Yoga/The Ten Principles of Yoga

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Patanjali statue
Maha Aarti in Varanasi india

The basis of Yoga are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In it, Patanjali recommends a two-step way. The first stage is the development of positive ethic qualities (the ten yoga principles). Without positive qualities in meditation inner peace will break through the chaos of the outside world again and again. The second stage of the yogic path is to practice meditation. One can say, that Yoga in the essence is based on positive thinking and meditation.

1. Non-violence (ahimsa) = No killing other beings. Be meek. Be peaceful.

2. Truthfulness (Satya) = Live in the truth. Basically, be honest with yourself and others. Also no little lies of convenience. A lie is permissible only in well justified situations, for example, if you save with a lie the life of another human being. A Yogi is silent in doubt. Those who consistently lives in the truth radiate truth. Their fellow men trust them.

3. Righteousness (Asteya) = Not stealing, not cheating. A Yogi is in professional life generally honest. He does not seek unwarranted advantage, but he is looking for fair trade.

4. Wisdom (Brahmacharia) = Live in the spiritual focus (in the light/in God = Brahman). Do not serve the money (outer luck) but the inner happiness (God, Brahman, enlightenment). Be centered in your inner happiness and peace.

5. Simplicity (Aparigraha) = Be moderate in external enjoyment and consumption. A spiritual person lives modestly outwardly and inwardly rich. A Yogi uses his energy not in outer actions, but lives so peaceful that it turns inward and cleanse his body from the inside. One day, he lives permanently in the light.

6. Worship of the spiritual goal (Ishvara-Pranidhana) = Thus we do not lose our spiritual path, it is necessary that we remind ourselves again and again to our spiritual goal. We can worship an image (Goddess, Shiva, Patanjali), we can bow before a statue (Buddha, Jesus, Shiva) or speak a mantra (prayer).

7. Sacrifice the ego (Shaucha) = Purification / cleaning. The way into the light passes through the crucifixion of the ego. Without a crucifixion there is no enlightenment. True sacrifice is an art. He who sacrifices too much braced themselves internally. Who sacrifices too little, does not solves his tentions.

8. Selfdiscipline (Tapas) = A clear goal, a clear life plan and a clear way of practicing. Tapas means to lead a disciplined life.

9. Reading (Svadhyaya) = The daily reading (mantra, meditation) keeps us on the spiritual path, cleanses our spirit, connects us with the enlightened masters and makes us to spiritual victors.

10. Contentment (Santosha) = Satisfied with what one has.