Sanskrit Say What: Asteya – Non-Stealing


Asteya – Non-Stealing


What It Means: 

Wikipedia: Asteya (Sanskrit: अस्तेय) literally means "non-stealing.” It is a virtue in Hinduism and Jainism.

Asteya is considered as one of Five Yamas in the yoga school of Hinduism and one ten forms of temperance (virtuous self-restraint) in Indian philosophy. The practice of Asteya demands that one must not steal, nor have the intent to steal another's property through action, speech, and thoughts.

“If you are established in non-stealing, all wealth will come to you.” -Swami Sivananda

Yogic Philosophy:

In the Hindu scripts, Asteya is defined as "the abstinence, in one's deeds or words or thoughts, from unauthorized appropriation of things of value from another human being." In the Yoga Sūtras (II.30), Asteya is listed as the third Yamas or virtue of self-restraint, along with Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (non-falsehoods, truthfulness), Brahmacharya (sexual chastity in one's feelings and actions) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness, non-craving). Asteya is one of the five essential restraints in Hinduism.

In practice, Asteya implies to not steal, not cheat and not manipulate another's property or Self for one's own gain. Asteya takes a look at greed and what would cause one to steal. This Yama includes the concept that you should try to be content with what comes to you by honest means, rather than by stealing or coveting what another has that you do not. 

In addition, the idea of hoarding is another aspect to Asteya, since the idea of keeping more than what you need for yourself is potentially stealing from others, whether the item be food, money or possessions. 

In yoga, the idea that if one no longer desires something it will come to us by itself. 

Fun Fact

In yoga, this idea can be applied to showing up on your mat on time or showing up to teach on time, as not to steal from the teacher or class. In addition, it can be applied to being you and being where you are, as not to steal from who you are or the now.

Photo Cred: Do You Yoga