Great riches come to those established in non-stealing
The third of the ten principles for living happy as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is NON-STEALING, or Asteya in Sanskrit.
We live in a society where money, title and assets define a person. We are encouraged from a young age to compete and win so that we may succeed in life.
Its not enough, I want MORE
We might connect our happiness with owning some new beauty products, getting a promotion, having a child, finding a soul mate or receiving recognition. All forms of stealing, whether conscious or unconscious come from a sense of not having enough and not being enough. We want more!
“In constantly looking outside ourselves for satisfaction, we are less able to appreciate the abundance that already exists” (Donna Farhi)
The majority of us do not consider ourselves ‘thieves’ committing a crime. However, there are other types of ‘legal’ theft that Patanjali was referring to.
Have you ever felt that someone stole your moment of pride and joy or drained you of your energy? Do you cheat on your taxes? Have you ever taken credit, even payment, for something you haven’t done? Have you ever stolen someone else’s time, idea, parking space or place in a queue? Do you draw resources from the Earth every day without giving something back to ensure her sustainability?
Stealing refers to anything taken that has not been freely given.
We take, not usually out of malice, but to deal with our own insecurities and feelings of being incomplete and not good enough. We take in response to an untamed greed that propels us to constantly want MORE, to do little but get a lot. Is it a fear that having less means we are worthless?
Three Golden Keys to avoid stealing:
1. Ask – Ask if you need but expect nothing. It is a gesture of respect and humility to not assume that which is not yours. This includes other people’s time and energy. And why not ask the universe for your heart’s desires? You may be impressed by someone’s generosity or surprised by a turn of events.
2. Acknowledge – Give thanks for what you already have and what you receive, whether it’s your health, recognition of your work, an inspirational idea, a pot of gold, a gesture of love or the food on your table. Regularly remember and acknowledge those who have made it possible for you to be in this moment.
3. Give (Back) – Repay an act of kindness, rejoice in someone else’s happiness, offer your time to listen, look after an elderly parent, recycle waste or offer a prayer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be to the same person who gave to you. In gratitude for the abundance in your own life offer it out to others.
When we consider the world through a perspective of abundance(considering all that I have and am) rather than neediness (all that I am not and need from you), we find that there is generosity all around us and even more abundance starts to flow our way, free of charge!!
Two daily practices for non-stealing :
- Whenever you have a sense of burning desire arise based on feelings of inadequacy or lacking, pause to notice its intent and roots before you act. Then make a conscious decision of what to say or do.
- Take a moment each day when you awake or before you sleep to remind yourself of one thing that you are grateful for.
Thanks – I am really grateful to you for reading today!
This blog has been inspired from my own study and practice and a number of articles and books including:
- Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna Farhi
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda
- Asteya – Non Stealing – article by Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati in Asana, October 2012
- Applying the Third Yama, Asteya (Non-Stealing), to Daily Life – article by Kara-Leah Grant in Asana, October 2012