Raja Yoga – Part 2: Effects of Practicing Yama

We have discussed first step of Raja Yoga, i.e. Yama in the last post. Naturally, many of us ask:

“What is the use of following these  tough practices? What is the benefit?”

Shri Patanjali Muni graces us by his answers:

Ahimsapratistayam tatsannidhau vaira tyagah | -Yoga Sutras 2.35

Stability in practicing Ahimsa leads to elimination of enmity in practitioner’s presence.

This means if we master Ahimsa, in our presence natural enemies like cow-tiger, snake-mongoose etc. behave as though they are friends!  How nice it would be!

Satya pratistayam kriyaphalashrayatvam |-Yoga Sutras 2.36

When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action abide by him.

In other words, if we practice truth, whatever we say it happens! This is called perfection of speech(vak siddhi). This sounds very logical. If we speak only truth always, whatever we speak must become true! Very interesting , indeed!

Asteyapratistayam ratnopastahanam |-Yoga Sutras 2.37

By establishing in non-stealing, divine gems approach us! This means if we practice non-stealing, we can get the gems any time! Alternative explanation, is good things and great people(gems)  come to us.

Brahmacharya pratistayam viryalabhah |-Yoga Sutras 2.38

By establishing in controlling sensual pleasures, spiritual vigor will be gained.

This means Brahmacharya helps in spiritual practices like meditation. Also, we can convey any complicated subject to anybody very clearly so that they easily grasp them. In other words, this yama is extremely helpful for teacher-disciple relationship!

Aparigrahashairye janmakathamta sambodhah |-Yoga Sutras 2.38

If we establish ourselves in non-acceptance, we can know about our earlier births!  By this, we can easily know who we were and what we were doing in earlier birth. Is it not nice!?

These are “nice to hear” advantages of practicing yamas. Practically, do they work these days?

Good question! Patanjali Muni says yamas are universal vows without time and space constraints, so they should work always. Since Patanjali Muni was a realized master(maharishi), these truths revealed themselves as aphorisms to him. These great masters were established in the divine universal Truth. So, whatever they said must happen.

Practicing these rules in modern times may be extremely challenging and tricky. However, they serve as our guiding principles in our quest for reality.

We will discuss next limb of Raja Yoga, niyamas, in the upcoming post.

Next: Raja Yoga: Part 3.  Stay with me!

Nandama sharadah shatam |

Let us  live happily for a century!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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