Niyama

Niyama (skt. नियम: niyama, "restraint", "observance", "rule", "restriction", (in abl.) "certainly", "necessarily"[1]) generally denotes a duty or obligation adopted by a spiritual aspirant (or community of same), or prescribed by a guru or by scripture (notably, the niyamas of raja yoga). The semantic range above reflects the breadth of the term's application in practice, and in the Buddhist sense extends to the determinations of nature, as in the Buddhist niyama dhammas.

Contents

In Hinduism

In numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a set of prescribed actions are codified as niyamas, observances, requirements, obligations. In the above texts, these are ten in number, except in Patanjali's work, which lists only five.

The ten traditional Niyamas are:

  1. Hri: remorse, being modest and showing shame for misdeeds;
  2. Santosha: contentment; being satisfied with the resources at hand - therefore not desiring more;
  3. Dana: giving, without thought of reward;
  4. Astikya: faith, believing firmly in the teacher, the teachings and the path to enlightenment;
  5. Ishvarapujana: worship of the Lord, the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation, the return to the source;
  6. Siddhanta shravana: scriptural listening, studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one's lineage;
  7. Mati: cognition, developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru's guidance;
  8. Vrata: sacred vows, fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully;
  9. Japa: recitation, chanting mantras daily;
  10. Tapas: the endurance of the opposites; hunger and thirst, heat and cold, standing and sitting etc.

In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Niyamas are the second limb of the eight limbs of Raja Yoga.
They are found in the Sadhana Pada Verse 32 as:

  1. Shaucha: cleanliness of body and mind. in the traditional codification, this item is listed under Yamas; this word means purity.
  2. Santosha: satisfaction; satisfied with what one has; contentment.
  3. Tapas: austerity.
  4. Svādhyāya: study of the Vedic scriptures to know more about God and the soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within.
  5. Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to (or worship of) God.

In Buddhism

In early Buddhist texts, the niyama dhammas denote those principles of causality which govern the universe, which are reckoned in five categories:[2][3]

  • Kamma Niyama— ("action") consequences of one's actions
  • Utu Niyama— ("time, season") seasonal changes and climate, law of non-living matter
  • Bīja Niyama— ("seed") laws of heredity
  • Citta Niyama— ("mind") will of mind
  • Dhamma Niyama— ("law") nature's tendency to perfect

References

  1. ^ MacDonell, Arthur Anthony. "A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary". http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/romadict.pl?query=%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AE&searchhws=yes&display=simple&table=macdonell. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  2. ^ Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids, Buddhism. Reprint by Read Books, 2007, Books.Google.com
  3. ^ Padmasiri De Silva, Environmental philosophy and ethics in Buddhism. Macmillan, 1998, page 41. Books.Google.com

External links


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