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Yoga Philosophy and the Yoga Sutras. Aparigraha


The Yamas: part 5. Aparigraha: Freedom from greed and desire, learning to let go, non-attachment, stop hoarding

 

What does it mean?

In yoga we talk about having the ego-self & our True-Self.  Our ego- self is always hungry, always feeling as if something is missing, whereas, yoga teaches us that the True-Self needs nothing; it is content just resting in its True Nature.

 

Aparigraha teaches us about materialism. The more we hoard and want, the more we weigh ourselves down with not only physical, but also energetic baggage, and the more we become attached, the more we worry and suffer over losing these added possessions. Therefore, relying less on external and material possessions brings us happiness and by lightening the load we lighten our minds.

 

When we are striving for more, this essentially comes down to the fact that we don't feel worthy or good enough, and have to fill a void, finding something materialistic to bring happiness.  Yoga teaches us that in actual fact we are always good enough, no matter what. 

 

This yama also teaches us not to have attachments to an outcome or situation. Letting go of the feeling that your happiness is determined by what other people think, or how other people are going to react or feel- good or bad. You offer your sevices selflessly, doing things just for the love of doing it regardless of the outcome. (which you have no control over anyway). In this way, you release the suffering and create greater freedom. 

 


“Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of action.

 Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction.” 

                                                                                                                Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita.

 

What Krishna is saying is that we should never concern ourselves with the outcome of a situation; we should only concern ourselves with what we are actually doing right now as we work towards that outcome.  It is important to let go of the feeling of your happiness being determined by what other people think and do it just for the love of it.

 

Aparigraha therefore offers us freedom.  The freedom to work and do what we love without worrying about the outcome, the freedom to rely less on external and material possessions to bring us happiness and the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be.


Putting it into practice

 

Clean out the clutter

 

Consider how much you eat and how much you throw away.

 

Forgive others. Forgiveness is a spiritual practice that creates freedom. It frees and liberates the mind allowing us to live our best lives. It helps to release the burdens and resentment that we hold onto that stops the flow of energy.

 

Find ways to practice gratitude and generosity. When we do these practices we vibrate and move from a place of abundance.

 

Practice Karma Yoga.  Selfless service.  Non attachment to outcome.

 

Take only what you need, keep only what serves you in the moment and let go when the time is right.

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