Hansaji Talking on ‘Asteya’ (non-stealing)

The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 29th June, 2014 was ‘Asteya.’ (Non-Stealing).

Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.

Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra
Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra

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“Asteya comes in Yamas. Yamas are those things which are natural instincts. If a person is not aware, he will naturally do anything for his own benefit. This is what the sage Patanjali has said we must grow above. A thief will steal. He will make sure no one is looking, but he will steal. He will use all his intelligence to steal without being caught.

Intelligent people can do anything. If intelligence is used for good things, a lot of good can happen around. But it can also be used for wrong things like stealing. Yamas talk about non-violence, not lying and also of non-stealing (Asteya). We feel that we don’t steal. But we do so in many ways. One way is stealing physical things. Taking something that you found somewhere, but it doesn’t belong to you. Logically we reason that it would have gone in the garbage but instead we are using it. But we must understand that whatever I have not earned with my own hard work, is not mine.

Philosophy said, what is ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’? What is yours in this world? Even our body is not ours as it doesn’t work according to our wish. Many times inspite of hard work, some people just don’t earn money. So here we need to understand that there are other forces at work. We cannot take the credit for anything we gain. Philosophy says, that everything is in the hands of God.

So first we must decide to be happy in whatever situation we are and don’t develop any desire. Be content and take joy in whatever little we have and whatever situation we are in. Otherwise we will always want more, let it be food, clothes or any other comfort. People bring so many things but don’t even use it. We bring useless things just because we get them for free. We even end up overeating in weddings just because food is for free. This is also a form of stealing.

If we don’t have the need, don’t take things. If you have brought something home, remove something too. If you get a gift, give someone something else you have and don’t use. Giving should be a continuous practice. When we start giving, we will automatically get what we need. When an empty space is created, Nature fills that space. So use what you have, learn to live happily and content.

This also applies to knowledge. If you have learnt and studied something from many places and have formed strong opinions, your pot of knowledge is full. A Guru can’t put anything in. First you have to empty the pot. Only then can something else come in. Emptying is more important than filling. The desire to want more should be replaced by the desire to remove more.

When there is a desire to have more, we should consider people who are in worst situations than us. So be happy in the current situation. Mahatma Gandhi used to insist on using a pencil even after it was reduced to a very small size. His principle was that as long as it could write and be of use, he would use it.

So we all must admit that even unknowingly, we all tend to expect something and steal things, like credit for some work. If someone praises the vegetable you have cooked, you will admit that many other factors were involved in making the vegetable tasty.

A strong shloka in the Bhagwad Gita says that if anyone has more things than they need, they are considered as thieves. So let us try to give more rather than wanting more.”

– Smt. Hansaji J. YogendraSatsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.

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