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Yama #4 - Aparigraha - Self-reliance (noncovetousness)

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Aparigraha - second of the principles of material well-being. What means to avoiding of surfeit, reasonable attitude to life, avoid chasing of wishes, in the material sphere to be pleased with what comes to you naturally, without any great effort. Aparigraha means not to hoard wealth which is superfluous to our actual needs. It means to live a simple life with only as much physical wealth as is actually necessary. This amount is variable according to time, place, and person. It is an important principle in both individual and collective life, because if one person or one nation hoards wealth, it may result in starvation and misery for other people. It is an important part of spiritual practice, because if one is always preoccupied with physical objects, then he or she can not think about the Cosmic Consciousness. From another hand, it doesn't mean you can't have material well being. It just shouldn't be the priority thing in our life.

--- Deception of the capitalist world --- People are not filing more happy when achieving more and more materially wealthier.

--- How to be happy? --- Happiness arises in simplicity (not in pursuit of pleasures), but in the ability to enjoy what comes to you. We always want something more in our life. But behind the wants of something more we mostly can't see what we are having now.

--- Social aspect --- This world is so arranged that everything should be enough for everyone. To be enough according to our needs, but not according to our desires. Because humans desires in unlimited. Everyone has huge spiritual thirst, inalienable human nature about infinite. And if we try to realize this spiritual yearning in material world (not in the spiritual sphere, not in the psychic sphere) then we have a picture when the one have immense wealth, the others very poor. The first top hundred of the richest people owns the wealth of all mankind. If you have this situation in your family, then you might think that it's not right. But in scale of society it's normal nowadays. What is absurd.

--- Main idea --- We are given those material resources in accordance with our ability to manage them. That's very good if you can handle a lot of material well being. But ideally you should treat it with non-attachment. You should consider it as not yours. God gives you this to do something good for this world, to serve this world. So it's all about your discipline and self control. It's all given to you to do something for others, to promote the happiness to other people, to manage resources for the happiness of all on this planet.

Aparigraha means to have what you really need and not to have what you really don't need!

All what you need for your happiness will be given to you. But it's not necessary that what you think will make you happier will be given to you. So don't try to realize your model of happiness, but give the ability for the Universe to give all what you need for your happiness. In fact we can't know what we need for happiness. Simply trust what you're given and enjoy it. And you will figure out later that the Universe knows even better what you need.

--- How to practice? --- - Analyse your situation. - Avoid excesses. Ask questions: Do I really need it? Does it make me happy? If you rate it as excesses, make mental effort to remove it for now. - Try to save some small material resources by avoiding. And then donate your savings for something good. Do some project that bring benefits to this world. You will experience a great satisfaction after! So give something you really don't need to others.

--- Experiment yourself --- - 1st week: buy the most expensive and very tasty food - 2nd week: eat simple everyday meal, that is balanced and healthy. Try to feel pleasant moment in this simplicity. How do you feel after 1st week? any of addiction? Do you feel more happy and satisfied? How do you feel after 2nd week? any of delight because of simple things? any of complexity? more happy? Do you need something more after?

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