Truth or satya – the second Yama

School of Yoga explains Truth or Satya – the second Yama

  • Truth or satya is one of the most difficult but vital elements of behaviour control or yama.
  • In fact, truth is also the most difficult concept to understand, interpret, experience and perform.
  • The reason truth is so difficult to master is due the shroud of perceptions always surrounding it. This shroud comes from our sense of being or Identity, asmita.
  • From our sense of being or Identity emerges our value system of Dharma. 
  • Finally, from our value system, we interact with our environment.

Therefore, to comprehend the truth, we must pierce the veil of our conditioning. This calls for awareness or pragnya. 

This aspect can only be acquired through rigorous practice. Also, truth in the world of illusion is difficult to define and easy to deflect. Therefore, an interim and more easily implementable aspect called integrity is considered. Also, integrity is more appropriate in today’s context. 

School of Yoga explains Truth and Integrity:

Integrity is not about honesty alone. Integrity includes aligning our behavior with our personal natural state or conditioning, willingness to sacrifice one immediate goals for the needs of a greater value, working with complete commitment, devotion and single-mindedness to achieve the objective and not be distracted by anything. When this happens, this quality of steadfastness to an objective of higher value inspires others to follow suit. Additionally, proper communication instills trust within the team. As a result, stress levels are low and awareness levels high.

School of Yoga explains Integrity, or its absence, can take many forms:

  • Intellectual integrity: The intellect controls intelligence. When we have the ability to process information, we feel confident that we can impact the process and control the outcome. However, success can often result in arrogance or manipulating behaviour. This results in a drop in integrity.
  • Business integrity: When we put this interest of the business without considering the ramification of our actions on the environment, adherence to laws etc., there is lack of integrity. 
  • Decision integrity: Integrity in decision making requires us to ensure that the decision is aligned with the goal by taking into consideration all variables and that all stakeholders are taken into confidence…
  • Communication integrity: One of the biggest tools in today’s environment is information. Often, this critical resource is not fully disclosed due to inability or fear of loss of importance / position. Here, integrity occurs by ensuring dissemination of appropriate information to all stake holders, not hiding critical information, ensuring transparency, etc…
  • Process integrity: Often, businesses accept substandard material which has not been made to parameters of quality. Our integrity lies in ensuring that process parameters are met and kept within acceptable limits…

Anecdotes, experiences and situations to help understand about truth…

Exercise: You are a manager and have to appraise three subordinates; as a result, one may be asked to leave the company. All are of the same level with minor differences. What will you do? 

  • How will you approach the decision?
  • When managing your team, how will you handle the people?
  • What is the fear that such an encounter generates?

Points to Ponder on truth:

Internal Tags: Dharma (conditioning)Stress and Situational AwarenessStress and pranaAwareness measuresHatha Yoga PradeepikaPatanjali Yoga SutraHatha Yoga and Raja Yoga.

External Tags: Integrity

Share your opinion and experiences on truth

  • Is it always possible to maintain a level of integrity?
  • How do we maintain integrity in our personal life, like paying taxes regularly?
  • Can we teach integrity within our family, especially our children?
  • How do we maintain integrity when we move in society, on the road, at the bus stop, at a restaurant?
  • Is maintaining integrity at work, as a superior, subordinate and peer difficult? How?
  • Business integrity; Is it possible to work with integrity with our suppliers & customers?
  • Integrity & public life people like politicians, civil servants, police etc; How does it impact the conditioning or dharma of a nation?


Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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[…] yama which cover most aspects of behaviour with the external environment are ahimsa (Non-violence), satya (Truth or integrity), asteya (Non-stealing), aparigraha (Renouncing possessions), brahmacharyam […]

[…] 6 elements: ahimsa (non-harming), sathya (truth), astheya (non-stealing), brahmacharyam (sexual countenance), aparigraha (renouncing possessions) […]

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