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Exploring the Niyama: Purity, Gentleness, and Lack of Covetousness

Apr 19th, 2024 | 2 Min Read
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Category: Yog Sutra


Language: English

Throughout our previous classes, we have delved deep into the fundamental concepts of moral obligations and divine traits. We have explored the perspectives of various renowned figures whose ideas are aligned with the teachings of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The niyama, which are the observances to be practised by every individual, are not meant to be flaunted for praise or recognition. We have learned that one of the virtues that we must strive to inculcate is purity. While external purity is essential for physical well-being, internal purity is crucial for our mental health. As Bhagwan Buddha once taught, "Maintaining the body's good health is a duty. Otherwise, we cannot keep our minds strong and clear."

As humans, we transcend the animal kingdom by being selfless, seeking knowledge, caring for others, and making sacrifices for the greater good. This is what sets us apart. In performing our duties, whether they are mundane or spiritual, there can be no failure. As Robert Baden-Powell observed, "We never fail when we try to do our duty; we always fail when we neglect to do it."

Achāpalam (अचापलम्) - Absence of fickleness:

We may begin with good intentions, but we cannot complete the journey if we get distracted by temptations and hardships. Success on the path of virtue comes by unwaveringly pursuing the goal despite all diversions that come along the way. If one succeeds in achieving a state devoid of fickleness, it should be credited to the grace of God, not self-endeavour.

Mārdavam (मार्दवम्) - Gentleness:

The disposition to behave roughly with others arises from insensitivity to their feelings. But as one grows spiritually, one naturally sheds crudeness in behaviour. Gentleness is a sign of spiritual refinement. Saint Francis de Sales beautifully captures the essence of gentleness: "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength." True strength lies in kindness and compassion rather than aggression or domination.

Aloliptvam (अलोलिप्त्वम्) - Lack of covetousness:

Greed is the desire to accumulate more than one legitimately needs for maintaining the body. Under its sway, people acquire vast amounts of wealth and possessions, though they know that everything will be left behind at the time of death. Freedom from such covetousness leads to contentment and inner peace.

As we continue exploring the teachings of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, let us strive to cultivate the niyama in our everyday lives and achieve a state of purity, gentleness, and lack of covetousness. May we always remember that true strength lies in kindness and compassion and that success on the path of virtue comes by unwaveringly pursuing the goal despite all diversions that come along the way.

Summary: JKYog India Online Class- Patanjali Yoga Sutra [English]- 18.04.2024