PDA

View Full Version : Yama 7 - Daya, Compssion



Eastern Mind
21 June 2010, 06:16 PM
Vannakkam

From http://veda.wikidot.com/yama-niyama

YAMA 7 — Daya, Compassion

"Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See God everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties."

I have struggled personally for years with distinguishing the difference between observation and criticism, observation indicating some degree of affectionate detachment, and criticism being a force that brings undue negative emotion upon oneself. I have discussed this before on here. Yet I still find it a fine line when I observe someone doing what I consider adharmic behaviour. To sit back and watch without whining or complaining or calling the person an idiot is difficult at times especially when the individual involved is doing what I personally consider a serious breach. I have been told it is just a reflection of what you see bad in yourself, but still am not sure on that.

Thoughts, opinions?

Aum Namasivaya

devotee
21 June 2010, 11:37 PM
Namaste EM,



YAMA 7 — Daya, Compassion

"Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See God everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties."

I have struggled personally for years with distinguishing the difference between observation and criticism, observation indicating some degree of affectionate detachment, and criticism being a force that brings undue negative emotion upon oneself. I have discussed this before on here. Yet I still find it a fine line when I observe someone doing what I consider adharmic behaviour. To sit back and watch without whining or complaining or calling the person an idiot is difficult at times especially when the individual involved is doing what I personally consider a serious breach. I have been told it is just a reflection of what you see bad in yourself, but still am not sure on that.


IMHO, you have put your dilemma in a wrong Yama ! :)

Anyway, this is my view :

By "Observation", I think you mean "witnessing without involvement", right ? Let's see the options we have :

a) Watch him doing adharma and don't say anything to him or do anything
b) Go & stop him & even use force if needed feeling very strongly about whether I am able to stop him or otherwise
c) Go & stop him with a completely calm mind but firmly without getting agitated while trying to stop him and without being happy after being successful in stopping him ... if I am unable to stop him ... I leave with a satisfaction that I did my part

My opinion :

a) The first option in my opinion is the worst as you are indifferent to adharma which is going to harm the person who is doing adharma and also against whom it is being directed. This "observation" is selfish and "cowardice" & will attract sin.
b) That is Kshatriya way of stopping Adhamra and it may result in stoppage of adharma by force or it may not. I get involved in the whole process and get my part of karmaphala (fruits of action).
c) The third is what is to be cultivated. If I have yogic powers, then I can change an Adharmi just by looking at him with compassion. If I am good at convincing, I can convince him to leave the path of adharma. If I am bodily strong, I can even threaten him to use force if he refuses to listen ... even if I am weak I can try to save the victim at the cost of some bodily injury to me. However, I am not mentally involved with the result, whether I am successful, unsuccessful or whether I am beaten or killed in the process .... as whatever is happening is just like a dream ... the things are simply working according to their gunas & that includes this being called "me" too. I watch the other person doing adharma, I watch "myself" making the efforts to stop the adharma, I watch my being successful/unsuccessful/beaten/killed in the efforts. I remain what I was ... unaffected in the whole process.

OM

NayaSurya
21 June 2010, 11:41 PM
Compassion is the first blessing of this lifetime. Born crying over injured grasshoppers...I still do sometimes.

But, there's a hole to come down with me.

I have two sisters...one is mentally ill. My ill sister suffers from pathological narcissism, and she's sociopath. She was born this way. When I was about 18 months old. My sister called me up into the front seat of our station wagon and forced my finger into the cigarette lighter hole. When this did not hurt me...she put the lighter back into the hole popped it down, then when it popped up ready to use...she branded me on my right leg.

When asked why she did this...her reply was that she simply wanted to see "what it would do to me."

This sister was much older. She abused my younger sister and I our whole lives. Extorted our Mother...I can not tell you the things she has done that are the gravest because they are unfit for this forum. Deviant in all ways. She has done uspeakable acts.

Truly, some are on this earth with much much karma to work through.

You have to give these souls a lot of room to work it through, there's little one can do on this side to help such creatures.

We have given this sister a wide berth... her illness only affects me if I allow her to...and for years I did. But luckily, Siva made a clear path directed far away from her.

I have never hurt people the way she has, physically and mentally ever. I would rather die than harm another human being.

So do not be so hard on yourself. Sometimes we have to simply remove ourself from the range of fire in these sorts of individuals.

There is no reflection coming back from some individuals for you to associate your own behavior with... They are so cloaked in the darkness of their illness...so utterly devoid of even the most basic things such as compassion....they are simply darkness.

If the day comes that my sister lay dying somewhere I would come to see her and tell her I love her. If she had a flat tire..I would come. But as a Mother, I had no choice but to make sure she no longer impacted my family with her abusive, violent, immoral behavior.

Sometimes it's not the things we have in common that causes the reaction. It's the harm that these individuals constantly bestow upon us that causes the reaction.

Eastern Mind
22 June 2010, 06:36 AM
Vannakkam Devotee and Naya: I am not surprised that it was the two of you who responded to this post first.

Devotee: Yes, examples do get intertwined with Yamas, but really it is just the example that counts. Yama might be the motivation for speaking of it, but self-analysis is the solution. I really liked your clarity in producing the 3 options. I confess to using option one quite a bit, and working within myself on trivial matters. But on more serious things, I will go to number 3. Fortunately, my situation is such that I rarely if ever see really adharmic situations. Occasionally though I have had the opportunity to inform someone exactly what I thought, but in a calmer way. Especially when they come and ask of your opinion. It is really important to stay calm and not react, because emotions are of no help.

At our temple I see the board of trustees who have 2 or 3 year terms as the temporary stewards of Ganesha. When you hear backbiting amongst devotees, I always present them with, "Write a letter or speak to a board member." Taking upon such responsibility is a thankless task some days. Usually of course the whiner in question would never volunteer for the task. But such is human nature. Usually if you suggest that they volunteer for the job next time around, they of course decline.

Naya: Yes, much of that can be attributed to anava. That is my observation anyway. I had nothing nearly as close to your karma as a child. Unlike you, I probably would have been warped for life. The best I can remember was when my grandfather came home from one of his week long binges, but my parents always protected us well.

Aum Namasivaya

atanu
22 June 2010, 09:19 AM
Vannakkam

From http://veda.wikidot.com/yama-niyama

YAMA 7 Daya, Compassion

"Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See God everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties."

I have struggled personally for years with distinguishing the difference between observation and criticism, observation indicating some degree of affectionate detachment, and criticism being a force that brings undue negative emotion upon oneself. I have discussed this before on here. Yet I still find it a fine line when I observe someone doing what I consider adharmic behaviour. To sit back and watch without whining or complaining or calling the person an idiot is difficult at times especially when the individual involved is doing what I personally consider a serious breach. I have been told it is just a reflection of what you see bad in yourself, but still am not sure on that.

Thoughts, opinions?

Aum Namasivaya

Namaste EM, Devotee, Naya

This is real dilemma. As usual, I begin from what Guru and scripture say. Shri Ramana says that there is no doubt in full light or in full darkness. The dilemma belongs to mind in the middle. Brahman is never doubtful nor is a stone ever doubtful. Similarly, we also have Sage Aitreya teaching: For a knower, it is improper to say "I gained this by doing this, and I lost this by doing this."

But we are in the middle and IMO, in such circumstance, each case requires unique decision. There can hardly be a common way.

Further, the view that being a mere observer-witness (sakshi-seer) means being inactive, in my opinion, is a view of the middling minds like us. Isn't Brahman a non-acting sakshi and yet the support of Universe? All true actions are said to flow from the one who does nothing and accrues no karma. That is action in inaction. One who does not participate with mind but is auspicious makes all good things happen.

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
23 June 2010, 01:43 AM
Vannakkam

From http://veda.wikidot.com/yama-niyama

YAMA 7 — Daya, Compassion

"Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See God everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties."

I have struggled personally for years with distinguishing the difference between observation and criticism, observation indicating some degree of affectionate detachment, and criticism being a force that brings undue negative emotion upon oneself. I have discussed this before on here. Yet I still find it a fine line when I observe someone doing what I consider adharmic behaviour. To sit back and watch without whining or complaining or calling the person an idiot is difficult at times especially when the individual involved is doing what I personally consider a serious breach. I have been told it is just a reflection of what you see bad in yourself, but still am not sure on that.

Thoughts, opinions?

Aum Namasivaya

Namaste

Further. Reading about Yama and Niyama, I tend to have a dilemma. Whether Yama prescriptions are for observing and subsequently judging others or are they primarliy for oneself?

Even if the Yama applies to observation of the world around us and actions thereof, the Yama prescriptions, IMO, apply together and not in isolated way. For example, when deciding upon action, in case of observation of deviation in another fellow, the following Yamas will have to be called forth together:

Ahimsa, Non-harming
Satya, Truthfulness
Kshama, Patience
Daya, Compassion
Arjava, Honesty
and finally
Shauca, Purity

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
23 June 2010, 02:01 AM
Namaste All

Yama and Niyama, I feel are integral to Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, which has one line commandment in respect of interaction with the world and for relations.


I.33. maitr ī karuṇā mudito 'pekṣāṇāṁ sukha duḥkha puṇyā 'puṇya viṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaś citta prasādanaṁ

The following fourfold attitude to life’s vicissitudes and in all relationships, being conducive to peace of mind, enables one to overcome the distractions of the mind:


• Friendliness toward the happy,
• Compassionfor the unhappy,
• Delight in the virtuous and
• Disregard toward the wicked.


Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
25 June 2010, 12:41 AM
Vannakkam

From http://veda.wikidot.com/yama-niyama

YAMA 7 — Daya, Compassion

"Practice compassion, conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings. See God everywhere. Be kind to people, animals, plants and the Earth itself. Forgive those who apologize and show true remorse. Foster sympathy for others' needs and suffering. Honor and assist those who are weak, impoverished, aged or in pain. Oppose family abuse and other cruelties."

I have struggled personally for years with distinguishing the difference between observation and criticism, observation indicating some degree of affectionate detachment, and criticism being a force that brings undue negative emotion upon oneself. I have discussed this before on here. Yet I still find it a fine line when I observe someone doing what I consider adharmic behaviour. To sit back and watch without whining or complaining or calling the person an idiot is difficult at times especially when the individual involved is doing what I personally consider a serious breach. I have been told it is just a reflection of what you see bad in yourself, but still am not sure on that.

Thoughts, opinions?

Aum Namasivaya

This post relates to the red fonted part above.

As per Shankara and as per science of mind, this is true -- probably not to the extent of Buddhistic understanding of 'Mind and nothing else'. But view/perception/understanding of anything that impinge on us get coloured through superposition of nescience and faith.

For example, we have/had one young member who was vacillating between joining Hindu rank and Buddhist rank. He was candid enough to acknowledge of his attraction/lust for colleagues at work place, though he was married. But at the same time he contributed to HDF mainly by enumerating lust escapades of Prophet Muhammad. A mind of similar bend but averse to hinduism may similarly see lust in Shiva and Krishna.

I am aware that what i have written is not devoid of my own superposition.

The hindu understanding is different from Buddhist understanding, the latter believe that all that we see/experience is one's changeable mind alone. We believe that all is Brahman- the unchanging substratum and the ever changing mind superimposed (or not superimposed).

Om Namah Shivaya

Eastern Mind
25 June 2010, 06:41 AM
Whether Yama prescriptions are for observing and subsequently judging others or are they primarliy for oneself?



Vannakkam Atanu:

In this particular case, it is about both. I am observing myself watch others. So it is not so much judging. It is watching one's own mind play tricks upon itself. The goal, of course, is to have it remain purely as an observation, and practice affectionate detachment from the goings-on or others. Intellectually or philosophically, the concept is easy, but when emotions enter the picture, it switches gears.

Aum Namasivaya

atanu
27 June 2010, 11:14 PM
Vannakkam Atanu:

In this particular case, it is about both. I am observing myself watch others. So it is not so much judging. It is watching one's own mind play tricks upon itself. The goal, of course, is to have it remain purely as an observation, and practice affectionate detachment from the goings-on or others. Intellectually or philosophically, the concept is easy, but when emotions enter the picture, it switches gears.

Aum Namasivaya

Namaste EM,

So true.

Checking a bit further we see that yet it finally boils down to observing 'yama' oneself. -- isn't it? Since, the reaction to the world is from oneself and is based upon one's own knowledge and judgement.

Om Namah Shivaya

Eastern Mind
28 June 2010, 07:05 AM
Checking a bit further we see that yet it finally boils down to observing 'yama' oneself. -- isn't it?

Om Namah Shivaya

Vannakam Atanu:
Well, yes, it seems to me they are translated as the observances. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

One of my Guru's quotes about Raja Yoga, was "you have to watch the mind think." So that observance is from outside the mind. Quite the study I would say, because the mind has this nature of being misled by instinct, emotion, etc. So it can trick itself all by itself. Something like being proud of your humility. Lots of little ironies throughout. But the best thing is it's fun doing it, and then there are those "Ahaaa!" moments when a lesson finally is actually understood.

Aum Namasivaya