Wisdom in Action

According to Ayurveda, it is not only important to be moderate in your actions, but also to be wise in your actions. In this we do not bring harm to ourselves or to others through anything we think or do. These are known as the lessons of yama or ethics and niyamas or self-restraint. This include:

  • Do not hurt anyone through thought or action. This is the principle of nonviolence.
  • Always be truthful to yourself and others-that is, tell the "sweet" truth: do not attack with truth.
  • Do not steal, this also includes acts of envy. To want what someone else has, even another's charm or grace, is a form of stealing.
  • Do not judge others since you are not in their shoes. We make choices based on our experiences, and not having had the totality of anyone else's experiences, we are not in a position to judge anyone's decisions but our own.
  • Be balance in all activity, including the actions of the five senses. In other words , do not overindulge any sensual appetite. Attune yourself to the body's natural intelligence, and you can easily recognize the signs of imbalance that signal excess.

The lessons of Niyama include the cultivation of purity of mind and body which is the cultivation of balance and health, of contentment and of surrender and devotion to the divine. In short the implicit of this message is to "love thyself". If we do not know how to do this for ourselves, we cannot know hoe to extend love to another. If we are always attacking ourselves with negative thoughts, we are not likely to hesitate to attack someone else. In this sense, all love truly begins and ends with the self. What we do to the Self, by virtue of the fundamental law of action.