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yama


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The first of the ‘outer limbs’ (bahir-aṅga) of the aṣṭāṅga-yoga (‘eight-limbed yoga’) outlined in Patañjali's Yoga Sūtra (2.28-55; 3.1-8). Yama has five aspects: non-violence (ahiṃsā), truthfulness (satya), not stealing, or not taking what is not given (asteya), sexual restraint (brahmacarya), and non-possession/non-possessiveness (aparigraha). The list appears to be part of a general ethical currency common to many ascetic and renouncer groups, sometimes referred to as sādhāraṇa dharma: the headings, if not their interpretation, are identical to the vows taken by the Jains, and very similar to those taken by the early Buddhists. Other, sometimes longer, lists of similar restraints are also found in a variety of Hindu sources, including Manusmṛti (10.63).

Subjects: Hinduism.


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