Patanjali Yoga Sutras: Niyamas

Niyamas (Observances):
  1. Shauca (शौच) (Purity/ Cleanliness):                                   Cleanliness in Action, Thought & Speech. Cleanliness of body is given importance as well. Cleanliness is born of discipline,  the outer discipline is born of inner discipline, which is born of control over the mind. Cleanliness brings discipline & order to mind, which is essential for a higher spiritual journey within.
  2. Santosha (संतोष) (contentment):                                           Satisfaction with the life as it is. Contentment brings basic calmness needed for one to sit quietly and ponder upon life, without contentment one is drawn into the world as if by hypnotization, if there is no contentment there is no possibility to allocate enough mind time necessary for the deep quest.
  3. Tapas (तपस) (Penance):                                                             Discipline, persistent effort, sitting with one pointed mind for longer periods, devoid of movement in the mind, strengthening the mental state within, which further makes mind sit firmly, so that meditation can grow deeply.
  4. Svaadhyaaya (स्वाध्याय) (self-study):                                              Both aspects of it. Studying the self & Study by the self. 

    Studying the self: involves looking within, analyzing what is happening within, what is the origin of a particular thought, how fear & desire control our thinking pattern, how discipline & habits shape our mind & re-enforcing practices which strengthen us and discarding the habits which weaken us.                                 Studying by self: studying the scriptures by the self, studying and restudying, understanding & implementing the techniques. Involves continued efforts in understanding the wisdom.

  5. Ishvarapranidhana (ईश्वर प्रणिधान) (Contemplation on Ishvara):                                                                                       Contemplating on the Ishvara, both aspects of it. A Yogi meditating deeply on AUM in meditation, growing deeper in meditation focusing on the sound of AUM a regular meditator hears. Contemplating on “Ishvara” with qualities, contemplating on his attributes, engaging oneself in devotional services & so on.