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What does Satya mean?

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Satya is one of the five Yamas, which are the first section in The 8 Limbs of Yoga. Satya is a sanskrit word, meaning truthfulness but the word 'sat' literally translates to true essence or true nature.

Finding our true nature, requires a little bit of space and stillness. Something which is often hard to come by in our modern world. A little time for breathing and meditation goes a long way when it comes to finding our own truth. Our Satya.

The deeper meaning of Satya is also similar to the practice of Ahimsa, in the sense that telling the truth, or not lying has many levels. It isn't just when about not telling people or ourselves stories that are not the truth.

In Ravi Ravindra's transalation of the Yoga Sutras, he explains that when we speak about what we don't know, when we are bias or when we are convinced we know everything about something, we lie. We lie when we speak as if we are the centre of the universe and believe we have the right to pass judgement on everyone or everything. We lie when we weave fantasies in our minds and ignore reality. These can be based in truth but convoluted with fear or false expectations. Yet often we still believe them to be true. 

Sometimes the difficulty comes from not only having to be truthful, but learning to speak the truth in the least harmful way. Asking ourselves, am I telling the truth from a kind place or am I telling the truth only to cause harm to to others? Having this sensitivity, acting truthfully but minimising harm is a constant balancing act. There is never perfection, only constant practice with this yama. 


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