We are on this planet for a unique and big purpose. With that in mind, take a challenge: “Come what may, I am going to smile today and be happy.” For this, you need to follow the rules of YAMAS and NIYAMAS — the first two steps of Yoga (inner union).
YAMAS: Five rules to live peacefully: Ahimsa (Non-violence) — It unites you with the whole creation. Yoga, a practice of realising that everything is here and everything is part of you is ahimsa. When everything belongs to you, how can you harm something?
Satyam (Truthfulness): You can’t lie to yourself. If you are weaving beads, you don’t say, “I am not weaving beads.” Astheya: (Not regretting) — not missing what you don’t have at this moment, nor wishing things were different from what they are, not comparing yourself with others, and wishing for what they have.
Brahmacharya: Moving beyond small identifications like “I am a man, I am a good/bad person”. Brahma means big. Being not interested in shapes and forms of the body and seeing the infinite is brahmacharya.
Aparigraha: Not taking what people give you. What really bother us are the insults, the hurt, and all the negative words that we take from people.
NIYAMAS: Five rules for inner development: Shaucha(Cleanliness) — keeping yourself clean and wearing clean clothes. What is more important is being clean from inside. Santosha (Contentment): Be happy. If you don’t take a step towards being happy, nothing in this world can make you happy.
Tapas(Forebearance):The rule is that change whatever you can, but when you cannot change, accept it. Swadhyaya (Self-study): Observe your mind and see what is going on in your mind. If you are feeling bad, just observe and you will start feeling good again.
Ishwara Pranidhaana (Love of the Divine): Surrender to the Divine when you feel you are totally helpless. These rules make you strong, whole and complete. To be established in this, do some meditation, sadhana (spiritual practices), service and keep your smile!
(Excerpts from commentaries on Patanjali Yogasutras by the writer)