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Rununciation, Yoga, Lying, Stealing, Speech, Nurturing
by Geshe Michael Roach, Christine McNally
The different forms of self-control are avoiding harm to anyone, always telling the truth, never stealing from another . . .
The first of the eight limbs of yoga is self-control, the ability in a sense to restrain ourselves from our more natural, lower instincts. Only of the five most crucial forms of self-control are given.
The first is simply to avoid hurting other people; and remember that in the ancient books of wisdom, "people" means any living creature, however small and apparently unintelligent, since obviously they all feel pain and seek to avoid it.
The most serious form of hurting is to kill or cooperate in the killing of a human being. All of the ancient texts also state that a human being begins at conception, as consciousness enters the just-combined sperm and egg.
Really speaking the truth is difficult: it means never giving someone else even a slightly different impression from what you know to be true. The most serious lie is to make false claims about our spiritual realizations. It's also just generally good to avoid divisive talk, harsh words, and idle pratter.
Stealing is to take or use another person's property without their permission, which includes sneaking phone calls at work; dirtying up the city which we all pay for with our taxes; or ruining the Earth for coming generations.
See all resources by Geshe Michael Roach
See all quotations by Geshe Michael Roach
See all resources by Christine McNally
See all quotations by Christine McNally