According to Patanjali’s Sutras, there are five Yamas in total :
- Ahimsa (non-harming or non-violence in thought, word and deed)
- Satya (truthfulness)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (celibacy or ‘right use of energy’)
- Aparigraha (non-greed or non-hoarding)
Yama 1: Non-Harming (Ahimsa)
In Sanskrit the prefix A means not, while himsa means “harming, injuring, killing, or doing violence. Ahimsa is the practice of non-harming or non-violence, therefore it is the first and the highest ranking among the Yama. The philosophy behind it is the key “maintaining both harmonious relationships in the world and a tranquil inner life”.
According to Patangali, when ahimsa is fully embraced, an inner confidence emerges that is deep seated and surprisingly powerful within us.
Next week thought is about Satya, the second Yama.
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