Aparigraha, or non-greed, is the fifth Yama in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga Path. Patanjali laid out what is identified as the Eight-Limbed Path in the Yoga Sutras to specify eight distinct methods to comply with in order to attain enlightenment, or as he described it, Samadhi.
The Yamas are ethical restraints and they are the 1st step on the Eight-Limbed Path. There are 5 separate Yamas.
We’ve previously explored the 1st Yama (Ahimsa or non-violence), the second Yama (Satya or truthfulness), the third Yama (Asteya or non-stealing), and the fourth Yama (Brahmacharya of celibacy), so let’s dive deeper into the fifth and final Yama: Aparigraha.
Aparigraha translates as non-possessiveness or non-greed and is an important tenet of Patanjali’s yogic path.
What Are the Yamas?
The Yamas are the 1st limb of the path to enlightenment that Patanjali compiled in the Yoga Sutras.
The Eight-Limbed Path consists of:
- Yamas: Ethical Restraints
- Niyamas: Ethical Observances
- Asana: Seat of Meditation
- Pranayama: Extension of Life-Force Energy
- Pratyahara: Withdrawal of Senses
- Dharana: Single-Pointed Concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: Enlightenment
What Are the Eight Limbs of Yoga? Here’s Your Comprehensive Overview
As the 1st limb, the Yamas are the ethical restraints that a yogi ought to adhere to. These are primarily the “don’ts” on the yogic path.
There are 5 Yamas:
- Ahimsa: Non-Violence
- Satya: Non-Falsehood
- Asteya: Non-Stealing
- Brahmacharya: Celibacy
- Aparigraha: Non-Possessiveness
A Guide to the Yamas: The First Path of Yoga’s Eight Limbs
Let’s discover the fifth Yama, Aparigraha, in higher detail.
What Is Aparigraha?
Aparigraha is the principle of non-greed. It roughly translates as “freedom from all greed and desire,” which sounds like a quite tall order – and it is!
But Patanjali insisted that this fundamental tenet is important to progress on the yogic path since, through this Classical Yoga era, in order to definitely turn out to be a yogi, one particular had to abandon their earthly life and transcend to a life of spirituality.
This meant providing up all worldly possessions and even all worldly desires. And the similar rings correct today as properly.
In order to definitely stroll the spiritual path of a yogi, we will need to recognize our personal attachments to the material planet. We will need to examine our incessant desires to get the most recent iPhone or upgrade our apartment or car or truck.
To practice Aparigraha, we will need to find out how to be in this planet but not of it – how to meet our fundamental requires but not attach to any material greed. This can be difficult, to say the least – but it is doable.
How Do You Practice Aparigraha?
To practice Aparigraha, we will need to genuinely distinguish our requires from our desires. Food is a necessity to live, a new iPhone is not. As social creatures, we will need enjoy to thrive. However, we do not will need to cheat on our partners with numerous people today to have enjoy.
There is a clear distinction amongst requires and desires, and deep down, we generally know the distinction. To definitely practice Aparigraha, we will need to recognize these variations and act accordingly.
If we are as well bogged down pondering about the next finest issue, then we are in no way completely present in what is taking place or even completely grateful for what we currently have.
We have a tendency to fall into a pattern of “if this, then that . . .” If I got a new car or truck, then I’d be content. If I could just go to Hawaii, then I’d be content. If I got a promotion, then I’d be content.
To practice Aparigraha, we will need to genuinely distinguish our requires from our desires.
In this cycle, there is generally an “if.” But if we can not uncover happiness exactly where we currently are, then we are continually in a state of lacking. We generally really feel as if we do not have adequate.
And when we constantly want and wish of more items, then we will in no way uncover peace and contentment.
The practice of Aparigraha is about discovering gratitude for what you currently have and feeling as if that is adequate. Things could generally be far better, but then once more, items could generally be worse.
If we pick out to really feel that we have adequate, then we basically do have adequate.
The Takeaway on Aparigraha
Aparigraha is the fifth and final principle on this hierarchical path to enlightenment, preceded by non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, and celibacy.
This principle is all about providing up worldly desires in pursuit of more spiritual ones. Through this principle, Patanjali is attempting to inform us that we do not will need more physical wealth – we will need more spiritual wealth.
We will need to replace our desires for worldly possessions for a burning spiritual wish to attain enlightenment.
Truly practicing Aparigraha permits us to be totally free and spiritual on the yogic path. And this opens the door to so lots of other possibilities along our journey toward enlightenment.