asana means posture and pranayama means breath control.
These requirements mentioned above (yama, niyama, asana and pranayama) are the external requiremenst we need to achieve in order to attain self-realization and hence nirvana and ultimate happiness. The inner requirements are Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (contemplation) follow the external requirements and i will try to share detailed explaination of these in my next article.
I wish you all a perfect day and life full of endless happiness :)
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