The Ten Yamas - Restraints or Proper Conduct in Hinduism

01
of 10

1st Restraint - Ahimsa or Non-injury

One man is beating a small boy, while an onlooker rushes forward to intervene and stop the injury. 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 yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The first restraint, Noninjury (ahimsa) - not injuring or harming others by thought, word, or deed.

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 Restraint - Satya or Truthfulness

A boy has broken a vase and is denying the mischief. Mother watches, hoping he will learn to tell the truth. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow -- as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The second restraint, Truthfulness (Satya) - refraining from lying and betraying promises.

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

03
of 10

3rd Restraint - Asteya or Nonstealing

Two boys conspire to break the principle of asteya as one distracts merchant while the other steals a book. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The third restraint, Nonstealing (asteya) - neither stealing nor coveting nor entering into debt.

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

04
of 10

4th Restraint - Brahmacharya or Sexual Purity

A brother guards his sister's purity, brahmacharya, from a rogue who has approached her immodestly. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The fourth restraint, Sexual Purity (brahmacharya) - divine conduct, controlling lust by remaining celibate when single leading to faithfulness in marriage.

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 Restraint - Kshama or Patience

Kshamâ is epitomized by a mother's patiently setting aside her urgent duties to tend to her daughter's tears. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The fifth restraint, Patience (kshama) - restraining intolerance with people and impatience with circumstances.

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 Restraint - Dhriti or Steadfastness

The worker on the left works steadily and energetically, exemplifying dhriti, while the other is less productive. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow -- as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The sixth restraint, Steadfastness (dhriti) - overcoming non-perseverance, fear, indecision, inconstancy and changeableness.

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 Restraint - Daya or Compassion

The man beating his dog has little compassion, dayâ. A friend urges him to cognize the cruelty of his actions. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The seventh restraint, Compassion (daya) - conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.

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 Restraint - Arjava or Honesty

Two students re cheating on a test while a peer admonishes them to follow ârjava, honesty. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The eighth restraint, Honesty (arjava) - straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing.

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 Restraint - Mitahara or Moderate Diet

At a cafe two men enjoy a rice and curry meal on banana leaves. One follows mitâhâra, while the other overeats. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The ninth restraint, Moderate Diet (mitahara) - neither eating too much nor consuming meat, fish, fowl or eggs.

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 Restraint - Saucha or Purity

A man finds his friend outside an X-rated theater and urges him not to sink into a low-minded sensual life. Source: 'Yoga's Forgotten Foundation' by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

The ten yamas, or the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow - - as interpreted by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.

The tenth restraint, Purity (saucha) - avoiding impurity in body, mind and speech.

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.