It is a very good story, kindly read it. It is given in one of my books ‘The Good Teacher and The Good Pupil’ There are five things which every teacher asks in India. No yoga book can be read without this practice. So you should practice these five things patiently, persistently. This is your utsaha. This is your effort. What are these five things? Truth, – Satya, Non–violence, – Ahimsa, Self–control, – Brahmacharya, Self–limitation to minimum, – Aparigraha, Non stealing, – Asteya.
Every Indian student of yoga knows these five words. Every student of yoga is asked to practice this for years and years and years. This is not a small thing that you can practice for a short time; it takes a lot of time. You must have seen some of the statements of the Mother regarding Auroville. Even while writing a letter, Mother had said at the end you write: Truth. Every person in Auroville is asked before signing his name to write Truth. That is because Mother gives the condition of yoga in Auroville. Auroville is a place of yoga whether you like it or not. It is a conscious yoga. The very fact that you are born in Auroville means that you have decided that you want to practice yoga. Therefore Truth is the fundamental and the first principle.
Ahimsa is a word which is equivalent to unfailing good will. You must have seen that Mother herself had said that all people of goodwill are invited to come to Auroville. This is the second principle of Indian yoga that Mother had put down for Auroville. To practice goodwill is a very difficult practice, unfailing goodwill. Our human nature is so narrow; it gets affected so much by narrow circumstances, there is too much combativeness in our nature, we have to turn it into a great fight for goodwill. Under every circumstances we should have goodwill, unfailing goodwill. As a result you don’t injure anybody. A lot of compassion, kindness, In speech you should not injure anybody. In action you should not injure anybody.
Then comes, brahmacharya. All of us have a tremendous power of impulses. Yoga implies that you should be able to see your impulses, control your impulses, master your impulses, eliminate your impulses so that only the Divine Will remains. What remains behind the impulses is the divine’s Will. All impulses are distortions of the divine Will. So when you can control and master you impulses, and you can eliminate them, what remains which can never be eliminated because it is always there eternally is the divine Will. That is the meaning of brahmacharya, – control of the impulses, mastery over the impulses and elimination of impulses, – three things. That is brahmacharya.
Then the fourth thing is to limit yourself to the minimum. Your needs should be the minimum. Your wants should be minimum, – Aparigraha. Parigraha means collecting. You go on collecting. Why do we collect too many things? Because we want more and more and more, therefore we go on collecting. But you keep your needs to the minimum, you should be like a traveler, not too much of baggage, because if you have too much of baggage you cannot travel easily. Remember all of us are travelers here. Travelers build a home of a very different kind. When we speak of a divine life on the earth that is the home that we want to build, a home of divine life. In the mean time we are making a long, long journey, so don’t carry too much of baggage, keep it to the minimum. You should be able to give up everything, in a moment if necessary. If you are asked to live in a small cottage you should be able to do it. If you are asked to live in a big palace you should be able to do it. Because in either case you don’t need anything except the minimum. It is very easily to live in a palace if your needs are very minimal. You can enjoy the palace very well. But if you don’t know how to keep your needs to the minimum even if a palace is given it will be incomplete. Not enough. You will find that there is not enough here and not enough there. Some deficiencies you will go on finding. You won’t enjoy the palace, the freedom of huge place. So keep your needs minimal. Aparigraha. You don’t need to collect; you don’t want to carry big baggage anywhere.
Last thing is non–stealing. We are constantly in need of what others possess. That is our normal human nature and this is the weakness of human being. We covet what others have; we want that which others are enjoying. If I have two cars why should I not have three? Not that you need the three cars but you simply want to possess. Therefore that tendency has to be controlled. Usually people steal in order to possess. They are many kinds of stealing. If you examine your nature you will find in how many ways you are constantly stealing from outside; for parigraha, so that you collect. Even if you don’t need you collect. That is why in the Upanishads there is a very nice sentence: “Ma gridhah kasya svid dhanam” It is a Sanskrit sentence which I would like you to remember because it is connected with the last statement. Ma means do not, gridhah means desire, kasya svid whosoever’s, dhanam means wealth. Do not desire whosoever’s wealth — including yours. Even your own wealth do not desire.
It is said that if you practice these five things all problems of yoga will come up in your life, you will need to know how to resolve those problems and you will have siddhi, you will realise the aim of Yoga. This is now proposed for all of us. We shall practice these five things throughout our study of The Synthesis of Yoga.
This is the first part of my introduction to the first paragraph of this Chapter.