Niyam (The second limb of Yoga) (March 2006)

Niyam are the second part of Yoga. They are articles of personal discipline. Here are five niyam:

  1. Sauch (Purity)
  2. Santosh (Contentment)
  3. Tapa (Austerity)
  4. Swadhyaya (Study of Vedic literature)
  5. Ishwar Pranidhan (Surrender to God)

Sauch (Purity): It means purity or cleanliness. It is of two types: External cleanliness and internal purity. External cleanliness means cleanliness of body, clothes, surroundings, food and professional life specially the ways of earning money. Internal sauch means purity of mind and intellect, thought and feelings, the purity of heart and soul. When a person is clean and pure he enjoys many advantages in life.

Santosh (Contentment): It means to work honestly according to your best capacity and be happy and satisfied with what you get. Even if success is not in proportion to the effort you put in, it is your duty to feel satisfied and not to feel disappointed, disheartened and unhappy. Therefore in the interest of balance and happiness, one should observe contentment in every condition of life. There are several ways to achieve santosh

  • Faith in justice of GOD
  • Realize that pleasures of world are temporary.
  • Determination

Tapa (Austerity): When we do something in life, many kinds of difficulties, oppositions present themselves and block our way. To face all these cheerfully, without flinching, is tapa. Tapa gives purification of mind and body and blesses us with strength.

Swadhyaya (Study of Vedic Literature): It means study of Vedas and Vedic literature in full awareness of its meaning. There are several means to accomplish swadhyaya.

  • Knowledge of the language.
  • Study of Vedas.
  • Preceptor – attaining and sharing knowledge

Ishwaar Pranidhyan (Surrender to God): Knowing the nature and attributes of God, praying with faith and total love. Some of the means to Ishwaar Pranidhyan:

  • Knowledge of limitation of Jeev and Prakriti.
  • Vairagya
  • Faith

Leave a Reply