Asteya: Living an Abundant Live

Feb 04, 2023

Asteya, which means non-stealing, is a core principle of the ancient Indian philosophy of yoga. It is one of the five Yamas, or restraints, that make up part of the eight limbs of yoga as described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The other four Yamas are Ahimsa (non-harming), Brahmacharya (sexual continence), Satya (truthfulness) and Aparigraha (non-grasping). Asteya can be thought of as an ethical guideline to help us live with integrity and to do the right thing.

On a basic level, asteya calls us to not take something that isn’t ours - whether it’s an object or someone else’s energy. On a deeper level, asteya asks us to question our own motivations and intentions when it comes to working with others or taking advantage of resources. In short, asteya serves to remind us that what we take should not cause harm or suffering - either directly or indirectly - and everything should be taken in balance with giving back.

At its most essential level, asteya is about being honest with ourselves and understanding where we are taking more than we need without replacing it. This includes any kind of stealing; from physical objects to time, money, energy or ideas. Exploring this concept further can help us become aware of patterns that lead us towards taking more than what is needed and learn how to avoid them in the future.

We can start living asteya by doing a self-assessment of our current values system: Are our decisions based on selfishness? Are we looking out for the well-being of everyone involved? Do our actions lead to a fair balance between what we gain for ourselves and what we give away? Being mindful about such questions can bring clarity into how our actions affect ourselves and others around us.

Many people practice asteya in their daily lives through small acts such as avoiding littering or returning borrowed items on time; while some may take it further by being mindful about not taking too much food at buffets or reducing their consumption habits overall. Whatever form asteya takes for each person, it is ultimately about learning how to live ethically without causing harm in any way through unjustified taking.

Living with abundance can be a powerful thing and it can do more than just provide financial security. It can also be a great deterrent to stealing from others. When you have enough of what you need, there is no reason to take what isn’t yours. This doesn’t just apply to physical items, but also intangible items such as time, energy, and attention. If you feel like you already have plenty of resources available to you, then you won’t feel the need to take them away from other people. Abundance allows us to live in a state of comfort and satisfaction where we don’t need or want anything else in order to feel complete.

The alternative is living in scarcity - or a mindset of lack and insufficiency - which leads us down the path of wanting more than we need and taking whatever we can get our hands on without regard for the consequences. This type of behavior often leads to criminal activities such as stealing from others because there is that feeling that “if I don’t take it, someone else will.” When living abundantly however, we are able to be satisfied with what we have and appreciate it for all its worth without looking elsewhere for more than what could provide us temporary relief or satisfaction.

Having an abundant life also gives us a sense of purpose as well as gratitude for all that has been bestowed upon us. We understand that even though everyone has unique resources available to them, they should be shared with others instead of hoarded away out of fear that something bad may happen if those resources are taken away from us. Having an abundance mentality helps create positive relationships within our communities since it eliminates the competition between members vying for limited resources available in their environment. Instead, everyone works together collaboratively towards bettering themselves and their situations collectively which builds up trust and good will among them over time.

Living with asteya isn't easy but doing so brings immense benefits for both ourselves and our environment if practiced mindfully. It helps eliminate feelings of guilt associated with taking something that wasn't rightfully ours; while giving us a sense of contentment that comes from understanding how much we truly need in order to be happy and fulfilled. Most importantly, practicing asteya sets an example for others who may also wish to explore similar possibilities within themselves thus creating positive ripples throughout society at large!

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