The Yoga Tutor

Cultivating Asteya

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 263 ]

In order to lead an evolutionary life, it is essential to concentrate on developing a mind free from covetousness. Begin the day by thinking that what you possess is held in trust for the work that you have to do. Use your possessions for the service of others and be happy to know that others can enjoy their possessions.

At the end of the day, ask yourself whether you have felt dissatisfied to see others apparently better off than you are in worldly goods. Realise that all worldly possessions are temporary. They do not belong to the spirit. In asteya it is imperative to leave to everyone what he/she properly deserves.

The Inherent Riches of Asteya

~ Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Translation: "Being firmly established in asteya, all the treasures present themselves (to the Yogi)."

When the yogi is properly settled in asteya, the treasures come to him/her from everywhere. This is a way of saying that the yogi becomes aware of all kinds of treasures in his/her vicinity. This consci

ousness is a form of clairvoyance, yet it is also simply an enhanced capacity of intuition gained from clearing the mind of the darkness of desire and greed.

Through the agency of this faculty of knowledge, the yogi becomes aware of the precious stones and gems in his/her own back yard, so-to-speak. One becomes able to realise intuitively how rich (in a non-material respect) somebody close to them is. One becomes acutely aware of the truly valuable assets of those they encounter.

One might also simply become more aware of the abundance of wealth and of enriching opportunities, once they have let go of greed and selfish desire.

This kind of intuitive consciousness is possible because of an absolute, unconditional and universal honesty. When this has been achieved, the mind becomes like a mirror within which the Divine mind reflects. In the clarity of this reflection, the virtue of honesty, or asteya, grants a conscious perception of all the hidden treasures. As I.K. Taimni points out in his Science of Yoga:

"As long as we have in us the tendency to misappropriate or grasp things which do not belong to us we are governed by ordinary laws. When we have risen above this tendency completely and would not even think of taking anything, even if a treasure were to fall within our grasp, then we rise, as it were, above the laws which confine us strictly to the limited means… Then people around us offer their wealth at our feet, we become mysteriously aware of all kinds of hidden treasures… [But] when we are bound by the ordinary desires for wealth, etc. we have to earn everything by adopting the ordinary means."


NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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