Focus of the Week 30: Asteya

ASTEYA अस्तेय
“When you realize that everything that you need lies within you and that the source of all intelligence, power, strength, love, happiness, and peace lies within you, when there is nothing outside to look for, asteya naturally starts to manifest. This sense of self-reliance, inner richness, and resourcefulness is the practice of asteya.” – Yogi Amrit Desai
Asteya is the third Yama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and literally means “not stealing” and symbolically appropriating something out of desire or longing. But at the deepest level, Asteya means abandoning the very intent or desire to possess or steal anything whether it is material, a talent, a relationship, a gift, achievement, success, time, or natural resources that primarily does not belong to you, through force or deceit or exploitation, by deeds or words or thoughts.

The root cause of Asteya:
“I’m not good enough….”Lack, insecurity, wanting, feeling ‘incomplete’. The moment we feel a sense of ‘lack’ in life – desire, want and greed arises. A sense of powerlessness, and comparing ourselves to others. We begin to look for something to fill that ‘empty’ sensation, and often feel as though everyone else has what we want.

Yoga helps us by using the breath to control the mind and the mind to control the senses and so we see the very essence, the own wholeness. Practising knowing that we have enough and that we are enough is the key to wanting and desiring less and therefore feeling much more complete and happy within ourselves. This abundance means having a large amount of something – so much that there is no need for anything else.

“When we feel connected to the vastness of life and are sure of the abundance of life, we are naturally generous and able to practise the third yama – Asteya.” – Donna Farhi

Leave a Reply