Yamas – Satya

Satya is the second yama in the 8 Limbs of Yoga. It literally translates as ‘true essence’ or ‘unchangeable’. Even though our thoughts and emotions are interchangeable they form our own personal truths. As you may have experienced, what you once knew for certain, you later realised was not true.

In Sanskrit, the vibrations of the sounds in the words uttered have a direct connection to its meaning. The sound ‘sat’ holds the meanings; ‘unchangeable’, ‘that which has no distortion’, ‘that which is beyond distinctions of time, space and person’, and ‘reality’.

In yoga, we strive to find the truth of who and what we are. We search for that which is unchangeable, with no distortion and that is beyond distinctions of time, space and person. By calming the mind to such a degree that stillness happens, then we experience the unchangeable. We experience the truth.  

Even though we can look at truthfulness in many aspects of our lives, the essence of its practice is to un-identify with all we believe ourselves to be, as well as all our beliefs of what life outside ourself is. For truth to enter we must make room for it, and we do that by letting everything we think we know go.

The second book of the Yoga Sutras, Sutra No. 36 states:

“To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.” 

This means that when one is well established in truth, our desires will manifest themselves effortlessly. Sri Swami Satchidananda writes: “If you are always truthful, if no lie comes from your mouth, a time will come when all you say will come true. Even if you say something by mistake, it will happen, because by the practice of Satya the words become so powerful and clean that honesty observes you. It wants to be with you always. If a curse is spoken, it will happen. If a blessing is said it will happen. The more we lead a life of honesty, the more we will see the results, and that will encourage us to be more honest. ” To lie is to try to manipulate reality. We cannot change what is by pretending  it to be different. Whether we lie to protect ourselves, or to protect others, it is a fear-based act that reinforces the feeling of separation. To lie is to create ripples in the reflection of the truth. A promise of absolute honesty means we can not even tell white lies. If honesty will lead to trouble, difficulties or harm to someone, we should rather remain silent. For example, instead of saying “I do not know”, we can be honest and say “I know, but I do not want to say.” By establishing oneself in honesty, comes the state of fearlessness. You do not have to be afraid of anyone and can always live an open life. When the mind becomes clear and real, our true ‘Me’ will reflect without deformity, and we understand truth in its own original nature