Friday, November 9, 2007

A poetic guide to the yamas and niyamas

The great commandments transcending creed, country, age and time.

Yamas - Guidelines for how we interact with the outer world. Social disciplines to guide us in our relationships with others.

Ahimsa (non-violence)

Violence is a state of mind,
Arising out of fear.
Give love to all mankind,
And the path to happiness will become clear.

Satya (truthfulness)

Telling lies is so unfair,
It tells your friends you do not care.
Words are remembered if they’re good and true;
Be honest in everything you do.

Asteya (non-stealing)

If it isn't yours, leave it be,
Control temptation and you'll be free.

Brahmacharya (self-containment)

Restrain your impure desires and wants,
In complete simplicity strive to live.
Put yourself above need or pretence,
And the best from your heart you will give.

Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)

Yearning for what you cannot have,
Will lead to a dissatisfied heart.
Appreciate what you have right now,
Being content is an excellent start.

Niyamas - The rules of conduct applying to individual discipline.

Saucha (Purity)

Cleanse yourself on the outside,
And others you will not annoy.
Purify yourself on the inside,
And you will experience radiance and joy.

Santoshoa (Contentment)

Detach yourself from human conflict,
It disturbs your peace of mind.
Find instead a tranquil state,
And contentment you will find.

Swadhyaya (self-education)

Knowledge has a beginning but no end,
On the quest for truth, much time you'll spend.
Showing love in the things you do,
Will bring out the best in you.

Tapas (Austerity)

For a life illuminated pure and divine,
A worthy goal you must define.
Burn up undisciplined desires,
And a wonderful purity you’ll acquire.

Isvara pranidhana: Dedication to the Lord

He who has faith does not despair,
He has illumination.
Instead of making selfish plans and being attached to pleasures,

He'll shower love on all mankind and bow in worshiping dedication.