Swami Jyotirmayananda on Yamas and Niyamas in Raja Yoga

The yamas (ethical restraints) and niyamas (ethical observances) listed in Raja Yoga are important life codes.

The niyamas, or ethical observances, include

  1. Saucha (maintaining physical and mental purity),
  2. Santosha (contentment),
  3. Tapas (austerity),
  4. Svadhyaya (the study of scriptures and repetition of mantra)
  5. Isvarpranidana (surrender to God).

The yamas, or ethical restraints, include

  1. Ahimsa (non-violence),
  2. Satya (thinking, speaking, acting on the basis of truthfulness),
  3. Brahmacharya (control and sublimation of sex energy),
  4. Asteya (non-stealing in both its gross and subtle forms)
  5. Aparigraha (non-covetousness or non-hoarding of possessions you do not need).

These great yamas and niyamas of Raja Yoga can help a person in developing righteous conduct.

Swami Jyotirmayananda

Source: Extracts from the Tattvaloka Magazine ‘Advice to Students’, Yoga Research Foundation.