Spiritual Psychology: Chakra Yoga Holistic Health
of the
Self Mastery


Purifying the Seven Centers

By understanding ourselves we can overcome negative and harmful states of mind

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

The purpose of HELM

The goal of the HELM website is to help us become whole, integrated, balanced, mature, and complete human beings who understand and master the human experience. It also includes a spiritual component that helps us realize our greater identity as the eternal, immortal, totality of existence.


Clarifying Terminology

In western psychology, the ego means the individual, but in spiritual vocabulary, the ego is the sum total of all our selfish desires and attachments (to people, places, experiences, and things in this world). These selfish desires and attachments are called "impurities of body, heart, mind, and soul" and individual human experience can be represented by the seven chakra system.

happiness is the underlying motivation for all our behaviours

Human beings seek to experience happiness and try to avoid unhappiness. All our behaviours, habits, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions are motivated by the desire to experience happiness and avoid pain and unhappiness.

Unfortunately, some of our behaviours are harmful to ourselves and/or to others, and these behaviours - being deluded - do not bring real and lasting happiness. These behaviours are called "delusions". Smoking is a prime example of a delusion. We want lasting happiness, but we get lasting unhappiness, pain, and disease.

It is these delusions and other pain-bringing behaviours (impurities) that we want to abandon so that we may learn how to experience real and lasting happiness.

Make the mind light

A mind that is heavy, rigid, full of attachment, and makes everything into a problem is very difficult to work with and makes our life very hard work. Try to make the mind light, flexible, and an enjoyer of challenges.

Imagine that all your thoughts and feelings are like helium filled balloons - lighter than air - and the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and behaviours that you don't want or want to change can simply be let go of. You can imagine them floating out of your head, away high into the sky, and quickly disappearing forever.

A light mind does not mean being flippant and inappropriate, but it does mean that it is easier to modify, change, and is free from selfish possessive attachments to all the things in our life.

The right attitude towards a self-development program

Don't be proud, purification requires honest acceptance of all our unwanted, unhealthy, and life-negative habits. Honesty is essential for success in this venture.

As a soul in a soul-school, then we are expecting to find an internal landscape (and external world) full of ignorance and its derivatives. Is this not the truth about the human experience? This is normal and to understand and overcome these attitudes and behaviours is the reason that we are here in a soul-school. The very process of understanding and overcoming ignorance gives each soul all the virtues, compassion, direct experience, forgiveness, wisdom, love, and eventually Self-Realization. It is through direct experience that we consciously understand and overcome this ignorance. It is just the way it is and by understanding this process of soul-life in a soul-school then we gain the compassion that is required to help others through these lessons and tests. It is the conscious direct experience that eventually leads to compassionate enlightenment.

The worst attitude towards purification and enlightenment is to be hard, judgemental, impatient, angry, wrathful, uncompassionate (towards ourself and others), unforgiving, blaming, unkind, and punitive. This only makes things worse, closes down the process, and increases the level of denial and resistance towards understanding and overcoming this generic ignorance that is central to this human experience. Overcoming this wrong attitude is in itself a large part of the purification process.

Remember, "do not blame the sinner, understand the sin" - and be wise with your relationships and interactions with others. If somebody repeatedly indulges in ignorant behaviour and does not want to change (or lacks the capacity to do so) then you must make the decision whether you want that person in your life or not, because these ignorant behaviours can be very dangerous.

Study, understanding, and success takes time and practice yet know that you will reap the benefits. The right attitude towards any self-development program, like HELM, is to nurture towards yourself the qualities of;

  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Self Respect
  • Kindness
  • Patience
  • Tolerance
  • Committment (to the practice)
  • Firm and fair
  • Balance: not underdoing or overdoing, and taking it gradually
  • Steady and regular in practice: make it part of your daily routine
  • Compassionate: you will make mistakes, be kind, gentle, and forgiving
  • Love
  • Wisdom: be sensible, don't expect perfection in one day, and keep at it

Developing yourself is not unlike being a parent to a child. The child is our body, heart (emotions), and mind (that which is being developed). The parent is our higher self (our soul) that is wanting to develop the "child." How to do this successfully? You don't confuse, beat, and be nasty to the "child", you treat the "child" with love, respect, forgiveness, firmness, and you explain the process so that the child is not confused as to why it is happening.

Start with yourself

We must apply this purification process to ourselves first and not project our issues and impurities upon the outer world. This also applies to the virtues: forgiveness, compassion, love, wisdom, peace, good behaviour, morals and ethics, etc.. You will find that whatever you can do for yourself (eg: show compassion) you can then successfully show others.

We do this by dealing with our problems as follows:

  1. Identify
  2. Label
  3. Analyze
  4. Understand
  5. Solve


Have complete confidence that you will eventually overcome any negative/unwanted habits. It may take time, willpower, and some pain, but you will one day overcome.

Strengthen your willpower

Willpower plays a key role in changing habits. Willpower is really the ability to make decisions and stick by them.

We develop willpower by starting small and gaining success in those things. We have to start somewhere and it is best to aim to reduce unwanted habits by a sensible margin before we can completely remove them. Start with small things and soon you will be able to make decisions and follow them through that you never thought possible before.

The essence of willpower is to stick by our choices - resolve.


Part of the psychoemotional structure of the human experience is a "program" called "Selfish Egotism". Just like a computer program, it runs on the software of the emotional heart, the mind, and the soul. What is it's purpose? It is an educational program that teaches the soul the difference and consequences of good and bad behaviour. It is through this program that the soul learns to understand the difference between behaviours that are:

  • Good and bad
  • Selfish and selfless
  • Wise and unwise
  • Life supporting and life-destroying

Once we understand these differences of behaviour and their consequences then we can overcome and destroy the "selfish egotism program" by a process of conscious, holistic purification. Then we become good and wise and are in a position to help others do the same. This is all part of the spiritual education of the soul within the human experience.


Within Spiritual Traditions throughout history, we find the same image of the Ego being represented by a reptile and the soul battling with it and eventually overcoming its selfish nature.

CHAKRA YOGA: Ego represented by reptile

The reptile represents the reptilian part of our brain that is only concerned with basic survival mechanisms and thoughtless sensory gratification. Reptiles often eat their children, that is the level of the reptilian brain; unconcerned, no conscience, no feelings for others, cold, heartless, mercenary, completely egocentric.

The symbolism of the human part of our nature overcoming and killing the reptilian part represents our struggle to understand and control this part of the human experience - overcoming the selfish ego and consciously managing the sensory desirous part of our mind (Manas).

This is achieved by understanding the situation and then purifying our body, mind, heart, and soul, so that we are never afflicted by this terribly dangerous psychological entity.

The spiritual reason for this experience is to teach the soul the real importance of overcoming selfishness, the power and happy experience of Virtue-Peace-Love-Wisdom-Enlightenment.

It's a test, a refreshment course for the soul to understand the real difference between good and bad behaviour, and the environment that it takes place in is a soul-school like Planet Earth.

Why Purify?

Just like a mirror, when the body, heart, mind, and soul are purified, then the individual soul reflects the image (the likeness in behaviour) of The One Eternal Self (God). That is why they say "We are made in the image of God."

The Dhammapada: Chapter 15, Joy:


Victory is the harbinger of hatred
because the conquered are confused in misery.
Those who are centered in the The Real Eternal Self
live in peace and harmony
distinguishing neither victory not defeat.


There in no fire like selfish desires
no confusion like hatred
no sorrow like egotistical separateness (from the Real Self)
and there is no joy
like peace and harmony.


There is no disease like greed
and no confusion greater than selfish desire
Knowing this is the path of
peace and harmony.


Health is the greatest harmony,
contentment the greatest peace,
trust is the most valuable aspect of relationships
and Nirvana is the supreme peace and harmony.

The Dhammapada: Chapter 16, Pleasure:


Those who are not in harmony with their path of life
and do things they should not do (Vice)
and do not do things they should do (Vice)
as well as overindulge in the pleasures of the senses
in the end come to envy those
who through a lifetime of purification, virtue,
and meditation on The Eternal, Immortal, Real Self
live in Self-Realization, Peace, and Harmony.

Every thought we think, every emotion that throbs in our heart, and every word we utter, produces a strong vibration in every cell of the bodies we dwell in, and leaves a strong impression upon our inner unconscious psychological constitution. If we know the method of raising an opposite thought, then we can lead a happy, harmonious life of peace and power. A thought of love will at once neutralize a thought of hatred. A thought of courage will immediately serve as a powerful antidote against a thought of fear. Our thoughts, feelings, words, should result in contributing light, peace, joy to others. They should not bring even the least pain and unhappiness to anyone. Then are we blessed. We can help many, heal thousands, spiritualise and elevate a large number of persons as did the great saints and sages of the world.

All our attitudes, beliefs, habits, and behaviours are merely states of mind
  • "As our mind, so our behaviour". All our attitudes, beliefs, habits, and behaviours are merely states of mind, made of thoughts, and thoughts can be changed.
  • The negative, vicious, unhealthy, and deluded states of mind make us, and others, miserable and unhappy - they bring suffering
  • When our minds are disturbed by these states of mind, then we cannot think clearly and thus make more mistakes
  • Advancement in any area of life is difficult, maybe impossible, when we are controlled by the vicious and deluded states of mind
  • Advancement in spiritual living and meditation is impossible when we are controlled by the vicious and deluded states of mind and these obstacles are the very things that we need to overcome - using the techniques below
  • The cleaner the layer of individuality within us is, the easier it is to become Enlightened. The process of enlightenment has its own wisdom woven within it. We have to purify our body, heart, mind, and soul BEFORE we can experience Enlightenment - we have to become good, caring, and pure: "...in the image of God".

A man is sitting in a room with very dirty windows. They are so dirty that he cannot see anything outside and does not realise that there is an outside at all. One day he begins rubbing away the dirt and is amazed to find that there is an entire world outside his room, but he cannot see the entire view until the windows are cleaned and we all know that we have to keep our windows clean as dirt naturally builds up. Just like with our hearts and minds. First we have to clean away all the dirt and then we need to spend some time on a regular basis cleaning away anything bad that has built up.


The process of enlightenment is very clever. We have to purify our body, heart, mind, and soul before we can become Self-Realized (Enlightened). When we purify our body, heart, mind, and soul then one day we effortlessly slip into Self-Realization like a salt crystal dissolving into warm water - it happens naturally. Clever stuff!

Separating the experiencer from the experience

We are not our experiences, we are the experiencer. The ability to separate the experience from the experiencer is essential to any self development work. This skill can very quickly be learned. For example, jealousy may arise in our emotions. We can relate to it in two ways.

  • "I am jealous" - wrong: Identification with the attitude, we are now taking it personally.
  • "My mind is experiencing jealousy" - right: The individual soul is the calm subjective experiencer and jealousy is a state of mind that has arisen.

The first way is wrong because we mistakingly identify with the experience and this makes it more difficult to deal with. The second way is correct because we have separated the experiencer from the experience and this makes it easier to deal with the experience. We have separated the subject (the experiencer) from the object (the experience).

the formation of habits

Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly (repetition), tend to occur subconsciously, without directly thinking consciously about them.

Habitual behavior sometimes goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting them, because it is often unnecessary to engage in self-analysis when undertaking in routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory.

We behave, in the main, due to our habits, which are a result of repeated patterns of thought - AND THOUGHTS CAN BE CHANGED!


Don't be frightened of your mind. It is only a huge bio-computer that simply makes suggestions to us, unless it has to make reflex reactions; like running from an oncoming car.

We, the individual, are in control of our responses to these suggestions. The Thinking Mind (Chakra 6) is like a huge computer keeping track of our life. We can choose to accept or reject the suggestions that arise from these computations. We can also reprogram our mind like a computer, deleting unwanted behaviours and habits, and installing new healthy ones.

For example, perhaps you want to give up smoking or cream cakes. When the suggestion comes through to indulge in these things then you can simply say "No more" or "Not yet - maybe later." They are only suggestions and YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

Love your mind and relate to it as a small, sweet child that is trying to do it's best to intelligently and wisely serve life.

The problem is not the mind, the problem is the selfish ego and ignorance of the science of human behaviour.

We have a beautiful holistic health and enlightenment system already made and that is The Seven Chakra System of The Human Experience. If we want to understand, purify, heal, restore, and master the human experience then it is highly recommended that we understand and use The Seven Chakra System.


The nature of the mind is such that it becomes that which it intensely thinks of. Thus, if we think of the vices and defects of another man, our mind will be charged with these vices and defects at least for the time being. They who know this psychological law will never indulge in censuring others, or in finding fault in the conduct of others; they will see only the good in others, and will always find cause for appreciating others. This practice enables us to grow in concentration, spirituality and divine life.

You can master your own body, heart, senses, and mind. If you achieve self-mastery then you are the master of everything in your life. Unfortunately, many have forgotten to exercise this mastery, and the body, heart, senses, and mind have become the masters. If you let them they will enslave you, but you can train them to obey you, then you become the master.

Chakra Yoga: Ganesha - Remover of Obstacles to Enlightenment

Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles (Klesas) to Enlightenment, Peace, and Happiness

We have a beautiful holistic health and enlightenment system already made and that is The Seven Chakra System of The Human Experience. If we want to understand, purify, heal, restore, and master the human experience then it is highly recommended that we understand and use The Seven Chakra System.

To control your mind you must control the senses because a large part of the mind, excluding the imagination, functions through the senses. By themselves the senses are innocent. They can't do anything. It's not the eyes that see, but the mind through the eyes.

The fifth branch on the tree of yoga (The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga) is sense control. That doesn't mean you suppress anything. Instead, you gain control over them. You use the senses as you want and do not allow them to use you. Through the conscious mind you send proper impressions into the subconscious mind to erase the old impressions and habits. That's what you cann will: use you will.

The best way to develop this ability - the willpower - is to begin with small things over which you can easily take control, and build from there. Gradually taper off unwanted habits. Instead of saying "I am going to stop smoking today forever" try steadily cutting down on a daily basis and then you will have success.

Training our mind as we would a young puppy dog

A beautiful technique for getting our mind under our control is to train it like a young dog. We become the firm but friendly trainer.

Before we begin training the dog/mind it runs all over the place making a terrible mess out of everything. This is no good and you will realise this from your previous life experiences. So, we can train the mind like we train a dog. The mind wants to run after something, do we want to run after that thing? Maybe not. So we say to the mind; "No. Stay. Sit. There's a good dog." And we reward it for being good. At first it is difficult because the mind is not used to being trained and like a puppy dog, it starts complaining, but we know what is best for ourselves so we remain the firm and friendly trainer.

It is important to be firm and friendly - friendliness achieves so much more than nastiness.

Key words used in training are:

  • Stop
  • Yes
  • No

STOP is essential when we are trying to interject our conscious will into our daily habits.

Actually, the sum total size of the parts of the brain that deal with desire is about the size of an average walnut.

Chakra Yoga Spiritual: Walnut

Until we have mastered our desires and replaced selfish ones with selfless ones, then we are "Training the walnut of selfish desire!"

We have a beautiful holistic health and enlightenment system already made and that is The Seven Chakra System of The Human Experience. If we want to understand, purify, heal, restore, and master the human experience then it is highly recommended that we understand and use The Seven Chakra System.

Train the desiring part of the mind (manas)

Training the desiring part of the mind that suggests what the senses should experience is called Pratyhara and is the fifth limb of Ashtanga (Raja) Yoga.

Use the slideshow below and decide "YES" or "NO" to the desirable images that arise!
This will help you to make the right choices in daily life

Remember, the mind only suggests and it is YOU that decides.
Practice makes perfect.
Who am I? Find out...

Understanding Delusions

A delusion is a thought that is simply wrong - based not on fact but on fiction.

Here are some examples of delusions;

  • The moon is made of swiss cheese
  • Smoking is good for me
  • Grass is a blue color
  • I can eat what I want and it won't affect my body
  • War is peace

Without consciously analyzing our delusions, we will believe them to be true. As we purify ourself, we will come across various delusions and we must realise that they are delusions and not fact. Only by understanding something can we overcome it.


Whilst in the process of self-development and purification, we will set ourselves goal - habits to change - and because initially the habit-patterns are so strong (after years of repetition and reinforcement) we will be repeatedly tempted to indulge in those habits that we are trying to change.


Who will you listen to? The healthy or unhealthy thoughts?

We can't expect perfecion in one day, but along the path we will have to be firm with our unwanted habits. We will experience some psycho-emotional pain and discomfort as the old habit patterns try to assert themselves, but we must remember that the mild discomfort that we may experience is nothing to the pain that these unwanted habits give us. A little pain whilst changing habits gives a lot of gain when they have been replaced by healthy ones.

Understanding not repression

Recognizing and transforming destructive thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and emotions lies at the heart of spiritual practice.

  • IDENTIFY: What am I feeling?
  • RELAX AND REFRAIN: Let me not act from a negative state of mind and/or feeling as it will only create more suffering
  • ENQUIRE: Why am I feeling this way? What has created this?
  • PLAN OF ACTION: What is the best way to proceed?

A great way to understand and master the human experience is to be able to center (identify) yourself with your soul deep within your heart center, or place yourself in an inner space from where you can observe all that is going on in the body, emotions, and mind. From this peaceful, non-attached vantage point we can observe the experience arising in the body, emotions, and mind and we can choose how to relate to all these experiences. For example, hatred may arise and from our vantage point we can choose whether to co-operate with it or not. We become self-masters when we are able to choose whether or not to cooperate with that which is arising in our body, emotions (heart), and mind. This is central to any self development work.

Throughout this section it is important to understand that the aim of purification does not concern repressing or judging the "bad" thoughts and feelings that are a normal and natural experience. We first have to accept the human experience in its TOTALITY and this includes all the undesirable thoughts and feelings that everybody has, the things we generally label as 'bad'. We are aiming to accept and understand, with complete honesty, what is happening in the realm of our thoughts and feelings. By accepting ourselves in our totality - with equanimity (balance) - we are embracing and befriending everything within ourselves. We learn to "face and embrace", to own, to be responsible for our thoughts and feelings, our attitudes and beliefs, and to familiarise ourselves with our totality - without judgement or condemnation.

"The practice of mindfulness helps us be aware of what is going on. Once we are able to see deeply the suffering and the roots of the suffering, we will be motivated to act, to practice. The energy we need is not fear or anger; it is the energy of understanding and compassion. There is no need to blame or condemn. Only understanding and compassion can liberate us." - Thich Nhat Hanh (The World We have, pg 77)

We must learn to observe and recognize every thought and feeling that arises within us. This must be done without judgement, fear, or condemnation. As the wise say; Whenever a wholesome thought arises acknowledge "A wholesome thought has arisen" and when a unwholesome thought arises acknowledge "An unwholesome thought has arisen." To begin to understand and master ourselves we need to learn to honestly observe, acknowledge, and recognise the thoughts and feelings that arise within us, only then are we in a position to better guide our actions. We must overcome any conditioning or beliefs about ourselves that prevent honest self-enquiry.

We acknowledge, befriend, and understand ourselves in our totality so that we are not confused or fearful of anything within ourselves. When anger arises we think "Hello my anger. What do you want? What's the matter? Why have your arisen?" and the same goes for everything else within. By doing this, then we will begin to know ourselves and we will not be suprised or overwhelmed when certain thoughts, emotions, desires, and aversions arise.

With mindfulness, just allowing everything inside ourselves to be as it is, observing, acknowledging, understanding, and not judging or condemning that which arises. Tuning in to ourselves, inviting everything inside into our conscious mind without fear, worry, or judgement. Thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings they cannot hurt us or others unless we act upon them. With mindfulness, let everything arise - all that is inside is a part of us. If we desire to understand and master ourselves then we have to acknowledge and befriend all that is inside ourselves so that we can know ourselves and never need to fear or worry about what is inside of us every again.

Accepting ourselves fully and using mindfulness, we can begin to master ourselves. We can begin to choose that which we will act upon and that which we will not.

If our mind were a garden, then we learn to nurture and water the seeds and plants of goodness and to root out and destroy the seeds and harvest of badness. Over time, if we do not feed the seeds of selfishness and badness then those thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and actions will drop away from us. They may still be there as seeds, but as soon as they arise we will learn not to act upon them or nurture them if it is inappropriate to do so. Eventually even the seeds will go.

We have a beautiful holistic health and enlightenment system already made and that is The Seven Chakra System of The Human Experience. If we want to understand, purify, heal, restore, and master the human experience then it is highly recommended that we understand and use The Seven Chakra System.

if it's not an act of LoveWisdomGoodness then it's an incorrect act

The vices and bad habits are the unwanted programs that are the obstacles (KLESHAS) to experiencing a happy, successful life, and Enlightenment.

Love for all sentient beings - all souls - is the one of our goals, BUT, as we see in the above image, this higher, broader, heart chakra love REQUIRES BOTH VIRTUE AND WISDOM, otherwise it cannot be experienced in a pure and lasting manner. Take virtue and/or wisdom from the triangle and this HIGHER (heart chakra) LOVE collapses.

Ignorance, egotism, and all resulting vice (sin, badness) are the enemies of life, soul, and God. At the same time, these bad qualities and attitudes are the very stuff that each soul must understand, acknowledge within ourself, and purify, as this is the central lesson of soul schools. Let us abandon defensive pride (hatred towards admitting our ignorance, inability to admit when we are wrong) concerning these generic bad qualities that are a natural part of soul school, let us overcome them, and practice the opposing virtues so that our heart and mind gradually becomes an embodiement of virtue. This is the purpose of soul school.

Inside us all is good and bad. We must learn to understand good from bad and to choose goodness over badness. Inside our mind are minds of vice (badness) and minds of virtue (goodness). It is our duty to learn to choose virtue instead of vice - goodness over badness.

From the mind of vice arises all things vicious. From the mind of virtue arises all things good. As the mind, so the person. As within, so without - all external human behaviour and activity is a reflection of the inner activity and attitudes in our hearts and minds.

Virtues are not just good behaviours, they are GOLDEN BEHAVIOURS of infinite inner wealth. Let us discover, nurture, grow, and cherish this wealth that is the source of immense happiness for all. We should feel good when we are good and let that feeling grow.

The spiritually correct way to live is with reverence to life, nature (the source and maintainer of life on Earth), and - if you are at all spiritually minded - to God. Reverence for life is an attitude that we nurture in which we consider and treat life with profound awe, care, respect, wisdom, and love. To live life with reverence involves taking time to learn how life on Earth works (ecology) and how we can all help it to flourish. Reverence and LoveWidomGoodnessPeace are the correct attitudes that we nurture and they become the way in which we relate to ourself, others, and the environment. Reverence and love for life and God is the spiritually correct way for us to live.

Each individual can learn how to choose what the mind thinks and thus learn how to behave consciously instead of from conditioning, habit, and ignorance.

"Be Good. Goodness is the greatest virtue. Goodness implies kindness, benevolence and morality. Cultivate good habits. Entertain good, sublime, divine thoughts. The whole of ethics and conduct is contained in this. To be good is divine. If you want to be good, see what is good, hear what is good, think what is good, do what is good, speak what is good, read what is good, write what is good, eat what is good, drink what is good. Be good."

-Swami Sivananda: Divine Life Society

Let LoveWisdomGoodness be our standard and our guide

The mind actively generates our relationship with and experience of life. When we do not understand the mind, then it can subconsciously generate many problematic and unpleasant states that enslave us to a restricted experience of life. By understanding the mind, and the unpleasant mindstates that it can generate, we can gradually become free from this subconscious process and become a master of the heart and mind. This is the path that all souls must walk in order to attain spiritual realizations and freedom from the unconscious generation of unpleasant states of mind.

Our impurities - that give rise to confusion, self-dislike, and self disgust - show us that we have some purification work to do in those centers where the impurities arise.

Impurities need to be understand, purified, and behaviour forgiven - we live, learn, purify, and grow

"Good habits are your best helpers; preserve their force by stimulating them with good actions. Bad habits are your worst enemies; against your will they make you do the things that hurt you most. They are detrimental to your physical, social, mental, moral and spiritual happiness. Starve bad habits by refusing to give them any further food of bad actions."

- P.Yogananda 'Scientific Healing Affirmations'.


Sin means mistake or misunderstanding. All other negative (bad) attitudes and behaviours that we experience within ourselves and others have their root cause in these seven deadly mistakes. The deeper you investigate human behaviour the more you will realise this key truth: all unvirtuous behaviour arises out of these seven key mistakes.

You will notice that all the primary sins/mistakes are behaviours that are not Love-Wisdom-Goodness and are displays of egocentric selfishness in every case. Understanding this shows us that all these negative behaviours arise from a blocked heart chakra and disconnection from a socially healthy relationship with life, others, and the World.

Pride (as the primary mistake) is hatred towards admitting our ignorance which prevents us from learning and also tries to prevent and sabotage the development of others. The hatred experienced is actually the FEAR that our ignorance will be exposed and the belief that this will have negative impacts upon our life.

This is why Egocentric Pride (avidyasmita) is called "The primary mistake from whence all the other mistakes arise."

The Primary Mistake
Spiritual Ignorance
Arrogant Egotism is the hatred towards admitting our ignorance which prevents us from learning and also tries to prevent and sabotage the development of others. It is also the lack of humility that prevents us from admitting when we are wrong and apologising. Pride is a psychological "brick wall", a major obstacle, that creates the experience of the Fall, rejection of God, rejection of the individual as a soul, gradual rejection of virtue and learning which becomes replaced by hatred (for self and others), vice, and rejection of the reality of spiritual existence - spiritual reality. Pride creates the highly negative experience of ego-consciousness and all the pain and suffering (vice/sin) related to this mistaken identity of the soul with the physical body. Pride also covers arrogance, conceit, vanity, boasting, egotism, inability to learn from others, narcissism, and the root of all anti-social personality disorders. In social terms, it is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (narcissism). Effects all the chakras
The act or to act without honesty; a lack of probity, to cheat, lying or being deliberately deceptive; lacking in integrity; to be knavish, perfidious, corrupt or treacherous; charlatanism or quackery. Dishonesty is the fundamental component of a majority of offences relating to the acquisition, conversion and disposal of property. 4 - Heart
5 - Communication
6 - Mind
WRATH Uncontrolled (and sometimes persistent) feelings of hatred, anger, rage, sarcasm, mockery, put-downs, spite, resentment, and generally wishing ill-will and planning to do evil or harm to others. Wrath can also be directed inwards towards ourselves as in the case of extreme self-hatred, or self-harmers. Wrath is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as rage (excessive and unrelenting violent anger). 6 - Mind
3 - Power
4 - Heart
ENVY The desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation and the desire to prevent others from experiencing their own good fortune. Jealousy is resentment at others' good fortune, traits, status, abilities, or situation. Jealousy and Envy follow the rule of the tyrant - "It is not enough that I succeed, others must also fail. It is not enough that I fail, others must also fail." 3 - Power
4 - Heart
GREED The excessive and addictive desire to possess and hoard things, often at the expense of our humanity and the needs of others. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness (longing/craving). 1 - Base
An unreasonable and selfish craving for the pleasures of the body. Generally referring to completely selfish and mercenary desire for sex and sensuality with no consideration for others or higher aspects and experiences of the human experience. Gluttony is Gluttony is an unreasonable selfish desire to consume more than that which one requires. 2 - Sex and Sensuality
SLOTH Not caring about life, excessive laziness, ignoring life and its needs, apathy, impassivity, distant, aloof, unconcerned, indifference, and procrastination in attending to living. 1 - Base
3 - Power (lack of)

Interestingly in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (2:3) we are shown that when we have desires and aversions and our experience of those things is threatened, then we experience hatred towards those that are threatening them.The hatred experienced is actually the FEAR that we will never experience the desires that are being threatened

In the following table, we learn that the seven deadly sins are actually forms of hatred aimed at those threatening our experiences of our desires and aversions.

(Defending Ignorance)
  • Hatred of learning
  • the lack of humility that prevents us from admitting when we are wrong and apologising
  • Xenophobia (hatred of unfamiliar things)
  • Narrow-mindedness
  • Hatred towards admitting our ignorance which prevents us from learning and also tries to prevent and sabotage the development of others.
  • Develops into wrathful, envious, tyrannical abuse of life, bullying, and "might is right"
  • It is perfectly normal not to know everything, but any education system that mocks natural ignorance will fuel the fires of pride
  • Can be overcome by humility, admitting to our ignorance, and learning
Hatred towards those the good fortune of others
WRATH Hatred in general
Hatred towards the good fortune of others
Hatred towards allowing others their fair share
Hatred towards moderation (temperance)
SLOTH Hatred towards activity


One virtue is more powerful than a thousand vices. The civilized person considers others and therefore aims to understand themselves so that they do not hurt or harm others, and can also be in a position to help and assist others.

Pratipaksha Bhavana: Applying the opposite thought

Applying the opposite thoughts to our negative thoughts

As stated in "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali";

Sutra 2: 33

"When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana."

This requires much practice in the first place but becomes easier and more consistent with time and commitment. Below you will find a table to help you replace negative (viceful/vicious) mindstates with their opposite, positive (virtuous) ones.

I feel that we must first "disarm" (not co-operate with) the selfish negative mindstates by applying the "neutral" opponent.

One way to control negative thoughts even before the thought overpowers us is to think of its aftereffect. Stop and consider. "What will happen if I allow this thought to continue? I'll lose my friends. If the other person is strong they may not even be affected at all. She might just laugh and walk away. But even before the other person is affected by this negative thinking, I am being affected by it. It will make me ill even it affects no other person.

Sutra 2: 34

When negative thoughts or acts such as violence, etc., are caused to be done or even approved of, whether incited by greed, anger, or infatuation, whether indulged in with mild, medium, or extreme intensity, they are based on ignorance and bring certain pain. Reflecting thus is also pratipaksha bhavana.

Suppose we bring pain to someone or cause harm to be brought to another. The reactions will come and ultimately result in ignorance and misery. We need not even cause pain directly for the reaction to occur. We can effect this just by approving of another's painbearing actions due to our own avariciousness, anger, hatred, or ignorance.

Much of the way we think and behave is linked to the conditions and learning of our childhood. So, before we begin to give ourselves a hard time about the way we are today, I suggest we continue reading.


Vicious (full of vice):

  1. Having the nature or quality of vice or immorality : depraved
  2. Defective , faulty ; also : invalid
  3. Impure , noxious
  4. Dangerously aggressive : savage : marked by violence or ferocity : fierce
  5. Malicious , spiteful (vicious gossip), slander, defame, lie
  6. Worsened by internal causes that reciprocally augment each other (vicious spiral)

Synonyms vicious: villainous , iniquitous , nefarious , corrupt , degenerate mean highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct. vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence. villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic. iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness. nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct. corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations. degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition.

"Christian theologians have reasoned that the most destructive vice equates to a certain type of pride or the complete idolatry/worship of the self (egotism). It is argued that through this vice, which is essentially competitive, all the worst evils come into being." - Wikipedia

VICES: selfish desires, aversions, and attachments to people, places, and things within The Creation.
VIRTUES: selfless consideration and love for the wellbeing of all life within The Creation.

Vices are selfish, undesirable, and unhealthy qualities that make you and others unhappy. Vice is a diseased attitude that leads to ill-health for one and all. The persistent indulgence (repetition) in one or more vices will lead our heart and mind to the gates of Evil.

Virtues are desirable and healthy qualities that make you and others happy. Virtue is LoveWisdomGoodness that leads to health and happiness for one and all.

Vice and virtue are two sides of the same coin. We find that the virtue is on the opposite side to the vice. By applying the effort to turn over the coin, we are rewarded by finding the virtue that was hidden in the vice and the lessons that we learned through the vice.

AFFIRMATION FOR VIRTUE: "When I experience and observe the ignorance, egotism, and vice in this world, I vow to myself to learn how to refrain from such experience and how to embody the opposite qualities."

Ultimately we are trying to become established in the mode of goodness, so that we can bring LoveWisdomGoodness (and Godness) into our daily living, and enjoy living this way.

"For this is (for) the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome" (1Jn 5:3)

"If it is not an act of love then it is an incorrect action (a sin / vice)"


We can use this procedure to purify and transform any negative thought or quality in our mind and personality:

  1. Identify: the negative (vice).
  2. Refrain: neutralize the vice by refraining and then using positive and realistic affirmation.
  3. Replace: Apply the positive opponent (virtue).

It is incorrect to punish anybody for their behaviour if they do not understand their behaviour.

It is correct to educate, to help everybody to understand human behaviour and how to not cooperate with negative, damaging, and harmful behaviour and how to nurture positive, healthy, and life-affirming behaviour.

Change takes practice and time - be patient and steady

We will all experience moments of vice and deluded thinking, this is natural. The aim of this work is not to repress the natural emotions and experiences of life, but to help us overcome persistently negative states of mind that can lead to long term personality problems and unhappiness for all. We need to feel our emotions and acknowledge our attitudes and problems before we can set about improving and managing them.

The "force of Evil" in the world, in humanity, is created by the unguarded and habitual indulgence in one or more of these central vices (negative attitudes).

  • VICES - selfish desires, aversions, and attachments to people, places, and things within The Creation.
  • VIRTUES - selfless consideration and love for the wellbeing of all life within The Creation.

Vice/Sin/Unhealthy Attitude


Virtue/Good/Healthy Attitude

Abuse of Power and Position

I do not abuse my power or position

  • Using power and position lovingly and wisely for the health and welfare of all beings
  • Attitude Awareness
Adolescent delinquency and sabotage of adult life.

I refrain from delinquency and self-sabotage


I refrain from unnecessary anger but I can show anger when I feel it is necessary



Exaggerated pride or self-confidence often resulting in a negative consequence.

I refrain from arrogance


I realize the ultimate folly of attachment

Attention Seeking Social Strategies

I refrain from attention seeking behaviour

False Blame

Blaming others for our misfortunes or mistakes

I do not wrongly blame others for my own faults

  • Taking responsibility for our own behaviour
  • Doing the right thing


I do not bully others

  • Alerting authorities about any cases of bullying
Carelessness I am careful
  • Take care of yourself and loved ones
  • Take care with all life
  • Do not be wasteful


I am clear and I accept that I get confused sometimes

  • Learning
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Order
  • Decision

Contradictory state of mind:

That annoying state of mind that states the opposite of whatever is the truth

I refrain from this annoying contradictory state of mind

Informed, balanced, agreement and cooperation.


Perversion of pure action

I refrain from corruption

I only do that which is moderate, healthy, good, and natural

Crab mentality: describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you."

I refrain from preventing others having things and experiences that I have not

  • I am happy that others are happy and doing well
  • I overcome my envy and jealousy
  • I am happy for the good fortune of others
  • I actively bring good things and experiences to others
  • I am not bitter or resentful towards other's good fortune


to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly

I refrain from being a victim of craving that which I don't need and/or is uneccessay

Desires are ok but I am not ruled by them. I realise the most cravings are selfish, temporary, and passing desires. I am the master of my heart and mind.



I refrain from cruelty and harm

I do not harm myself or others



I am learning about human behaviour

Despair I calm myself (try relaxation breathing) knowing that despair does not help either the present nor the future Nurture hope and perform healthy and positive action


  • Lying
  • Cheating
  • Stealing

I am honest


A belief that is held to be "truth" or the authority.

I am not dogmatic

  • Humility
  • Security in your own beliefs
  • Flexibility in view
  • Appreciating other's paradigms
  • No need to prove anything
  • Enjoying the variety in life
  • Releasing the need to "be right."
  • Allowing others to have their own views, opinions, and beliefs

Excuses (dishonest)

A dishonest defense of our offensive behavior or our failure to keep a promise, often accompanied by dishonestly blaming others.

I am refrain from giving dishonest excuses concerning my failings

I take full responsibility for my mistakes


An excessive or exaggerated sense of self-importance. In extreme forms, egotism (as egotism) may include narcissism, personality disorders, and antisocial behavior.

I am not egotistical



I am not envious

  • I am pleased for others and their good fortune
  • Happiness for others good fortune
  • Emotional awareness

Exploit: The act of utilizing something or someone in an unjust or cruel manner.

I refrain from exploitation, understanding that I must relate to life with fairness, justice, and respect

  • Respecting life
  • Considering others
  • Fairness and justice
  • Decency

(From God centered living)

I refrain from denying the possible existence of God and of my identity as being a soul that is not limited to the lifespan of this current physical body.
  • The whole universe is God's show
  • I am a soul, created by God
  • It is the duty of the soul to serve God in all things
  • As a soul, my existence continues after this current lifetime
  • Although the world may seem chaotic and unfair, God's will and order is firmly in control, teaching all souls the lessons they require.

Facetious (inappropriate/constant)

Lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous. We all enjoy a good joke and inoffensive humour. Often the constantly and inappropriate use of humour is used to mask feelings or can be "passive aggressive" - the comments can contain unpleasant remarks wrapped in humour.

I refrain from inappropriate, unpleasant, or "passive aggressive" facetious comments
  • Be appropriate to the situation
  • Don't make jokes at the expense of others
  • Do you always make jokes? Perhaps you are hiding behind the humour

False (egocentric) Pride

I am not proud of my ignorance or egotism

Glamour I refrain from being blinded by the superficial outward appearance of people and things in the world
  • Relating to others and the world beyond the external coverings
  • Love
  • Empathy and compassion




I refrain from greed

  • Temperance
  • Balance
  • Charity
  • Non-hoarding
  • Wise and appropriate giving
  • Balancing your needs with the needs of the world
  • Balancing yourself with others
  • Emotional awareness


I am not hasty


I do not harbor hatred

I may experience natural aversion to people, places, and things but this is of the moment and not a persistent problem


I refrain from unnecessary hostility towards self and others

I practice friendliness, compassion, kindness, and understanding


Hypocrisy (alternately spelled hypocricy in American English), is acting in a manner contradictory to one's professed beliefs and feelings, or conversely, expressing false beliefs and opinions in order to conceal one's real feelings or motives. For example, a smoker would be hypocritical if he or she were to criticize someone else for smoking tobacco. The term hypocrisy is often used in a religious context to refer to someone who gives a false appearance of virtue or religion, or does not "practice what he or she preaches". Psychologically, hypocrisy can be an unconscious act of self-deception.

I refrain from hypocrisy

I practice that which I believe in



I do not idolize others

  • Respecting and enjoying the uniqueness of the individual


I want to learn


I refrain from imitation


I am patient

  • Patience
  • Tolerance
  • Temperance
  • Respect for time
  • Planning


I consider others

Cold, uncaring, a hardened heart

I consider others

  • Consider the lives of others
  • Care and concern about the lives of others
  • Conscience
  • Attitude Awareness

Irrational Guilt

I only feel guilty when I know I have done something wrong


I am not jealous

  • I am happy that others are happy and doing well
  • I discover and appreciate my own good qualities and work at understanding and improving myself and my life
  • Happiness for others good fortune
  • Do not unnecessarily compare yourself with others as we are all unique individuals and embody different qualities
  • Emotional awareness



I do not judge others

I refrain from prejudice

Lust (selfish sense gratification)

I refrain from selfish lust and the mercenary pursuit of selfish sense gratification

  • Care, tenderness, love
  • Temperance (self control)
  • Admiration and appreciation
  • Realizing the folly and misery of trying to satisfy endless selfish desires
  • Accepting the natural functioning of the second chakra
  • Considering and respecting others
  • Emotional awareness

(ill will, harmfulness)

I refrain from wishing or acting upon ill will

(good will, desire to help and be kind)


  • A desire to harm others or to see others suffer
  • extreme ill will or spite
  • Feeling a need to see others suffer
  • The quality of threatening evil

I refrain from malice

  • Nurture good intent and happy feelings toward others


A desire to harm others or to see others suffer
(You may feel that it is just a joke, but think it through - will the outcome harm others or bring them unintended suffering?)

I refrain from mischief

  • Nurture good intent and happy feelings toward others
  • Be helpful, kind, and caring
  • Do or think things that will bring happiness to others


I refrain from mockery

  • Helping others who are less fortunate than you
  • Do not make others small to make you feel tall


Hatred towards humanity in general

I refrain from misanthropic attitudes


Naive innocence

I don't want to remain naive

  • Education
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Wisdom


I refrain from selfish self adoration

Negative habits

I am identifying and overcoming my negative habits

  • Nurturing positive, healthy habits and routines

Neurotic fear

I refrain from unnecessary fear


I refrain from immoderate passionate behaviour

  • Reason
  • Balance
  • Rationality
  • Goodness
  • Equanimity
  • Calm
  • Moderation

Persistent indecision

I make choices and accept the consequences

Possessiveness (unhealthy) especially concerning other people

I let go and allow others to enjoy themselves. I do not own anybody.

  • Letting go
  • Allowing others to enjoy themselves
  • Mature non-possessive relationships
  • If you love somebody then set them free

Power games

I have no need to play immature power games

  • I use my power wisely, responsibly, maturely, and for the good


I do not project my problems and issues onto other people

I take responsibility for my problems and issues

  • Taking responsibilities for your problems and issues


A very useful intuitive survival mechanism of doubt and distrust, but unchecked can lead to paranoia (unreasonable suspicion in other's motives

I refrain from unnecessary suspicion but I am aware that there could be some truth in it

  • Don't let unfounded suspicion run away with you
  • When suspicious remain reasonable but aware
  • Talk to a trusted friend about your suspicions
  • Confront the object of your suspicion
  • Realize that the truth will eventually come out



I am not resentful


I refrain from revenge


I refrain from sarcasm

  • Sincerity


I refrain from scorn

  • Helping others who are less fortunate than you

Self pity

I refrain from self-pity


Selfish attachment

I am not selfish

I consider others

I refrain from selfish attachment


Needing to feel that your belief, opinion, view, and activity is "the right way to live."

Making others wrong so that you feel right.

I am not self-righteous

  • Live and let live
  • Learn to find variety interesting
  • Sort out your own life and beliefs and then learn to enjoy variety
  • Let go of the need to feel right all the time
  • Attitude Awareness
  • Psychological Awareness


I only feel shame when I know that I have done something wrong

  • Goodness
  • Holistic health




I am not lazy and I do not procrastinate

Spite: to intentionally annoy, hurt, or upset. Spiteful words or actions are delivered in such a way in which it's clear that the person is delivering them just to annoy, hurt, or upset. When the intent to annoy, hurt, or upset is shown subtly, behavior is considered catty.

I refrain from spite and respond in a thoughtful, considerate, and mature mannner

  • Respecting others
  • Consideration towards others
  • Compassion (putting yourself in another's shoes)
  • Assertion: Expressing yourself in a diplomatic and mature manner


I refrain from being stubborn

  • I am flexible
  • Broadminded
  • Adaptable


The unfounded and unquestioned belief in things that you don't understand.

I am not superstitious

  • Comprehension
  • Attaining our own level of understanding
  • Application of rationality and logic
  • Scientific Testing
  • Method and Procedure
  • Suspending belief
  • Making up your own mind


Indulgence in egotism and vice.

I am not tempted


I refrain from being unappreciative

I appreciate all the goodness in life and the efforts of others that help nurture and support life on Earth


I refrain from vanity

Wasteful I am not wasteful

I am prudent

  • Be prudent
  • The universe is abundant
  • The creator is abundant
  • This no excuse for to be wasteful, greedy, inconsiderate, reckless, or destructive

Manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for selfish egotism, fury, hatred, resentment, self-pity, narcissism, anti-social behavior, and persistent anger. It is also known as rage (excessive and unrelenting violent anger).

I purify my heart and mind of all selfish and destructive impurities

I fill my heart with love

  • Get into love
  • Be loving
  • Fill your heart with love
  • Make love the center of yourself


Fear and hatred of lifestyles that are different from your own: attitude, beliefs, culture, opinions, views.

I am interested in others who are different to myself

I do not hate others who think differently to myself

  • Interest in other cultures
  • Trying to understand different ways of living and relating to life


We can use this procedure to purify and transform any negative thought or quality in our mind and personality:

  1. Identify: the negative (vice).
  2. Refrain: neutralize the vice by refraining and then using positive and realistic affirmation.
  3. Replace: Apply the positive opponent (virtue).

Practice for clearing past life negative karma

This simple yet effective karma purifying practice can be found in most spiritual traditions.

Realize that you and all other souls are going through, by direct experience, a stage in all souls development - a stage of purification and enlightenment - and we have to go through it to get beyond it. The lotus of the enlightened soul is born from the mud of ignorance (avidya). That which is beyond the experience of ignorance, egoism, and vice (bad behaviour) is the experience of the individual soul in a purified way without identification or attachment to the experience of individuality and with complete identification with the Real Self - The One Eternal and Immortal Self.

This exercise depends entirely on a humble, sincere, authentic, and genuine heart. We need to be established in this mode before we perform the following exercise otherwise it will not work. You cannot fool or beguile The Pure and Ever Virtuous Higher Self, but we can become as one with it!

  1. Study and understand how to do deep relaxation breathing. You will need to be able to do it to perform this practice
  2. Create some peaceful time where you can get comfortable, relaxed, and undisturbed for about 20 minutes
  3. Sit or lie down. Relax and get comfortable. Let go of all the cares and worries of life for the moment
  4. Do 5 minutes of deep relaxation breathing
  5. When you feel comfortably relaxed then place your hands together in a prayer position at the level of the center of your chest
  6. With a sincere heart and a genuine humble mind, ask The Higher Self (the part of the Creation that deals with karma and prayers), for complete forgiveness of all your mistakes and bad behaviours that you (and all others) have done due to the generic ignorance (avidya) that is part of all soul's development.
  7. Forgive yourself and all other souls for all previous bad behaviours and attitudes that have been performed whilst been in the mode of ignorance.
  8. Release your hands from the prayer position and let your arms relax
  9. Do a couple more minutes of deep relaxation breathing and enjoy the feeling
  10. If your heart chakra was sincere, humble, and genuine, then you have now been released from all negative karmic consequences from all past activities
  11. In your own time, come out of the relaxation state.
  12. End of exercise

Why should it be anymore difficult than that? It isn't. You will find that all genuine spiritual practices are simple, pure, honest, and easy to do. This exercise is very ancient and has been used successfully for thousands of years. You can find it in the inner teachings of most spiritual traditions.

NOTE: It is wise to do this karmic cleansing exercise everyday for several months. You will know when you can stop when you begin to feel much better, lighter, calmer, wiser, happier, and more peaceful. We all make mistakes and these mistakes show us that we still have something to learn. When you make a mistake and act from the mode of ignorance then you can do this exercise in order to ask for forgiveness. We get the forgiveness when we have fully understood the lesson and have also asked for the forgiveness.

Developing Ethics, Morality, and Principles

Although central to our experience, the mind is not the only area of activity, we should be attempting to purify our total personality - purifying the seven centers.

In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali we are given some wise counsel concerning developing our morality - the 5 Yamas and the 5 Niyamas.

  1. Yama means abstinence, which means "not doing" - abstaining from.
  2. Niyama means observance, which means "doing".

The Yamas and Niyamas are the foundation stones of ethical and humanitarian behavior without which we cannot build authentic civilization.

YAMA - Abstinence.

Sutra 2.30

Ahimsa: Harmlessness, Non-violence.
Satya: Straightforward, truthful, unaffected (by pride and pretence) and honest.
Asteya: Non-stealing, non-covetousness, non-jealous, non-envy.
Brahmacharya: Humility and conscious self mastery of bodily, mental, and emotional functions.
Aparigraha: Non-greed.
Yamah:  Abstinence.
YAMA - Abstinence Meaning.
  • Non-lying.
  • Truthfulness.
  • Being Straightforward and Honest.
  • Self-honesty; being honest about the state of our life.
  • Non-stealing and Non-covetousness.
  • Not stealing in action, thought, or speech.
  • Non-greed.
  • Not hoarding things beyond our needs.
  • Not being miserly.

Not causing pain. Some authors translate it as non-killing, but it is not that. Himsa means to cause pain; ahimsa, not to cause pain. Killing is different from causing pain. Causing pain can be even more harmful than killing. Even by our words, even by our thoughts and our emotions, we can cause pain.


Truthfulness and honesty, not lying. It also involves the consideration of appropriate and diplomatic ways in which to communicate with others. Satya implies subtlety in the way in which we are honest. Sometimes if we are simply basic and blunt then we can hurt other's feelings (ref: Ahimsa). So we must consider how our holistic activities will affect others. Satya also means being straightforward and appropriate to the situation.

Satya also refers to being honest with ourselves. Honestly reviewing and appraising our own life, achievements, beliefs, opinions, values, and holistic behaviour.


Non-stealing. Not just the abstinence from physical theft, but also from envy, jealousy, and egocentric possessiveness (stealing in the mind). There are many things that we can steal from people - not just their material belongings. We can steal peoples health, their inner wealth, their freedom, their beauty, their satisfactions, and their happiness and feelings of well being, their confidence and self respect, their family and friends, and finally their life. We can also steal from others in our mind - by being envious, jealous, manipulative, exploitative, and overly possessive.


Self control and healthy, responsible moderation - especially concerning sexual and sensual enjoyment. Brahmacharya involves consideration of the consequences of our activities (in action, thought, and speech). 'Brahma' means 'Creative energy of Existence' and 'Acharya' means 'Master'. Thus, the real meaning of 'brahmacharya' is conscious self mastery over the energy, expressions, and connections of the seven chakra system - not being ruled by selfish tamasic aversion and rajasic desire (selfish egotism).


The last part of yama - which can be translated in two ways. One is non-hoarding of things, not being greedy and overly possessive, not accumulating beyond our capacity to use things in the proper way. The other translation of aparigraha is not accepting gifts. We can also be greedy by holding back from giving to life, that is another form of hoarding.

These five principles make up yama, the abstentions. These things seem so elementary but are, at the same time, "elephantary." They shouldn't be discarded as being mild. They are not easy to perfect. The mind is often so used to having it's own way that new habits require dedicated and committed practice.


NIYAMA - Observances.

Sutra 2.32

Saucha: Purity.
Samtosha: Contentment
Tapah: Accepting pain and not causing pain in self or others.
Svadhyaya: Study of intelligent and illuminating books
Isvarapranidhanani: Transcendent considerations.
Niyamah:  Observances
Niyama - Observances Meaning.
  • Self Discipline and accepting the growing pains of life-challenges.
  • Accepting, but not giving, some necessary pain or suffering (for example, in unpleasant social situations)
  • Study of good books and other media.

The five points of yama, together with the five points of niyama, remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism.

In fact, there is no religion without these moral or ethical codes.

Sutra 2.31


Jati = class; desa = place; kala = time; samaya = circumstance; anavachchhinnah = not limited by; sarvabhaumah = universal; mahavratam = great vows.

These Great Vows are universal, not limited by class, place, time or circumstance.

Patanjali calls these the maha vratam, or great vows, because they can never be broken by any excuse: not time, place, purpose, social or caste rule, not by winter, summer, morning or evening, or by this country or that nationality. These points are for whole-time, dedicated Yogis; and so, for them, Patanjali allows no excuses. For people who aren't that one-pointed toward the Yogic goal, these vows can be modified according to their position in life.

Relating to others with virtue
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali :1.33

In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil.
(maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhka punya apunya vishayanam bhavanatah chitta prasadanam)

  • maitri = friendliness, pleasantness, lovingness
  • karuna = compassion, mercy
  • mudita = gladness, goodwill
  • upekshanam = acceptance, equanimity, indifference, disregard, neutrality
  • sukha = happy, comfortable, joyous
  • duhka = pain, misery, suffering, sorrow
  • punya = virtuous, meritorious, benevolent
  • apunya = non-virtuous, vice, bad, wicked, evil, bad, demerit, non-meritorious,
  • vishayanam = regarding those subjects, in relation to those objects
  • bhavanatah = by cultivating habits, by constant reflection, developing attitude, cultivating, impressing on oneself
  • chitta = mind field, consciousness
  • prasadanam = purified, clear, serene, pleasant, pacified, undisturbed, peaceful, calm

Each attitude is a type of meditation: Each of these four attitudes (friendliness, compassion, goodwill, and neutrality) is, in a sense, a meditation unto itself. While it is actually a preparation practice, it has become popular to use the word meditation in a very broad way, rather than as the specific state of dhyana (3.2), as normally used by the yogis. Some schools of meditation base their entire approach on one or more of these four attitudes. However, to the seeker of the absolute reality (1.3), these are practiced as valuable steps along the journey, but not the end itself.

Getting free from negativity with other people: In sutra 2.33-2.34, the question is posed as to what to do when one does not act or think in accordance with yogic values such as non-violence, but rather, has negative emotions. What is one to do with such strong negative thought patterns? The suggestion is made in those sutras, that we cultivate an opposite attitude by reminding ourselves (through internal dialogue) that holding onto this negative attitude is going to do nothing but bring unending pain and misery (2.34). It also points out that, in terms of the inner reaction and effects, there is really no difference between three kinds of actions:

  1. We, ourselves carrying out such a negative act
  2. Soliciting another person to do it for us, or
  3. Approving of the act when it happens, but without our effort.

To work with these four attitudes of friendliness, compassion, goodwill, and neutrality specifically, we can make much easier progress with the practices of the yamas (2.30) and the instructions to cultivate the opposite when we become negative (2.34).

Four perceptions of other people to cultivate: Here, in this practice, four specific types of people are mentioned (happy, suffering, virtuous, non-virtuous), how we perceive them, and what attitudes we might cultivate to stabilize, purify, or calm our own mind (attitudes of friendliness, compassion, goodwill, and neutrality).

These four encompass most of our relationships: By memorizing these four, and actively observing them in daily life, and during daily quiet time, it is much easier to see the vagaries of the mind, and to regulate them. Having a short list of four makes the process pretty easy to do. Many, if not most or all, of our relationship challenges with people encompass one or more of these four.

Have a specific antidote for each: Having a specific attitude to cultivate for each of the four also makes cultivating change much easier to do. It does not mean that you replace all of your other fine ideas about how to have good people relationships, but these four sure do make a useful practice.

Towards those who are happy or joyful
We might feel: Better to cultivate:
Resistance/distance: Remember how it is that sometimes when you are not having such a good day, you might resist being around other people who are feeling happy or joyful. It is very easy to unintentionally have a negative attitude towards them at such a time, even if they are your friends or family members. This is not to say that your mind is being 100% negative, but it is the tendency, however small, that we want to be mindful of. It is not about setting ourselves up for an over expectation of perfection, but a gradual process of clearing the clouded mind so that meditation can deepen.
Friendliness/kindness: If you are mindful about this normal tendency of the mind, then you can consciously cultivate an attitude of friendliness and kindness when you are around these happy people, or when you think about them. This conscious act of being mindful of the negative tendency of mind, and actively promoting the positive and useful has a stabilizing effect and brings inner peace and calm. It is being mindful that the mind often holds both sides of the attraction and aversion, positive and negative. Here, we want to be aware of both, but cultivate the positive and useful.

Towards those who are in pain or suffering
We might feel: Better to cultivate:
Imposition/frustration: You might normally think of yourself as being a loving, caring, compassionate person. Yet, notice how easy it is to feel the opposite when someone around you is sick. You have other plans and suddenly some family member gets sick, or there is an extended illness in the family. Surely you care for them, but it is also a habit of the mind to feel somewhat imposed upon. Again, we are not talking about some 100% negativity or psychopathology. These are normal actions of mind that we are systematically trying to balance and make serene.
Compassion/support: It is good to observe that inclination of the mind, however small. It just means to be mindful of it, while at the same time consciously cultivating compassion and support for others who are suffering. It does not mean acting, or suppressing the contrary thoughts and emotions. It does mean being aware, and lovingly choosing to act out of love. Again, we want to be mindful of the habits of mind. Unawareness leaves disturbances in the unconscious that will disturb meditation. Awareness allows freedom and peace of mind.

Towards those who are virtuous or benevolent
We might feel: Better to cultivate:
Inadequate/jealous: We all want to be useful, to be of service to our families, friends, and other people, whether in our local community or across the world. Often we privately may feel there is more we could do, but that we are just not doing it. Jealousy and other negative emotions can easily creep in when somebody else is sincerely acting in virtuous or benevolent ways. We can unconsciously push against such people, whether we know them, or they are publicly known people.
Happiness/goodwill: Better that we cultivate attitudes of happiness and goodwill towards such people. It is not always easy to cultivate such positive attitudes when, inside, we are feeling negative. But something very interesting happens as we become a neutral, non-attached witness to our inner process. That is, humor comes; the mind is seen to be a really funny instrument to watch, in all of its many antics. Then the happiness and goodwill seems to come naturally.

Towards those who we see as bad or wicked
We might feel: Better to cultivate:
Anger/aversion: Most of us have some limits of what we find as acceptable behavior. We might sincerely hold the belief that all people are pure at their deepest level. Yet, are there not some individuals you think to be dishonest, cruel, mean, or even wicked, or evil? Are there not some behaviors that you consider so outside of acceptable conduct that it strongly causes you to feel anger and frustration? Even if you really feel strongly about some other person in this way, is it not also true that you, yourself, carry the burden of this? How to be free from that is the question.
Neutrality/acceptance: To counterbalance the negative feelings toward someone you feel is bad, wicked, or lacking in virtue, the antidote is to cultivate an attitude of neutrality, indifference, acceptance, or equanimity. It can be difficult to cultivate this attitude, since it might make us think we are approving of their bad behavior. We seek the neutrality of inner balance and equanimity, which does not mean approving of the person's actions. In fact, cultivating attitudes of neutrality might go a long way in being able to cause change. It surely helps to stabilize and clear the mind for meditation.

Intentional meditation on these four attitudes: During daily meditation time, it can be very useful to spend some time reflecting on these four attitudes. You might do them all, or you might practice with only one of them for an extended period of time. Simply choose one of the four attitudes and allow some person or persons to arise in the mind field. You will notice your reactions, the coloring mentioned earlier (1.5). As your attention rests on that inner impression of that person, allow yourself to cultivate the positive or useful attitude. Gradually, the negativity or coloring weakens or attenuates (2.4). This is part of the preparation for meditation.

Talk to yourself: When you notice any of the negative attitudes above, it is very useful to literally remind yourself that this is not useful (2.33). You might literally say to yourself, "Mind, this is not useful. This attitude is going to bring nothing but pain. You need to let go of this." It is also good to remind yourself, "I need to cultivate friendliness with this person" (compassion, goodwill, or neutrality).

What to do with really "bad" people: It is common for meditators to question these four attitude meditations in relation to really "bad" people such as certain political or religious leaders, present or historical. How can I feel friendliness, compassion, goodwill, or acceptance towards someone like "him?" I'll not mention any names here, but you can easily think of some of them yourself. It can sound like Yoga is suggesting that we agree with, or validate the behavior of such people, which is not the case. The questions of approving of behavior and dealing with our own internal states are very different issues. I believe that it is important to realise that all souls here on Earth are in soul-school and are in the process of learning the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, soul realization, and the Spiritual Nature of Reality and Self. When we realise this then we can forgive all souls because "forgive them, they know not what they do...". Eventually, through many lives, all souls will give up ignorance and egotistical behaviour as they realise the truth of soul, spiritual reality, and virtue.

  • Acceptance: To consider circumstances, especially those that can not be changed, as satisfactory.
  • Bravery: The ability to do things that you would not normally want to, especially activities that may bring danger, loss, or pain.
  • Caution: Avoidance of rashness, attention to safety.
  • Charity: To freely give to deserving others who are lacking.
  • Clarity: To understand things with a degree of ease.
  • Compassion: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
  • Contentedness: The ability to experience real and honest satisfaction
  • Courage: Bravery
  • Curiosity: A desire to find out and know things.
  • Defiance: Bold resistance.
  • Determination: Firmness of purpose.
  • Devotion: A great love, loyalty, enthusiastic zeal.
  • Diplomacy: Skill and tact in dealing with people.
  • Discretion: Being discrete in ones speech, keeping secrets.
  • Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Endurance: Perseverance
  • Flexibility: Adaptable, able to be changed to suit circumstances.
  • Focus: Concentrated awareness and effort.
  • Forgiveness: To cease to feel anger, hate, or bitterness towards a person or about an offense.
  • Friendship: The ability to like others.
  • Generosity: Giving or ready to give freely, free from meanness or prejudice.
  • Gentleness: Moderate; mild, considerate, careful, not rough or severe.
  • Gratitude: Being thankful.
  • Harmlessness: Abstaining from causing hurt or harm. It is gentleness and non injury, whether physical, mental or emotional.
  • Honesty: Truthful; sincere; not lieing or cheating.
  • Humbleness: Modest; not arrogant or boastful.
  • Humor: The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.
  • Impartiality: Fair.
  • Industry: Diligent, hardworking.
  • Innocence: Pure and good, not guilty.
  • Intelligence: The ability to understand and relate responsibly to the world. Reasoning, rationality, logic, knowledge, behaviour.
  • Jovial: Of good spirits. Happy and merry without intoxication. Of a happy character.
  • Justice: Fair, impartial, giving a deserved response.
  • Kindness: Friendly, helpful, well meaning.
  • Listening: The ability to suspend your own ideas, prejudices, and judgements and listen to another person.
  • Love: A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness. Corinthians 13: 4-7: "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
  • Loyalty: Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
  • Majesty: Great and impressive dignity.
  • Manners: To behave in a respectful, gentle, and careful way whilst in social company.
  • Moderation: The avoidance of extremes in one�s thought, actions or opinions.
  • Obedience: Willingness to obey, to be controlled when necessary, to carry out orders.
  • Openness: Ready and willing to talk candidly. Unsecretive.
  • Patience: The ability to endure delay, trouble, pain or hardship.
  • Peace: Freedom from mental or emotional agitation; serenity.
  • Perseverance: Continue in a course of action in spite of difficulty or lack of success.
  • Politeness: To behave in a respectful, gentle, and careful way whilst in social company.
  • Prudence: Wise or careful in conduct. Shrewd or thrifty in planning ahead.
  • Reliability: Can be trusted to do something.
  • Respect: Respect is esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, a person, a personal quality, ability, or a manifestation of a personal quality or ability. It is sometimes, but should not be, confused with loyalty or fear for a person. Also, to treat life with gentleness, humility, and care.
  • Responsibility: Having control over and accountability for appropriate events.
  • Righteous: Does not rejoice in wrongdoing and may seek to stop or prevent it.
  • Sacrifice: To do things for others usually with some voluntary loss to oneself.
  • Self-control: The ability to understand and control oneself if and when necessary.
  • Sensitivity: Heightened awareness of oneself and others within the context of social and personal relationships.
  • Simplicity: Straightforward; not complex or complicated. Unpretentious.
  • Sincerity: Free from pretense or deceit in manner or actions. Respectful, genuine, and truthful.
  • Skill: The ability to do something well with expertise.
  • Sobriety: Serious, solemn and calm. Free from intoxication.
  • Spontaneity: Natural, not planned.
  • Steadfastness: Firm, resolute; determinedly unwavering.
  • Straightforward: Honesty, genuine, unaffected by pride or pretence.
  • Strength: Capable of exerting great force.
  • Thrift: Carefulness and prudence in the use of money and other resources.
  • Tolerance: To patiently endure or allow something unpleasant or disagreeable
  • Tranquility: Serenely quite and peaceful; undisturbed.
  • Trust: Having confidence in others; lacking suspicion.
  • Trustworthiness: Able to be trusted or depended on; reliable.
  • Work: The ability to get things done.
  • Wisdom: Having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgement.


So we now understand that all this selfishness arises from the mechanics of egotism - ignorance and forgetfulness that life on Earth is "One Unified System" and the life of the Cosmos is One Entity - the real Self.

This ignorance and misidentification with the experience of the individual (body/mind) produces our egotism, greed, competitiveness, and unnecessary fear about life.

Do not pursue the path of selfish happiness because it is actually the path of misery.

  • CHAKRA ONE: Base/root chakra.
    Refrain from greed, miserliness, and unnecessary hoarding.
    Refrain from physically damaging and unhealthy behaviors.
    Refrain from clinging to bodily life.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to the material world.
  • CHAKRA TWO: Sacral chakra.
    Refrain from selfish lust for sexual and sensual pleasure.
    Refrain from sexual misconduct.
    Refrain from addiction to sensual pleasure.
    Refrain from nurturing disappointment.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to sex and sensual pleasure.
  • CHAKRA THREE: Solar plexus chakra.
    Refrain from envy and jealousy towards others.
    Refrain from damaging, unhealthy, and antisocial behavior.
    Refrain from sloth.
    Refrain from nurturing anger and frustration.
    Refrain from hyper-activity.
    Refrain from egotistical and selfish abuse of power.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to life's activities.
  • CHAKRA FOUR: Heart chakra.
    Refrain from hatred.
    Refrain from nurturing grief and sorrow.
    Refrain from harmful behavior.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to love.
  • CHAKRA FIVE: Throat chakra.
    Refrain from unnecessary harmful and negative communications.
    Refrain from unpleasant and harmful creativity.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to communication and creativity.
  • CHAKRA SIX: Brow chakra.
    Refrain from cooperation with negative and unpleasant thought-forms.
    Refrain from over-intellectualizing life.
    Refrain from selfish attachment to the intellect and thought-forms.
  • CHAKRA SEVEN: Crown chakra.
    Refrain from attachment to the body and mind.
    Refrain from losing contact with or forgetting about the reality of the Mystery of Existence.
More about Virtues and Vices relating to each chakra

IMPORTANT STUDY: Virtues And Vices Relating To Each Chakra



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