Yama and Niyama Icon

January 31, 2022


Yama is divided into five:

  1. Ahiḿsá – Not to inflict pain or hurt on any living thing in the world by thought, word or action
  2. Satya – The benevolent use of mind and words
  3. Asteya – To renounce the desire to acquire or retain the wealth of others. It means “non-stealing”
  4. Brahmacarya – To keep the mind always absorbed in Brahma (the Supreme Entity)
  5. Aparigraha – To renounce everything excepting the necessities for the maintenance of the body


Niyama is also divided into five:

  1. Shaoca
  • Purity of the body
  • Purite of the mind

The methods for mental purity are kindliness towards all creatures, charity, working for the welfare of others and being dutiful.

  1. Santośa – Contentment for things received unasked-for. It is essential to try to be cheerful always.

  2. Tapah – To undergo physical hardship to attain the objective.

The limbs of tapah are:

  • Upavása (fasting)
  • serving the Guru (Preceptor)
  • serving father and mother
  • the four types of Yajiṋa
    • Pitr Yajiṋa= service to ancestors
    • Nr Yajiṋa= service to humanity
    • Bhúta Yajiṋa= service to lower beings
    • Adhyátma Yajiṋa= service to Consciousness

For students, study is the main Tapah.

  1. Svádhyáya – The study, with proper understanding, of scriptures and philosophical books

The philosophical books and scriptures of Ananda Marga are Ánanda Sútram and Subháśita Saḿgraha (all parts) respectively. Svádhyáya is also done by attending Dharmacakra (group meditation) regularly and having Satsauṋga (spiritual company), but this kind of Svadhyaya is intended only for those who are not capable of studying in the above manner.

  1. Iishvara Prańidhána – This is having firm faith in Iishvara (the Cosmic Controller) in pleasure and pain, prosperity and adversity.

This makes on think of oneself as the instrument, and not the wielder of the instrument, in all the affairs of life. Human life is short. It is wise to get all the instructions regarding Sádhaná (intuitional practice) as soon as possible.