What is Asteya, you may ask.
Asteya, explained by many and all over the internet, means non-stealing on non-jealousy, coming from the 3rd attribute of YAMA in the 8 limbs of Yoga.
But textbook explanation aside, what exactly does it mean?
Asteya actually means so much more than not physically taking something from someone else. It means cravings. It also means desires. Craving and desire for things that mankind will long for, which they do not possess, even things such as time and space. This feeling often arises from the lack confidence and faith in ourselves, and the fear that we are inadequate in our life. This ‘lack’, in particular, may refer to insecurity, wanting, or a feeling of incomplete. When these emotions overwhelm, one may begin to look for something to fill up that emptiness, and may even feel as if everyone else has got what we wanted, which in turn may lead to greed.
But what we often forget is that, these wants and desires in life are not what we truly need. Our happiness is not dependent on what we have. It’s on one’s mindset. It is about practicing knowing that we are enough, and have enough. We do not need to be jealous of other people or admire them for what we do not have as we are all different in our very own ways. We need to learn to live our own values, play our own strengths, and embrace our own body. We must feel thankful and practise gratitude, then will we feel the confidence and contentment.
Always have a mindset that we do not lack anything, and should be grateful for the abundance we already have at hand.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”, this quote by Theodore Roosevelt could be something we can keep in mind every day to practice Asteya, to remind ourselves constantly that – I have all I need.