Yam: The 10 Vedic Restraints

Propounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras Yam is aimed to lead a disciplined life. It is useful and effective in maintaining an ideal social order. 

1. Ahimsa 

Practice nonviolence. Never be a source of dread, pain or injury. Follow a vegetarian diet. Never harm others by thought, word or deed, even in your dreams. Let go of fear and insecurity.

2. Satya

Practice honesty / truthfulness. Admit your failings. Do not engage in slander, gossip or backbiting. Never betray promises. Speak only that which is true, kind, helpful and necessary. Be fair, accurate and frank in discussions.

3. Asteya 

Uphold non-stealing. Control your desires and live within your means. Do not gamble or defraud others. Do not renege on promises. Do not use others' names, words, resources or rights without permission or acknowledgement.

4. Brahmacharya 

Practice divine conduct. Be restrained with the opposite sex. Dress and speak modestly. Shun pornography, sexual humor and violence. Before marriage, remain celibate. After marriage, remain faithful.

5. Kshama 

Be patient with circumstances and tolerant towards people. Be agreeable. Let others behave according to their nature, without adjusting to you. Don't argue, dominate conversations or interrupt others. Be patient with children and the elderly. Don't be in a hurry. Remain poised in good times and bad.

6. Dhriti 

Be steadfast and resolute. Be decisive and persevering. Adapt to changes. Achieve your goals with a prayer, purpose, plan, persistence and push. Avoid sloth and procrastination. Develop willpower, courage and industriousness. Overcome obstacles. Never carp or complain.

7. Daya 

Practice compassion. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the earth itself. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain.

. Aarjava 

Maintain honesty, renouncing deception and wrongdoing. Act honorably even in hard times. Obey the laws of your nation. Pay your taxes. Do not bribe or accept bribes. Do not cheat, deceive or circumvent to achieve an end. Be frank with yourself. Face and accept your faults without blaming them on others.

9. Mitahara 

Be moderate in appetite. Don't consume meat, fish, fowl and eggs. Avoid junk food. Follow a simple diet. Enjoy fresh, wholesome vegetarian food that vitalize the body. Eat at regular times, only when hungry, at a moderate pace, never in a disturbed atmosphere or when upset.

10. Saucha 

Uphold purity in mind, body and speech. Maintain a clean, healthy body. Keep a pure, uncluttered home and workplace. Act virtuously. Keep good company, never mixing with adulterers and thieves. Keep away from pornography and violence. Never use harsh or indecent language. Worship devoutly. Meditate daily.

(compiled from various sources)


More by :  Aparna Chatterjee

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