Asteya – Non-Stealing

Asteya – Non-Stealing

by Chandra Om

Queen of Heaven

Asteya may be achieved through simple living. Steya (stealing) is the result of the inability to control desires for sense-pleasures. Desire is the root-cause for all stealing. When the mind and senses seek enjoyment, thoughts of theft arise as a means of obtaining and satisfying those desires. Desires lend an imaginary attractiveness to the object sought, slaying discrimination, and soon destroy the Yogi’s ethical foundation.

Stealing can occur on many levels. You may steal knowledge, without asking permission to use someone else’s ideas or forms of expression. Overeating or waste is stealing. Taking over a conversation or taking someone’s privacy is stealing.

The Guru taught “The taking from anyone, including the animals and mother nature without permission (or offering) is stealing. Learn to say, “Thank you God for the air I breathe. Thank you my Lord to be on this planet, to have all this comfort.”

If you borrow a book from someone, and you know are supposed to return it in two days but you do not return it when promised, this is also a form of stealing. If you are eating food without offering it to the Lord first, or if you are keeping more than you can use, that is a form of stealing. Then, there is more serious stealing, caused by envy, attachment, cravings and ignorance.

Stealing occurs when you are envious and devoid of Self-knowledge. From the highest and most subtle perspective, we are all thieves in some way. The scriptures declare that until we are fully Self realized, there is always a little demon present—sometimes bigger demons, sometimes smaller, sometimes uncontrollable, terrible demons—all born of personal desires. All actions, if they are not offered to the Lord are a form of stealing. Do not worry—simply make every action an offering to the Supreme Self, the Supreme Lord, and be content in your heart.

And for those who steal from you? Of course, you immediately forgive, always. The Yogi steeped in truth is perfectly content with whatever she has through honest means, grateful for all, with no sense of entitlement and no longing for future acquisition or the preservation of what she currently receives. If you are established in non-stealing, true wealth will come to you.