Jan 2019

Satya and Emotional maturity

Y.S 2.36

Satya Pratisthayam 

Kriya Pala 

Shray atvam

As truthfulness is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi



Satya- truthfulness, honesty

Pratisthayam- having firmly established, being well grounded in

Kriya- actions

Phala- fruition, results, effects

Ashrayatvam- come as a result of, are dependent on

When Truthfulness Has Achieved the Words (Of the Yogin) Acquire the Power Of Making Them Fruitful. Hariharananda Aranya

On being firmly established in truthfulness fruit (of action) rests on action (of the Yogi) only. I. K. Taimni

To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient. Vyasa Houston, Barbara Miller, Swami Satchidananda

When a man becomes steadfast in his abstention from falsehood he gets the power of obtaining for himself and others the fruits of good deeds, without having to perform the acts themselves. Swami Prabhavananda

By the establishment of truthfulness the Yogi gets the power of attaining for himself and others the fruits of work without the works. Swami Vivekananda

Yogi’s basic principles

The practice of Satya seems elementary in logic.  Of course, honesty and truthfulness is an essential practice.  Would you prefer someone be honest with you and be kind at the same time?

You have to contemplate in times you are not honest why is that? 

The is the saying the truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off. 

For example, maybe you put off a, and you have not wanted to speak to the person to tell them how you feel so you lie to them.  When you ask yourself why you may respond, I don’t want to hurt them.  Of course, that is true, but if you were to be less selfish about it and transparent with yourself, you would see that lying and leading them on is hurting them more.  To explore truthfulness in a broader sense, you have to examine your relationships with others and with yourself. 

How are you applying truthfulness or not?

In the case of truthfulness, one might incline dishonesty to vary degrees, to get what one wants., as the yoga is primarily about service and selflessness, this is something to witness right away. 

In cultivating the opposite, or reminding oneself that such behaviors, words, or thinking will only bring personal misery and suffering, the ensuing letting go process allows a natural flow of goodness or real fruits to come.  Dishonesty with oneself and others becomes the typical game of avoidance/ aversion that humans play as to avoid what we may call “drama,” but is just a conversation about feelings and thoughts associated with them and experiences. 

What arises first emotion or thought?

I have often wondered this much like, was it the chicken or the egg.  I heard that emotion arises first and then a thought adheres to it defining the feeling, emotion is energy in motion.   If you allow yourself to feel an emotion fully without language or words, you can feel this.  That it rises and builds intensity often exiting your body with some climax- whether you end up crying, being very angry, or feeling anxious, most often you can relate the emotion to something that has happened therefore justifying its presence.  


First, learn how to feel

Without avoidance, can you feel without attaching a judgment, label or definition to the feeling?  Can you be utterly vulnerable with yourself and potentially someone else?

It is not typical in our Western human culture to accept emotions.  It is typically not a spiritual practice to allow something that seems “negative.”  The only reason the emotion is defined as negative is that you don’t like it and if it is not the feeling of pleasure or love it is not good.  I would argue that this is the foundation of spiritual work. In fine-tuning, your awareness so much that you can feel and feel deeply and let the energy rise and pass, and allow other people that you are in a relationship with to do the same.  Can you feel without criticizing or ridiculing yourself or another?  Can you sit with something long enough until it passes?

Satya brings whatever is willed: For one who increasingly practices honesty or truthfulness in actions, speech, and thoughts, his or her will is naturally fulfilled. 

Cultivating opposites brings real fruits: With each of the Yamas and Niyamas, cultivating opposites of our negative habits or conditionings brings positive fruits.

Communicating emotions and needs in Satya with Ahimsa

Relation of Truth and Non-Harming: One of the challenges, if not confusions, that often happens with practicing satya and ahimsa is how to balance them. It's important to remember that non-harming is the central practice of the five Yamas, and that the other four Yamas are in service of that. To not harm or hurt others is the primary goal that the others serve. Learning how to delicately balance not lying while not being painfully honest with others is a real art of Yoga. Think of the many situations in life when your so-called truthfulness could cause pain to others, including simple examples such as your comments about a meal served at a friend's home or what you might say if someone asked you about their physical appearance or clothes when dressing for some special event? If your mind isn't--in the moment--quick enough to artfully maneuver around such a situation, which would you choose, to be painfully honest or marginally honest for the sake of not hurting the other person? Sure, we'd like to be quick-minded enough to do both non-harming and non-lying in perfect balance, but many of us don't yet have the skill of the master and need to be ever mindful of the most critical practice, which is to first and foremost to cause no harm. The same principle applies to practice the other of the four Yamas.


Exercising care in speaking truth: Truth is concurrence between thought, word, and deed. It must be true to fact and at the same time pleasant. If by speaking the truth, another is hurt it ceases to be truth and becomes himsa [harming]. There is a story which illustrates this point:

In olden days, there was a sage renowned for his austerities and observance of the vow of truth. It so happened that once when he was sitting by his little hut, a frightened man with a bundle ran past him and disappeared into a cave nearby. A couple of minutes later there came a band of fierce robbers with gleaming knives, apparently looking for this man. Knowing that the sage would not lie, they asked him where the man with the bundle was hiding. At once, the sage, true to his vow of not uttering falsehood, showed them the cave. The cruel robbers rushed into it, dragged out the scared man, killed him mercilessly and departed with his bundle. The sage never realized God in spite of his austerities and tenacity for truth for he had been instrumental in the murder of a man. This is not the kind of truth that yoga requires. It would have been better if the sage had remained quiet for that would have saved the poor man. Great care is, therefore, to be exercised in speaking and each word must be carefully weighed before it is uttered.

Listening is a Satya practice

Can you be present and receive someone else’s words?  Can you respond to someone after you let emotional energy settle?  Can you listen to someone with patience without thinking about how am I going to react or what am I going to say?  The art of listening and speaking with integrity are both advanced practices and help me identify with what it must mean to be an emotionally mature person.