There are certain Do’s and Dont’s for the spiritual journey, called yam and Niyam. These are ten each in numbers as per details :
Yam : – (X)
1. Non-Violence :- Do not cause harm to anybody, through mind, body, intellect or speech. Pray from the core of your heart, “The glory of Name Divine is highest. Let all human beings be happy by the grace of God.”
2. Truthfulness :- Live truthful life and indulge not in hypocrisy.
3. Theft :- Theft of body and mind is avoided. Theft of mind means when you do some bad act behind the curtain, i.e. in aloofness so as there is no witness to your act, like act of adulteration etc. To conceal other man’s articles is theft of body.
4. Brahmcharya :- Celibacy is an essential requirement for the spiritual journey. It is like fuel of the body, which must be preserved. Married persons should be faithful to each other observing moderation.
5. Patience :-Do not feel agitated over trifles. Patience brings power- Saints must have patience in abundance.
6. Forgiveness :- When you have the strength to harm somebody, but you forgive him and don’t harm him, you are on the right path.
7. Mercy :- Mercy is a must for meditation. Those who kill animals for palate, cannot imbibe mercy. You kill today and you will be killed tomorrow. That is the Divine law.
8. Tender Heart :- Be of tender heart, and do not be stone-hearted or a hypocrite. Don’t indulge in rebukes and slander. Always speak softly, politely and truthfully.
9. Self-discipline :- Eat less and feel contented. Follow the dictum of the Guru :-
“Eat moderately, sleep less, show mercy and forgiveness and love your prime possession, the real self. (Guru Gobind Singh)
There are three kinds of food that we eat viz. pertaining to
i) tamoguna (ii) rajasguna (iii) satoguna
‘tamas’ food, includes intake of meat, fish, wine eggs etc. This food brings laziness to the man. He is likely to turn away from God and his God-consciousness is diminished. In ‘rajas’ is included pertaining of spicy and rich food for the sake of palate only. Heavy and rich food leads to numerous diseases.’ Eat a bit less than your requirement. ‘Satoguna’ food includes partaking of vegetables, milk, curd, butter and cereals etc. 10. It means purity of mind, purity of body, purity of speech, purity of clothes, and purity of thought. These are ten ‘yam’ principles
THE TEN NIYAM (RULES)
1. Penances and devotion :- Yoke yourself to the service of humanity. Service is of three kinds ie. pertaining to rajas guna, tamas guna and sats guna. The service of Guru is at the top of all the Penances.
2. Charity :- Charity is also of three types – rajas, tamas and sats charity. In tamas, one gives away something in charity under duress and in anger and at inappropriate time which may result in sin. In rajas, one distributes alms to earn glorification. While in sats guna, one gives away in all humility with a faith in the fact that everything is gift of God. This kind of generosity is rewarded.
3. Contentment :- There cannot be full satisfaction without contentment. Unless there is contentment, the mind writhing in desire wanders in wilderness.
4. Theistic intellect means a staunch believer in Guru’s teachings.
5. Worship :- Worship of the Guru. It should not be external and ceremonial only, but with all the mind and soul accepting Guru as embodiment of God.
6. Faith in the shabad of Guru. If you have faith in Gurbani, you will be rewarded. If you sit quietly with closed eyes, but you don’t have in Gurbani, it is of no avail. Have full faith in Gurbani.
7. Abide by teachings of Gurbani. Mould your life accordingly. Don’t go against the tenets of Gurbani.
8. Peaceful Mind :- Let anger not disturb your mind at all, even when provoked by somebody. Keep cool and have perseverance.
9. Nitnem :- Keep regularity in you daily prayers, meditation and recitation of Gurbani.
10. Brahm-hom means feeding the hungry Hom implies burning of ‘I’ and I-am-ness, effacing ego of every type. Inviting Saints and Gursikhs for partaking food is known as Brahm-hom.
These are two disciplines – Yam and Niyam and third is ‘Asan’.
Asan :- Find out quite place, where there is no noise, and where one can sit comfortably without any disturbance. Make a seat (asan) for meditation and use this ‘asan’ daily for prayers and meditation.
from Atam Marg magazine by Sant Isher Singh ji.