How To Observe Aparegraha (Non-Acceptance)

Patanjali Yoga Series

Yoga has eight limbs and Yama (abstention) is the first of all. Yama has five abstentions and Aparegraha is the last of all. Aparegraha is not to accept donations, alms, bribes or kickbacks. Many people try to lead comfortable lives without mental or physical labor by accepting money without causing any help to others. Such clever people form different political, religious, business or charitable organizations and receive huge donations from across the world. Some poor people beg on streets. Many officials take bribes or kickbacks. Criminals forcibly collect weekly or monthly donations in the name of protection. Terrorists raise political or religious issues and collect money. Such people face the problems and it is the duty of all peace loving and spiritual men to avoid them.

  1. They kill the Self - Those who think always how to cheat others by adopting illegal means wear different masks on their faces at different times. They change their colour. Many political leaders change parties for personal gain only. Such people forget the true and divine human qualities of Self/soul. They make themselves cheaters, corrupt looters or criminals. They slip down from the Self and so kill the Self. Such people can't move on the spiritual or yogic path. It will take several births before they shall realize the Self.

  2. They become patients - Those who earn by legitimate means through mental or physical labor have a fixed working hour. After that they go home, take food and rest. In this way they become strong and remain healthy. On the other hand those who earn through illegal means have no fixed working hour. They move here and there and so have no fixed time for taking food and rest. They put unnecessary pressure on their mind for planning illegal and dangerous games. By this they become physically and mentally weak. They suffer from disease and death.

  3. They fail to marry - Those who have no fixed and regular income through legitimate means, move here and there and remain under constant fear of police and court, and don't find time to marry at the right age. So they adopt artificial means for sexual satisfaction and even visit brothels. As a result they suffer from sexually transmitted diseases. Without marriage they fail to establish a home and raise a family. They lose the peace of home and affection of wife and children.

  4. They face prosecution - Many times these people are caught and face prosecution. During the long legal battle many accused persons die before the final judgment and even if they live, face severe punishment.

  5. They fail to choose the right job - Those who adopt easy and fraudulent methods to earn money can never find out the right legitimate work or job by which they can lead peaceful, familial and spiritual lives. But once a man gives up illegal methods of earning money he becomes able to find out the right job through mental and physical labor. For this Patanjali has written - aparegrahasthairye janma kathamtasmabodhah (i.e. by observing Aparegraha one becomes aware of how to lead life through earning).

So a person who is not observing Aparegraha is miles away from Yoga or spiritualism. First a person should observe Aparegraha and then try to become a Yogi or a spiritual man.


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