Asteya – Embracing the Abundance of Life

Asteya, the principle of “non-stealing,” goes beyond the conventional understanding of stealing money or material possessions from others. Instead, it delves into the concept of refraining from robbing ourselves of our own highest potential. In a world where time is fleeting and precious, Asteya reminds us to value our own happiness and freedom, the ultimate goals of our existence, and not to squander them by deferring them for later.

Let me share with you a story that illustrates the consequences of self-robbery.

Once upon a time, a sincere young man embarked on a quest for enlightenment. He sought the guidance of an enlightened guru rumored to reside deep within a jungle. Driven by a deep desire to break free from the illusions of the world, he recognized the need for a guru’s assistance on his spiritual journey. After much searching, he finally found the guru and humbly requested his guidance.

The guru, sensing the young man’s unreadiness, warned him about the potential distractions and illusions that Maya, the illusory nature of reality, could present. But the young man, undeterred, pleaded for instruction. After contemplating for a while, the guru agreed to impart his wisdom, but with an unusual request – a cup of milk.

The young man set off on a journey to fulfill this seemingly simple task. As he ventured through the scorching sun and the labyrinth of the jungle, exhaustion set in, and his stomach yearned for refreshment. Suddenly, he spotted a dog with a collar and curiously followed it. Eventually, he came across a beautiful woman, the dog’s owner. Love blossomed between them, leading to marriage, a family, and societal acclaim. Decades passed, marked by both success and tragedy.

However, amidst the joys and sorrows of life, the young man completely forgot about the guru’s request for a cup of milk. It was only after his wife’s passing, when grief consumed him, that he remembered. With a sudden realization, he raced through the jungle to find the guru. But as he reached the guru’s abode, disappointment and regret overwhelmed him. The guru’s countenance transformed into Yama, the Hindu god of death, signaling the man’s imminent end. With one last breath, he recognized the theft of his spiritual progress, a consequence of his forgetfulness.

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder to us all to avoid succumbing to Maya’s illusions and prevent the theft of our inner wealth. It emphasizes that life and enlightenment can coexist, urging us to engage in self-reflection to avoid falling into Maya’s trap. The young man’s forgetfulness not only deprived himself of the chance for self-realization but also his wife. The key lies in conscious daily reaffirmation to prevent Maya from overshadowing our pursuit of divine bliss.

Asteya teaches us to embrace the abundance of life and to honor our own potential. It encourages us to live fully in the present moment, cherishing the opportunities and experiences that come our way. By refraining from stealing our own happiness and freedom, we can unlock the true treasures within ourselves and create a life of fulfillment and purpose.

Remember, time is precious, and each moment is an opportunity to embrace the abundance of life. Let Asteya guide you in honoring your own potential and living a life free from self-robbery.