Alternative Dispute Resolution and Niyama, The Second Limb of Yoga Sutra
Carmen M. Cusack, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Niyama, The Second Limb of Yoga Sutra, 6 In Factis Pax 107 (2012).
16 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2013 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014
Date Written: February 19, 2012
The Yoga Sutras is an ancient text that was recorded in India more than 1,000 years ago. It contains the 8-limb path. The 8-limb path describes various prohibitions and requirements for reaching peace and fulfillment. On this 8-limb path, the second limb, Niyama, teaches that looking at life through a virtuous filter can be of benefit. Niyama literally means observances. Yoga Sutra is revived by its application to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). “The word sutra literally means a thread which strings together a series of 'beads' or aphorisms in their most terse or unadorned elaboration” [italics added]. The sutra’s words take on meaning when they are applied. Once they are strung in context, a lesson takes shape. Stringing together the sutras around ADR practices, including, negotiation, mediation, and plea bargaining, is beneficial for studying conflict and dispute resolution in a multicultural and philosophically spiritual way. Law schools, which teach conservative, Socratic analysis, train the majority of ADR practitioners. Lawyers tend to emphasize law during dispute resolution, and believe that ADR “is not merely an alternative, nor a private process within [the legal] framework, but a discourse that carries legal meaning and which can be used to enforce and implement the Rule of Law, encompassing its highest values.” This article intends to encourage ADR practitioners to think in terms of the sutras in order to expand knowledge, develop new strategies, and better resolve disputes with savvy awareness and acceptance rather than stricture. Dovetailing with ADR and Yama, The First Limb of Yoga Sutra, this article will contemplate the five subcategories of Niyama, the second limb. These subcategories are saucha (purity), santosha (truthfulness), tapas (heat), svādhyāya (study of sacred texts), and ishvarapranidhana (surrender).
Keywords: yoga, niyama, eight-limb path, yoga sutras, saucha, purity, santosha, truthfulness, tapas, heat, svādhyāya, study of sacred texts, ishvarapranidhana, surrender
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation