The Ten Niyamas - Observances or Practices in Hinduism

01
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1st Observance - 'Hri' or Remorse & Modesty

The boy’s tears show his remorse, hrî, at having accidentally broken a neighbor’s window. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

What does living virtuously mean to Hindus? It is following the natural and essential guidelines of dharma and the twenty ethical guidelines called 'yamas' and 'niyamas,' or 'restraints' and 'observances' - ancient scriptural injunctions for all aspects of human thought, attitude and behavior. These "do's" and "don'ts" are a common-sense code of conduct recorded in the Upanishads, the final section of the 6,000 to 8,000-year-old Vedas.

Here we present the ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The first observance, Remorse and Modesty (hri) - being modest and showing shame for misdeeds.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

02
of 10

2nd Observance - 'Santosha' or Contentment

Three generations living at home, enjoying one another, happy, fulfilled and content in their simple life. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The second observance, Contentment (santosha) - seeking joy and serenity in life.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

03
of 10

3rd Observance - 'Dana' or Charity

A well-to-do woman takes joy in giving food and clothing to needy neighbors in a selfless act of dâna. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The third observance, Giving or charity (dana) - giving generously without thought of reward.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

04
of 10

4th Observance - 'Astikya' or Faith

A man’s car stalls as a train approaches. He holds to his faith, and Siva, nearby, helps him escape to safety. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The fourth observance, Faith (astikya) - believing firmly in god, gods, guru and the path to enlightenment.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

05
of 10

5th Observance - 'Ishvarapujana' or Worship of the Lord

Hands raised in adoration during a pûjâ, a devotee venerates Ganesha in an act of Ishvarapûjana, worship. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The fifth observance, Worship of the Lord (Ishvarapujana) - the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

06
of 10

6th Observance - 'Siddhanta Sravana' or Scriptural Listening

A teacher passes along the gift of scriptural learning to four boys through recitation of holy scriptural texts. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The sixth observance, Scriptural Listening (siddhanta sravana) - studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one's lineage.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

07
of 10

7th Observance - 'Mati' or Cognition

A sage blesses a young boy, bestowing upon him mati, insightful cognition and spiritual understanding. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The seventh observance, Cognition (mati) - developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru's guidance.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

08
of 10

8th Observance - 'Vrata' or Sacred Vows

A couple voice their wedding vows, vrata, promising life-long fidelity in one of our most sacred rites of passage. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The eighth observance, Sacred Vows (vrata) - fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

09
of 10

9th Observance - 'Japa' or Incantation

A Hindu woman chants her mantra on a mâlâ of holy beads, performing japa during her morning sâdhana. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The Ninth Observance, Recitation or Incantation (japa) - chanting mantras daily.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.

10
of 10

10th Observance - 'Tapas' or Austerity

Religious austerity, tapas, ranges from simple self-denial to rigorous yogic ordeals and physical challenges. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten niyamas - the observances or practices that every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The tenth observance, Austerity and Sacrifice (tapas) - performing sadhana, penance, tapas, and sacrifice.

Reproduced with permission from Himalayan Academy Publications. Parents and educators may visit minimela.com to purchase many of these resources at a very low cost, for distribution in your community and classes.