The Niyamas are the second limb of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga. Niyamas are five ethical guidelines regarding moral behavior towards oneself. The niyamas refer to a more internal view of ourselves; to behaviors and observances. The niyamas have five areas of focus:Shaucha: cleanliness
Tapas: penance and associated observances
Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to (or worship) Ishvara
This means the purity. Like ahimsa, this purity is also physical, oral and mental. Physical purity is again divided into two parts, outer and inner. Yoga has considered all types of purity and given directions as to how to achieve it. However, Patanjal Yoga does not give detailed description of this. But it is stated in detail in Hatha yoga.While considering outer purity, Hathayoga describes many processes right from brushing the teeth. The specific powder (churna) that should be used for cleaning the teeth is also mentioned under Shuddhikriya in Hatha yoga. There are nine types of shuddhikriyas for the internal purity. According to ayurveda an imbalance of three(kafha,pitta and vata) doshas will result in illness.this purification kriyas are used to balance the three doshas in the body;kafha(mucus),pitta(bile) and vata(wind). We will study in detail all these shuddhikriyas. Hence, they are not discussed further over here. Just the statement that internal purity has been considered in the minutest detail by yoga is enough.
| Yogic purification/Cleansing methods of body-
1. Mukhashudhi (mouth purification)........more
2. Karnashudhi (ear purification).............more
3. Nasikashudhi (nose purification)..........more
5. Saptapathashudhi (throat purification).......more
6. Vaman / Jal dhauti..................................more
For oral purity, yoga has given the message that one should not talk too much. Unnecessary use of the tongue is to be avoided. Yoga has accepted the inseparable relation of the body and the mind. Hence, each and every yogic process affects the body as well as the mind.
Santosh means contentment. To be Contentment with what you have gives a feeling of satisfaction/job satisfaction. When we observe the never-ending efforts of all creatures in their day-to-day lives, and think of the purpose behind it, we realize that all these efforts are to gain mental contentment and peace. We try to derive the contentment from outside matters.
However, none is aware of the fact that the contentment does not depend upon these outside matters. It is a state of mind. It is not a reaction of the mind on any incident. Hence, it can be controlled irrespective of the incidents. Yoga with the use of this word intends the hidden meaning that one should learn to be happy in what one gets. This attitude will reduce pain and suffering in life. However, there should be mental preparation for this. When this tendency to feel contented is adopted by the mind, the perpetual happiness is not far behind. In fact the root of happiness lies in this tendency of the mind. And the root cause of suffering is in Trishna (thirst). Sage patangali believed that hope is such a chain that when tied with it, the creature starts running and when released from it, the creature stands peacefully. Always start any work with positive attitude ,and feel santosh/contentment when it ends, Never regret.
Tapa means to bear some trouble with a good intention. Even if there is some physical or mental trouble, one should not discontinue his actions, but should continue them. This is known as Tapa. While studying Yoga or practising some yogic process, there may be some physical trouble. One should bear it happily and should pursue his studies. This is tapa.
The seventeenth chapter of Bhagwad Gita has described Tapa. There are three types of tapa: Satwik, Rajas and Tamas. Tapa done with faith and without hoping for the fruits is Satwik. That which is done for the expectation of status, felicitation etc is known as rajas tapa. And tapa arising out of folly, with some trouble to the body and with the intention of creating trouble for the others is tamas tapa. Patanjali has stated the results of the tapa in the following aphorism:
Swadhyaya (Self Study)
Ishwar gita while describing swadhyaya has stated that japa is swadhyaya. It includes both shrawan and manan (listening and contemplation). Japa is of two types, oral and mental. Again oral japa is of two types, audible - with loud chanting which can be heard by the others and inaudible - whispers which cannot be heard by others. Mental japa is also of two types - without dhyana and with dhyana. In all these japas, japa without dhyana is considered as the best.In daily life of commoners, swadhyaya can be said to mean revision of what is taught.
Ishwarpranidhan (Worship with complete faith)
It means while believing in the existence of God and having faith in his greatness, completely devoting oneself to Him without any expectations in return.There is some divine strength at the root of this universe, which is beyond our imagination. To identify the divine strength and to surrender one completely to it is ishwarpranidhan. At times, even after our persistent efforts, we are unable to succeed. At such a time, if we have compassion of the God, the problem gets solved.