The First Steps
Raja-Yoga is divided into eight steps. The first is Yama — non – killing,
truthfulness, non – stealing, continence, and non – receiving of any gifts.
Next is Niyama — cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study, and self –
surrender to God. Then comes Asana, or posture; Pranayama, or control of
Prana; Pratyahara, or restraint of the senses from their objects; Dharana, or
fixing the mind on a spot; Dhyana, or meditation; and Samadhi, or
superconsciousness. The Yama and Niyama, as we see, are moral trainings;
without these as the basis no practice of Yoga will succeed. As these two
become established, the Yogi will begin to realise the fruits of his practice;
without these it will never bear fruit. A Yogi must not think of injuring
anyone, by thought, word, or deed. Mercy shall not be for men alone, but
shall go beyond, and embrace the whole world.