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Asteya: Surprising Ways You Could Be Stealing Without Knowing

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Asteya is the Sanskrit term for “non-stealing” and the third Yama of Patanjali’s 5 Yamas of the Yoga Sutras. Most people who practice yoga and follow a spiritual path are pretty sure they never steal. However, this yoga principle means so much more than not physically taking something from someone else. In this article, I want to share with you profound knowledge of what asteya really means and how we can be stealing without even knowing it. Also, I’ll give you some tips on how you can practice Asteya in your daily life.

What Is Asteya?

The word “asteya” is a compound derived from the Sanskrit language, where “a” refers to “non-” and “steya” refers to “practice of stealing” or “something that can be stolen”. Thus, asteya means “non-stealing”.

Asteya is an ethical principle that means not taking what is not ours and not striving to possess what is not ours, as well as honesty and decency.

Asteya is the third Yama of Patanjali’s Five Yamas.

best books for spiritual awakening Patanjali image

Patanjali’s Yamas include 5 ethical and moral principles:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.
  5. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.

All of them impose certain moral restrictions on the actions that we make in our desire to possess the goods that we believe we should have. Most of us, always desire more than what we already have. However, according to yogic philosophy, we always get exactly what we need and what we deserve. And if we think that we deserve or need more than what we already have it means that our ego is overactive and our mind is in disharmony with our spirit.

It is essential to understand that the availability of benefits, both material and non-material, depends on the amount of energy we have accumulated. When we are possessed by our desires, we lose our energy. And what is more important is that we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to self-actualize on the spiritual path, because any desire to gain material possessions leads to the waste of internal spiritual potential.

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As long as a person does not realize that the only source of true happiness is not outside but inside of him, in his spirit, he will not be able to give up external goods that bring him only the illusion of happiness, since it is material, and therefore temporary and transient.

The ego “steals” the spirit of a person, pushing him to such thoughts and actions that, according to egoistic needs, lead to wasting time and effort on something that the person does not really need. For all that he needs, he already has.

We all need to realize that ego can never be satisfied. It will be pushing you for desiring more and promising absolute happiness when you satisfy your desires. Your ego will demand more and more from you and eventually you will start feeling more and more unhappy because you are never satisfied no matter how many material possessions you receive.

It is essential to realize and accept the fact that nothing in the external material world really belongs to us. All the material things that we have are only temporarily our own. The only thing we really have is the spirit. We have come to this planetary incarnation to gain spiritual experience, and this is the only thing we should strive for in our life.

And therefore, we should always remind ourselves to be satisfied with the number of material goods that we have since their true purpose is to help our spiritual development. All the necessary goods that we need for the exact moment we already have. Even if you feel it’s too little, remind yourself that you need to experience this exact “little amount” for your spiritual development, that you need to learn to be satisfied with that “little” that God gives you.

To keep the soul in the body there is no need to get money and material goods dishonestly. We must resolutely get rid of the desire to possess unnecessary material things, realizing that these surpluses only burden the person.

The main focus on the Spiritual Path should not be to receive unnecessary benefits from external objects but to be able to have as much as necessary to advance along the Path.

The Four Types Of Stealing

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According to Shrii Shrii Anandamurti teaching, there are four types of stealing:

#1: Physical theft of any material object

Ordinarily, those persons who steal material objects are called thieves. But thieves are not only those persons who flee with stolen objects after committing armed robbery. Whatever is taken in possession by the use of brute physical force, of arms or of the strength of intellect, whether it is money or goods, amounts to theft, because behind such actions there is the intention of taking others’ property deceitfully. However, acceptance of anything like money, crops, gold, etc., in exchange for money in a proper way is not theft.

#2: Psychic theft

Here you did not take material possession of anything, but you planned it in your mind. This also called “theft”, because you have mentally stolen. Only the fear of law or of adverse criticism prevented you from doing the action physically.

#3: Depriving others of their due physically

Even if you do not take possession of what belongs to others, but you deprive others of what is their due, you become responsible for their loss. This is also stealing.

#4: Depriving others of their due mentally

If you do not actually deprive anybody of what is justifiably their due, but you plan in your mind to do so, that too amounts to theft.

Siddhi

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Siddhi is a Sanskrit noun which can be translated as “perfection”, “accomplishment”, “attainment”, or “success”.

The one who follows this virtue perfectly in his life gets everything he needs in the very near future. But these are not necessarily material things. It can also be health, knowledge, or, for example, favorable circumstances — everything that appears in an intangible form and, as a rule, what you really need at the moment.

To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter II, Sutra 37)

When we don’t follow the Asteya principle, we will have to pay back whether we like it or not. If we take or desire something that does not belong to us, sooner or later we will have to pay a karmic debt. It’s not necessarily going to be something material taken away from us, it can be a loss of health, a loss love, a loss of a job, a loss of happiness, a loss of loved ones, etc.

Suprising Ways You Could Be Stealing Without Knowing

Now let me share with you some surprising ways you could be stealing without knowing that go far beyond material possessions.

#1: Desiring something that belongs to somebody else

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Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says that “(Even) sitting and wishing ‘I wish I had those looks’; ‘I wish I had that voice’; ‘I wish I had that car’; ‘I wish I had that power’; ‘I wish I had that money’, you have stolen.”

These kinds of thoughts can be very destructive to you and to the person who owns whatever you desire to have. You are mentally vamping that person and “stealing” his energy. These thoughts lead to jealousy and anger.

Instead of wanting what other people have, switch your attention to what you already have. Focus on gratitude and notice every little gift God gives to you. If you start practicing gratitude instead of “wishing” and “wanting”, very soon you will notice that you have enough and moreover you will feel happy with whatever you have at the moment.

#2: Desiring abilities, talents, qualities, gifts, skills that other people have

It may seem like you get inspired by the way some people express themselves, their talents, creative abilities, etc. You may think: “I wish I was as charismatic as him”, or “as confident as her”, or “as professional and focused as him”, etc. It may seem like an admiration of somebody’s talent, however, it’s not what you think it is.

The feeling of lack of something sounds in your head like “I don’t have this, but I want it!”. First, you start following this person’s Instagram page for daily inspiration. Then you do more research on him/her, start watching his/her videos, reading his/her blog. And the more you do it, the worse you feel about yourself. Slowly and gradually your inspiration gets replaced with envy and jealousy for what they have and what you don’t.

Every time you think: “I wish I had her/his …”, you mentally steal.

Moreover, by thinking these thoughts you may also be causing self-harm by not allowing your own unique gifts to flourish. You see, you steal your own light when you cannot acknowledge and honor the unique gifts that you bring in the world.

Simply recognize all the virtues that you appreciate in others and realize that they are present in you in seed form. You only have to nurture them.

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Instead of wishing somebody else’s gifts start noticing your own talents and unique qualities! If we are grateful and appreciate your own unique gifts, the expression in the same instance could be something like, “I truly admire blessings that the Divine has showered upon you, and I feel so blessed and happy that I have a friend with such wonderful gifts. Shine on!” In this case, you are looking at others’ blessings as your own blessings too. Thus, you become capable of an enthusiastic and heartfelt expression of appreciation!

#3: Worrying about the future or brooding over the past

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When we worry about the future or brood over the past we steal energy from the present moment and the opportunity of dwelling in the pure bliss of our being, of living in this very moment.

Think about how many times during the day you’re thinking about planning for the future or worrying about something that may happen? How many times during the day indulge in the memories of your past? All these thoughts distract you from the joy of the present moment. Even when you’re making plans or sharing memories, make sure you are mindful and present in the now.

Asteya principle teaches us not to steal the pure joy of the now of our lives.

#4: Staying in your comfort zone

When you remain in your comfort zone, you steal away your own possibilities to enjoy the best things in life. You restrict your own potential, progress, and growth into the world of limitless opportunities. 

Moreover, when you don’t open up your potential, you restrict the world from enjoying the benefits your inner Light can bring! You have your own unique mission that brought you to this planet. This mission is somehow connected to the collective evolution of human beings. And by staying in your comfort zone, you are suppressing your Light, thus you’re stealing the part of your contribution into collective evolution.

#5: Stealing time

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People have a tendency to steal time not only from themselves, but also from others.

Asteya teaches us to watch how we use our time. We can invest our time in searching for truth, reconnecting with our Higher Self, and fulfilling our mission on Earth. Or we can use our time to pursue illusory things that feed our ego.

There is nothing stable in the outside world. We live inside a huge game of God – “Maya”. Inside this game, everything changes, nothing is permanent. It’s like sandcastles: you can build a castle on the sand but you can’t expect that it will be permanent. One wave can destroy it. And if you are too attached to the castle, its destruction can cause you suffering.

On the contrary, your spirit does not change, it is something that will never leave you. And the better connection you have with your spirit, the more secure you will feel in life.

Therefore, Asteya teaches us that time is precious. And if we spend it on chasing temporary things, instead of investing it into spiritual development, then we violate Asteya.

If we “steal” time from another person, especially from a spiritual practitioner, guru, teacher, master, or yogi, then we also strongly violate Asteya. You see, if you steal time from people who are already wasting it, it is not a big deal. But if you steal time from a person who is focused on spiritual practice, then there is a very strong penalty for this. Hence, there are a lot of legends (for example, the Mahabharata is literally full of such legends), when yogis meditate, and someone disturbs them from this state, then a powerful flow of energy burns the offenders.

A person who practices Asteya does not steal either their own or someone else’s time. Such a person tries not to attract the attention of other people and respects their time. When a person begins to sink into Asteya, he mostly speaks to the point. His words and questions are very constructive.

People who violate the principle of Asteya always try to draw attention to themselves. Such people may ask lots of questions, send you lots of text messages/emails, but they are not really interested in your answers. All they care about is to get your emotional attention. These situations need to be monitored! Value your time by not letting people steal it from you.

How to Practice Asteya?

As you can see, Asteya practice includes not just taking away something material from other people but also removing such qualities as greed, jealousy, envy, desire for someone else’s property, etc.

Here are helpful tips on how you can make Asteya a part of your daily life.

#1: Practice non-attachment

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Start with removing all attachments to existing material things and non-material objects, whether they are fame, success, titles, or any achievements in this world. One who is not attached to anything, is free from possessive claims and does not want anything for himself personally, and accordingly does not consider himself the owner of anything.

#2: Be satisfied with what you have

Every time you start thinking: “I wish I had this or that”, switch your focus to gratitude. Start counting your blessings instead of daydreaming. Bring your attention to the present moment and find at least 10 things you are grateful for.

#3: Value your time

Don’t let others steal your time. If you see that a person asks for help but never follows your advice, asks questions but doesn’t care about your answers if you feel energetically exhausted every time you talk to this person, you’re dealing with energy vampires who are stealing your time and energy. In situations like this, you need to remember about Asteya. Do not let other people steal your time!

#4: Pay your debts

According to Asteya principle, it is not good to take credits. We should strive to live according to our financial possibilities. However, for most of us, credits became a common thing and we can’t imagine life without them. If you already have debts and credits but you still want to practice Asteya, try to pay your debts in time. Do not delay!

#5: Don’t buy lottery tickets

A lottery is a disregard of Asteya. The initial intention is based on the desire of having more than you already have. Greed makes people buy lottery tickets. And the lottery itself is receiving something that isn’t yours.

The Bottom Line

Do not seek to enrich yourself or improve your financial situation at the expense of others. Do not desire more than you have. And most importantly, always remember that all the things that we have been given to us only for temporary use. Focus on your spirit and your soul. Remember that true happiness is always internal. If your happiness and satisfaction depend on external things, you will eventually lose it and it will lead to suffering.

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

Must-Have Crystals For Spiritual Work & Their Transcendental Properties

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For thousands of years, crystals have been used in spiritual practices, healing sessions, and shamanic rituals. The use of crystals dates all the way back 6,000 years ago to the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia. Since then, crystals have been used in different forms, rituals, and practices in countless ancient cultures such as in China, Rome, Greece, Egypt, and South America. In this article, I will share with you 8 must-have crystals for your spiritual work and their transcendental properties.

But first, let’s take a look at the science behind crystals.

The Science Behind Crystals

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” ~ Albert Einstein

It has been scientifically proven that matter is 99.999999999999% empty space. And what makes up this empty space is energy. Therefore, it won’t be a mistake to say that energy is everything, and everything is energy. You, everything around you – the furniture, the phone you’re holding, and the crystals are vibrating energy.

Each of us has our own unique vibrational frequency. People with higher vibrations radiate love and kindness, peace and compassion, whereas people with lower vibrations experience more low-vibe emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, or anxiety.

Whatever frequency we are at, as humans, our vibrations are very unstable and can be easily affected by our environment, other people, social media, the news, traffic, the weather, our own memories, etc.

Crystals, on the other hand, have a very stable energy frequency due to the fact that they were made up of a fixed, regularly repeating, perfect geometric pattern of molecules. Therefore, they are able to maintain their perfect stability of the Earth element. This is the opposite quality to our constantly changing, non-stable human nature.

While the healing properties of crystals have not yet been proven, we do know that crystals radiate a unique electrical charge known as piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity is an electrical charge that is emitted from crystals once they are pressed or cut.

Scientific research has been able to demonstrate that synthetic crystals can actually store data. This could explain why certain crystals have specific qualities.

8 Must-Have Crystals For Your Spiritual Work

Now, let me share with you the 8 must-have crystals that can help you in your spiritual practices and inner work. You can program these crystals with your intentions, meditate with them, use them for opening up vibrational doorways, supporting your spiritual rituals, and strengthening your prayers. If you are not involved in deep spiritual work yet, you can let these crystals serve you as mindfulness totems. Whatever way you choose to use your crystals, they will surely enrich your spiritual journey.

Here is my list of the must-have crystals:

#1: Spirit Quartz

Spirit Quartz Image

Spirit Quartz is a crystal of harmony and alignment. Its crystals are like high-frequency little beings who attract the spirit realm and put out positive energy into our environment. Its resonance is spiritually uplifting, radiating high-vibrational energy in all directions, and is a perfect ally in aligning the aura, chakras, meridians, and the physical body, as well as carrying the gifts of Spirit out into the world.

Spirit Quartz is a stone of non-duality. It perfectly blends and balances the energies of male and female, yin and yang, and enhances all metaphysical abilities.

Here are the properties of Spirit Quartz:
  • provides protection from harm while awake and during dreaming and astral projection;
  • activates the Crown chakra;
  • helps to channel your desires toward higher frequency goals;
  • facilitates the transition between different brainwave states, heightening awareness and psychic perception, and encourages insightful dreams;
  • helps remove fear;
  • assists in ascension process;
  • activates the Lightbody;
  • provides multi-directional spiritual and cellular healing;
  • helps in reframing the past, and to realign the etheric blueprint for the present life.

#2: Aura Quartz

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This crystal utilizes the ancient powers of alchemy and synergy. This crystal is an extremely powerful healing and energy amplifier. It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates the energies of the body. Enhanced by precious metals, Aura Quartz becomes a high-vibrational healing stone. It carries a high level of Life Force, cleansing and enhancing the organs, stimulating the immune and energy systems, and bringing the body into balance.

Aura Quartz is the crystal of spiritual elevation, remarkable for its powers of guidance and expansion of the soul.

Properties of Aqua Quartz include:
  • provides serenity and peace during meditation;
  • deepens one’s attunement to the Divine and opens gateways to the angelic realm;
  • assists in remembering lessons from past incarnations;
  • expands the awareness of one’s spiritual purpose for this lifetime;
  • protects during spiritual journeying;
  • assists in conscious channeling and all types of inter-dimensional communications.

#3: Azurite

Azurite Crystal Image

This dark-blue stone has been guiding souls to enlightenment since the earliest civilizations began. Its rich vibrancy resonates with the exact frequency of the Third Eye chakra. To the Atlantians and the early Egyptians, Azurite was a most potent psychic stone. It was called the Stone of Heaven by the ancient Chinese who believed it to open celestial gateways. For the Mayans, Azurite inspired the mystical self and facilitated the transfer of wisdom and knowledge via thought.

Azurite is definitely one of the must-have crystals that will assist you on your spiritual journey due to its transcendental properties.

Properties of Azurite:
  • clears away tension and confusion and opens the mind to new perspectives;
  • stimulates the intellect;
  • awakens the development of psychic and intuitive abilities;
  • brings inner vision into alignment with spiritual guidance;
  • assists in entering a meditative or channeling state;
  • enables out-of-body journeys to take place safely;
  • assists in exploring past or alternate lives;
  • clears the Throat Chakra;
  • inspires the search for truth in one’s personal reality by challenging the examination and letting go of old programmed belief systems;
  • expands one’s awareness to a deeper understanding of life.

#4: Moqui Marbles (Boji Stones)

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Moqui Marbles are also known as “Shaman Stones.” They come in three varieties: male, female, and androgynous. The word “Moqui” comes from the Hopi word that means “dear departed ones.” It is believed that spirits of the dead would play with these “marbles” at night and leave them in the morning to send messages to those that were living.

Properties of Moqui Stones:
  • stimulates psychic abilities;
  • promotes grounding and centering;
  • helps to connect with earth energies;
  • clears the energy field;
  • balances male and female energies;
  • helps to connect with animal spirit guides.

#5: Cacoxenite

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Known as the Stone of Ascension, this beautiful stone is believed to raise the spiritual awareness of the human race and to provide a loving and ethereal connection between all of the universe. It encourages a conscious awareness of the significance of random events to guide us on the right path, and in sensing the essence of the Creator in the beauty of nature and the kindness of people. Its vibration assists in surrendering personal will to Divine Will, making it easier to receive the guidance and assistance needed to move forward on one’s spiritual path.

Properties of Cacoxenite:
  • initiates a higher level of creativity;
  • clears the Third Eye and Crown Chakras of conventional thought and limitations;
  • brings new ideas and innovations to humanity;
  • enlightens spiritual awareness through meditation and dreamwork;
  • relays the message that everyone carries a Divine spark and may connect with the Creator, as well as one’s guides, guardian spirits, and other higher powers, at any time to receive healing and guidance;
  • unites collective consciousness in ceremony or ritual gatherings, for world meditations and planetary alignments, and in connecting with the Universal Life Force to draw in energy for Earth’s healing.

#6: Nuummite

Must-Have Crystals Nuummite Image

Did you know that Nuummite is one of the oldest stones on our planet? Mined only in Greenland, this powerful stone was formed from a volcanic eruption around 3.8 billion years ago! This is a rare and sought-after stone as it is very limited in quantity. Many esoteric collectors see Nuummite as a highly valuable stone.

Nuummite is often called the “Sorcerer’s Stone” or “Magician’s Stone”. It’s very powerful and one of the must-have crystals for many esotericists and spiritual seekers.

Properties of Nuummite:
  • strengthens one’s energy field;
  • enhances personal power;
  • aids shamanic journeying and soul retrieval;
  • helps to access unconscious layers of the mind;
  • promotes spiritual grounding.

#7: Moldavite

Moldavite Must-Have Crystal Image

This is one of the most powerful stones you will ever touch! Moldavite carries an intense frequency, a fusion of earthly and extraterrestrial energies. Holding this stone for the first time often produces a sensation of heat, felt first in the hand, then progressively throughout the body. In some cases, the Anahata chakra is activated, experienced as a pounding pulse, followed by sweating or flushing of the face, and an emotional release that may range from laughter to tears.

This mysterious green stone is star-born, formed from nature’s violent meteoric impact with Mother Earth. It was formed around 15 million years ago when a meteorite entered our universe and crashed near a Czechoslovakian river. Etched by force and flame as it fell from the heavens Moldavite returned to the earth’s surface transformed, a glass of amazing delicacy and grace ready to serve humankind. It is believed that Moldavite was sent to Earth for spiritual awakening, transformation, and spiritual evolution.

Properties of Moldavite:
  • facilitates a strong, clear, and direct connection between one’s consciousness and the Universal Source;
  • activates and strengthens Anahata chakra (Heart center);
  • helps to connect with Ascended Masters and cosmic messengers;
  • increases occurrences of synchronicity;
  • draws into the Earth plane those thought patterns and light vibrations that are most beneficial for ascension and illumination;
  • promotes rapid inner transformation;
  • creates an energy of spiritual protection;
  • raises one’s vibrations;
  • grounds Light for the healing of the Earth;
  • provides an understanding of the essential unity of all life and our responsibility to see our planet as a whole being in need of love and compassion;
  • connects one to higher consciousness.

#8: Lemurian Quartz

Lemurian Quartz Crystal Image

Lemurian Quartz is one of the must-have crystals to assist your spiritual development. Lemurian crystals originated much earlier than the existence of the Lemurian civilization, although it left its light prints on them. These crystals grew in conditions when the bowels of the Earth were still clean – when there was no oil and poisonous ores inside them. These crystals served as repositories of Memory. People could fill these crystals with the memories of the most beautiful events, just as we fill albums with photographs. It was believed that there was a seed of the Creator in each of these crystals.

Some people believe that these crystals can sing because music lives in their Chiaroscuro. Many people who have psychic abilities claim that when working with these crystals, they can hear a wonderful baritone, performing an Aria, which later gives way to the magical music of distant stars and planets.

Properties of Lemurian Quartz:
  • promotes lucid dreaming;
  • aids spiritual awakening;
  • helps to develop telepathic abilities;
  • amplifies prayers, wishes, and intentions;
  • helps to access higher states of consciousness;
  • promotes energy healing;
  • connects one to hidden knowledge within oneself;
  • promotes past lives regression;
  • removes energetic blockages from all chakras;
  • awakens one’s connection to wholeness;
  • helps to astral project easily and safely;
  • connects with the Higher Self, the angelic spheres, and spiritual guides;
  • restores the integrity of the aura;
  • helps to heal past traumas;
  • aids inner child healing.

The Bottom Line

There are many beautiful and powerful crystals and stones that you can use for your spiritual work. These eight are the must-have crystals that I believe can help to take one’s personal spiritual evolution to the next level. Use these stones for your spiritual practices, meditations, rituals, or as amulets that you wear. Don’t forget to regularly cleanse and charge your crystals to keep their energy strong.

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Spirituality

Ishvara Pranidhana: The Art Of Living For a Higher Purpose

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Are you one of those who sincerely turn to the path of knowledge of spiritual truths, the search for the meaning of life, the comprehension of the essence of being? Do you seek to understand the nature of your Soul and your true purpose? Then you are one of those spiritual wonderers who is able to see the world beyond the material limitations of the physical world and strive to live your life for a higher purpose. In this article, I want to introduce you to Ishvara Pranidhana which means attunement to the supreme consciousness. The practice of this Divine principle will help you to plant in your heart the highest degree of piety through which the mind comes to Samadhi.

Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras on the theory and practice of yoga. It describes the goals of yoga and the principles of techniques needed to achieve them.

The two first stages that the Sutras describe are the principles of Yama and Niyama.

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way.

There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.

Niyama is the step of forming self-discipline and uplifting spirituality.

Five Niyamas are:

  1. Saucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, and body.
  2. Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others, and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svadhyaya (स्वाध्याय): the study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.
  5. Ishvara Pranidhana (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

All these principles are interdependent. If you break one of the Yamas or Niyamas, you are bound to break the others. And if you improve in the practice of one principle, then the practice of other yamas and niyamas will also be improved.

For example, if you violate Satya by allowing yourself to lie, you will not be able to practice Ahimsa. Or, if you do not observe the principle of Saucha and pollute your body and mind, it will be difficult for you to practice Brahmacharya.

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana?

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana Image

Ishvara Pranidhana is the fifth niyama described Patanjali which means the contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), or attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Ishvara is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “supreme, God, the Absolute Brahman, True Self, or Unchanging Reality”. Pranidhana means “dedication, devotion, or surrender”.

In the Upanishads, the word Isvara means “a state of collective consciousness”. In this sense, there isn’t a Godlike figure we are supposed to worship or devote our actions to, rather ‘God’ represents a state of collective consciousness, and therefore represents all of us too.

Thus, the fifth niyama teaches us to surrender to God or Higher self, meaning, cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe and making each action an offering to something bigger than us.

A person who practices Ishvara Pranidhana, dedicates the merits of his actions to the Supreme, and coordinates every step he takes (all actions, thoughts, words) with the expediency for the benefit of spiritual development. He is not looking for personal gain, his actions are pure and sincere.

Thus, when we are talking about the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, we mean our complete surrender to God (our own higher self). If we can dedicate our lives to serving the God that dwells within everything and everyone, we will move beyond all feelings of separateness and free ourselves from the dualistic mindset. If we can say without reservation, “I give You myself: my body, my mind, and my heart, to serve the Highest Good of all,” then we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt, as well as from negative karma.

The Idea Of Surrendering

Dopamine happiness hormone image

In our modern society, the feelings of separateness and disconnection prevail. Ego and pride are people’s main motivators, and being strong and domineering over others are the main qualities of successful people. Most of us silently accepted that this is how life goes and there is nothing we can do about it. Our egos made us believe that we, human beings, are somehow in control of the universe. Therefore, the very idea of surrendering seems like something negative, as it implies a sort of weakness or defeat.

Our minds were programmed since ancient times that surrender means losing. This belief comes from military terminology where surrender means the opposition to the victory. And it makes sense since the very nature of any war or competition is built on duality. For us, human beings, it’s normal to see surrender as something bad because our minds are stuck in the duality and it’s hard to see something beyond these limited paradigms.

In spirituality, however, we don’t limit our beliefs with “right or wrong” labels. Instead, we are learning to see the hidden meanings of everything by overcoming the dualistic mindset. Thus, victory is attained as we willingly surrender our limited idea of who we are (i.e. our name, our jobs, our problems, etc.) and create the space needed to feel our true Self, our Divine Spark which is limitless.

Surrender requires self-discipline, trust, and faith. Ultimately it will take far more effort to cling to the smallness of the ego than it will surrender the Higher self.

Applying the Practice of Isvara Pranidhana to Life

#1: Examine your path

Isvara Pranidhana Definition Image

Start with introspection. Ask yourself what you are guided by in your life when you choose the path that you follow throughout your earthly incarnation. After all, intentions are the main criterion that reflects the sincerity of your actions, words, and thoughts.

Examine your path, the purpose you live for. Are your intentions dictated by ego, prestige, greed, or pride?

Think about your strongest motivation in life. Are you motivated by selfish motives? Or, is every action you do aim at improving this world, creating good, bringing light and love, joy and warmth to this world? Answer these questions honestly. What do you live for? A sincere answer to this question will clarify for you the meaning of your existence and direct you to the true path of life.

#2: Practice letting go and non-attachment

Letting go of the fruits of our actions and non-attachment are a focal point of the Bhagavad Gita

If we’ve put a lot of effort into something, we often get attached to a result of our actions. Questions like: “Will they like me?”, “What if I’m not good enough?”, “Will my project be successful?” are perfect examples of attachments to a result. All this worrying about things we have no control over is the main cause of our suffering.

Instead of worrying and focusing on the result, concentrate on the process and the idea of service – meaning, dedication of the process of doing to God. In this case, you’ll be fully engaged in the action without thinking about what might or might not happen.

The practice of surrendering requires us to acknowledge that we can do our very best in each situation, but we can’t really do any more than that. Realizing this simple truth essentially allows us to fully engage and be present in what we’re doing, bringing all our energy to the present moment and experiencing it fully just for what it is.

Such attitude to the process helps us to develop trust and faith that are essential for our spiritual development.

You can do the same action with or without God. However, when you’re doing it without God (guided by ego) you’re facing all kinds of challenges, obstacles, worries, and suffering. But when you’re acting with God (focusing on offering your action to the Divine), you know that any outcome is beneficial because this is what God wants. This approach gives you satisfaction with any result – because you have your trust and faith that whatever happens as a result of your actions is for the highest good for all.

#3: Stay open

Awakening during Brahma Muhurta hour image

In our daily life, Isvara Pranishana can be also seen as an opening up to what isThat is, instead of fighting against life’s twists and turns, you are remaining open to experiencing life as it unfolds.  

When we are remaining fixed and rigid in our conditioned patterns, habits, and limitations, we are doomed to a limited life. Whereas surrendering has an expansive nature that boosts your development. Surrendering is hugely challenging because it means transcending the ego, and the ego will do everything it can to stay in control over your mind.

Worries, conditioning, judgments, and perceptions are the “hooks” that the ego pulls us by. Without those “hooks” the ego would not exist. Therefore, it tries desperately to cling on when we work on quietening it.

Surrendering requires trust in the Universe and the courage to express ourselves for who we are, as we are. Each time we choose to surrender, we move closer to freedom. 

Conclusion

When we see ourselves as a part of one whole, we are no longer in the illusion of separation (duality). This leads to the emergence of healthy altruism towards all living beings and a sincere desire to share the divine light of our hearts, which becomes possible due to the disclosure of this light in our souls. When we observe the principle of Ishvara Pranidhana we become free from egoistic motivations in our behavior and in our activities.

  

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Spirituality

Divine Union: Achieving the Ultimate Freedom From Enmeshed Reality

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If I had to choose one neurosis that we all hold as a collective, it would be the understanding of ourselves as separate from source. Throughout history and until the current moment humanity is known for enduring strife and challenges that have led to profound cognitive distortions. The idea that we are separate from the ever-unfolding creative energy that exists in all the universe has become an embodied reality.

How Did This Neurosis Unfold?

Whether it is due to an orchestrated amnesia or the seeds of ignorance, we have all been vulnerable to a false power that is the influence of the mind; the very thing that breeds separation, illusion, and fear.

Throughout history – religious, scientific, industrial, and social movements have all moved beyond the natural and organic. This has been coined as evolution, however, without the heart leading the way it has undoubtedly altered our ability to perceive ourselves as part of the whole.

What we understand instead is a system that keeps our minds in shackles and tension under the illusion of security and control. The neurosis that something is unquestionably wrong with us, society, our world as we know it plagues us in a way that we seldom recognize. The need to fix, improve, calculate, and just push towards a better something has kept us in perpetual unease. Our need to avoid discomfort and suffering has irrevocably separated us from the grace of divine order.

“The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.”

We do not feel safe, held, or supported, and as the Samsara wheel churns, many fall further and further away from the tree of life. Instead of experiencing the self as part of a vast and organic whole, the tendency is to reside in a deep unconscious state where the appeal for a false sense of control has become prominent. The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.

There is fixed enmeshment with this man-made reality that profoundly disconnects all from the truth and from the vibration that is unconditional love, which indeed emanates from in every sparkle of an eye, every speck of sand, every Tsunami and every other materialized construct within the infinite universes that exist.

What Happened to Faith?

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Faith is a word that has lost its true context – it is now loosely understood as believing in or trusting that an outside force may or may not meet one’s intended desire. This notion of faith is a diluted interpretation of the vitality in which the word truly resides.

Faith, as it has revealed itself to me, is the actual embodiment of union and it is not limited to the concepts of the mind nor is it something to be manipulated by demand. Faith speaks of an enlightened expression of the union with the source of all that is.

“There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature.”

The term, enlightenment in this prose refers to a conscious awareness of the small self as well as the Self that is attuned to the love that is the whole. The paradox itself is hard to grasp- it defies all things defined in the polarity in which we believe ourselves to exist, and it challenges the fixed status quo. However, this conundrum is the very place where we can find peace from the endless chatter that speaks of unrest in the mind, in the body, and most importantly in the self.

There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature. We were born beyond the endless constraints of logic and calculated manipulation and still we walk in those very shackles forgetting ourselves as boundless and infinite creative expression- this of course superseding even death.

We stopped trusting our intuitive nature and instead allowed our minds to become masters. Still, the field beyond right and wrong as our beloved lover and poet, Rumi would say; truly does exist.

Divine Union Is Not In the External

Divine Union Experience Image

Divine union is not a choice but an absolute truth that can only be experienced through the liberation of the small self. It is not about attracting the ideal quantum partner nor is it in the glory of a manifested desire. It means transcending the alleged separation and surrendering to the simplicity of being.

Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist. There is a masterpiece that we are all part of and yet because of universal free will, we continue to lose sight of it.

Divine union is within every breath we take, we need only provide the space for it to bloom the way a flower unfolds in the Spring; petal by petal, not worried about the contours of its shape. She simply becomes its full radiance with focused intention allotted to her by her very existence, and the most subtle of expressions that derive from her simply being. Its vibrancy trusts; it does not fear decay, nor does it try to manipulate the direction or the speed at which it will flourish. Without knowing she embraces the pure fluid state that by default is all of existence; mankind included.

“Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist.”

Re-union Is Definite

gates of heaven image

The labyrinth that our egos journey through paves the way for remembrance. All paths lead home as the slogan goes. There is no bypassing the organic process from our forgetting to the collective unraveling of our true essence. The enigma brings forth a rise in consciousness where we can feel into that which lies beyond the veils of our manifested reality. With the shift of the ages, we now have additional support through the more expansive access to higher dimensional frequencies that supersede the matrix consciousness.

There is a light pouring in from the cosmos that is summoning us from our sleep state. It is bringing great awareness to the depths of the collective complex of perceived abandonment. The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within. In the stillness of the mind and emptiness of the small self, the subtle whispers of conscious awareness ripple through and beloved to ourselves we become.

“The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within.”

The Bottom Line

I like to remind my clients of how fortunate they are to have incarnated at this time. Although they may perceive me with questioning eyes at such a statement while they are still deeply enmeshed with their severance; there is something that stirs in them. It is then that the invitation to remembrance becomes alive.

If they choose to answer they are ignited to explore the alchemy that is life from a higher perspective; one that doesn’t undermine the organic process that is life but instead highlights the beauty in the complexity of its nature and the absolute safety of its colorful landscape.

The heart is the gateway – we need only seek in that direction and recall that it is not a pragmatic excursion. Remembrance transcends the confines of the logical mind and calls forth the frequency that has and will always permeate above all – love.

About Ishtar

Ishtar is a psychotherapist (LCSW) who earned her masters’ degree from New York University in 2006. She is also a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor; licensed in 2013 at Goldenbridge, New York City. Prior to this training, in 2008 she experienced what she coins as divine remembrance and has spent the last 13 years in service to others as a wayshower in the ascension process. As a Christed pillar of light embodying the solar crystalline frequencies; she carries the codes of gnosis and sacred transformation. Ishtar is a Rose priestess of cosmic lineage and holds a multidimensional awareness that guides clients from all walks of life into divine union. Currently, she resides with her daughter Ixchel Inanna in the city New York and remains committed to activating divine remembrance through a myriad of sacred tools.  ​

About Luminous Magik

Luminous Magik practice focuses on traditional integrative psychotherapy infused with an array of healing modalities intuitively tailored to your specific needs. The sessions can include Kundalini yoga and Meditation, Energetic Alignments, Light Language, Shadow Work, Ancestral Clearing, Womb Activations & Cosmic Coding. For more information, visit Ishtar’s website luminousmagik.com.

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