So What is Asteya or Yama Number 3 Anyway...
So What is Asteya or Yama Number Three Anyway?
Yama number three is non-stealing. It is one of the Yamas and ethical guides for living. In Sanskrit, steya means “stealing.” When steya is combined with the prefix A, it creates the third of the Yama's, which is Asteya or non-stealing. When we think of stealing we are likely to conjure up images of taking items or money, perhaps some sort of tangible object. In the world of all things Patanjali, the Eight Limbs and the Yamas, these words and actions go beyond the norm and the stereotype. This Yama places emphasis on the non-tangible and in this age of accessible information media, it is easy to take what is not yours.
One example I can offer is that, at this time, I am an Adjunct Professor of Photography. I am now serving in AED at Temple University and teaching Photography and Visual Literacy. In my lectures, I talk about the differences between stealing, the use of information (data or works of art), what's legal, and how we can use both written and creative works responsibly and to our benefit. One free, easy, and beneficial way I offer my students is to use the internet for pure inspiration. Inspiration is different than mere copying. The internet is full of life and teaming with projects we can use to get our own creative juices flowing. Simply taking text and rewriting a few of the words to make it yours is unacceptable and crosses the Asteya line. Inspiration and then gratitude is the way. You could offer a message of thanks to the person or persons who inspired your work, which could make the author feel like they have accomplished something special by inspiring others! It would likely make them happy to be part of your inspiration and perhaps this is where positive collaboration flows!
There are also many energy thieves out there. Likely, if you are a positive and energetic person you may have been accosted or subtly dragged into someones negative web. An easy solution for us folks is to stay alert to who comes into our energetic space and what they are asking of us. If you are a nurturer or have been raised from childhood and cultural conditioning to be one you may have to ask yourself many more questions when approaching new relationships of any kind. The Yama Yoga Store offers some materials for protection in cases where you feel like your energies are being zapped!
If you have been in the practice of Asetya you likely have been on a giving streak. A streak that makes you feel good and can take nothing from you. My family and I are volunteering to help with kittens and adult cats that need adopting. This is one way we can give back. It is a richness that cannot be stolen and rests in an opposite energy field to stealing. Volunteer your time and give to others if you can. Be inspired to create and give a note of thanks where you can. Wealth denotes health and ultimately is a state of being and less a state of owning possessions or a lot of money.
Here is a fundraiser for the Animals that need care and are up for adoption: Hart2Heart.Philly (Give if you can)
To your health!
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ
Written by Soorya Kirti Kaur