THE MEANING OF SATYA IN YOGA
Today we shall talk about the second of YAMA for all those who follow the yogic path.
What does Satya mean?
Satya, name in Sanskrit literally translates to “truth and honesty”.
It is also interpreted as ” absolute truth”, but Satya also refers to the virtue of being honest in thoughts, in actions and in words during everyday life and not only in the daily practice of yoga.
Satya is the second of five Yama, as described in the path of the eight steps of Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras.
“When the sadhaka (the practitioner) is well established in the practice of truth, his words become so powerful that anything said is realized.”(Yoga Sutras 2.36)
The word Satya is derived from the words Sat and ya: Sat means to be the reality, and it is the present participle of the root such as “be”, while Ya stands for yam and means “advance, sustain, support”, literally “that what is true, real,valid”.
Satya is widely discussed both in the Vedic literature and in the Sutras, also in various Upanishad, among which the “Brhadaranyaka Upanishad” where Satya is called the means for Brahman, so as Brahman itself translates into “being” and “the true self”.
THE MEANING OF SATYA IN YOGA AND IN DAILY LIFE
Satya has also to do with the word and how we use that which is a gift that is the word.
To apply Satya in daily life would in some way mean:
– Always tell the truth
– Reflect before speaking
– Speak with kindness
– Speak with love
The useless and empty words must be removed, the ones that want to fill the void of our hardships, the superficial word with no real sense and the hurried word, that is said in a hurry without thinking and especially the word that is not truthful.
Therefore truth but kindness at the same time and therefore it is not possible to talk, saying everything that passes through our head, it is good to talk telling the truth when it is necessary and always with kindness from the heart.
Patanjali himself puts non-violence above the truth, because he considered it more important and this in other words means that if the truth might lead to violence, than in this case we should avoid violence by sacrificing the truth.
Satya indicates the positive use of the word and of the mental actions.
We must tell the truth, but when it is hard we must be careful not to put it abruptly, we can find respectful formulae that can be of help to those who listen to us.
To impose ideas, thoughts, points of view, is arrogant and violent.
Sometimes it is better to be silent, because knowing how to keep silent is a great virtue.
HOW TO APPLY SATYA TO YOGA?
Having spoken about truth, kindness, we wonder how this applies to the physical practice of yoga.
Our interpretation is perhaps the most common: truth means listening to oneself, listening to oneself means awareness of our own mind, body, ourselves and this should encourage us to be honest with ourselves and with our body. Truth in practice means to be friendly, positive and above all honest with respect to who we are and what we do.