The Fifth Yama: Aparigraha or non-grasping

A few days away from the New Year, this is a time for renewal. Each year we decide to change something, to let go of a bad habit, to take up a better approach to life. The yamas, or the first step in the eight-limbed path, offer five concepts, five restraints that are fundamental to a happier life, according to Patanjali’s Sutras.

Aparigraha, last but not least, refers to non-hoarding, non-coveting or non-grasping. It is as much about letting go of people and things we should have stopped holding onto a long time ago, as it is about not taking what isn’t yours to have. This can also be defined as greed, wanting everything at the same time. Here, we can think about taking advantage of an opportunity that is not ours to take. In these situations, in the spirit of being true to yourself and of non-harming, becoming aware and taking a few steps back is sometimes necessary.

As we have seen before “what we practice grows stronger”. So let’s seek to give and to be generous. In everyday life, let’s learn to let go and desire not what belongs to others, whether material or not. But when we do get this desire to have, to get, and to hold onto, instead let’s take this opportunity to bring our gaze inward. Breathe. Stop for a moment and find out where these emotions that are driving these desires come from.  Then, with increased awareness, see if you can slowly move away from them, little by little.

I wish you all much love, happiness and health in this New Year. May you find abundance in giving. May you have strength and perseverance to be who you want to be, to recognize and face your fears, and to embrace and enjoy every little moment life is offering to you. I have enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts with you this year. I am grateful that you have chosen to read my posts and I hope they have brought an interesting inner-dialogue for you as it have for me. Om Shanti and Namaste dear friends.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Path to Peace of Mind « Happiness for all

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