ADR and Yama, The First Limb of Yoga Sutra
Carmen M. Cusack, ADR and Yama, The First Limb of Yoga Sutra, 23 Australiasian Dispute Resolution Journal (ADRJ) 131 (2012)
Posted: 4 Apr 2014
Date Written: September 1, 2012
Yoga, with a history of more than 4,000 years and so many styles of practice and schools of thought, is one of the most diverse spiritual traditions in existence. The yoga sutras are a scriptural code that supplied yoga with its foundation approximately two millenniums ago. Though complicated, esoteric, and fragmented, the rules and principles established by the Yoga Sutra have proven their validity. One of the most famous portions of the Yoga Sutras delineates a moral code, known as the 8-limb path. The 8-limb path contains wisdom that usefully applies to modern principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution. This article takes the first 5 sub categories of the first “limb” Yoga Sutras, and applies concepts found throughout contemporary ADR to show that studying the Yoga Sutras could be a concise way to accomplish the goals asserted within contemporary ADR texts. By comparing the two we can also see the usefulness and timelessness of the modern ADR principles.
The 8-limb path is a system for achieving equilibrium, success, satisfaction, peace, and above all, union. It is a system that codifies traditional, moral values. The 8-limb path delineates the following 8-limbs, which must be satisfied in order to achieve clarity and the proper disposition of power: selfless values (yama); values of self-maintenance (niyama), postures (asana), cardiovascular control (pranayama), sensory control (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditative absorption (dhyana), respect for peace of mind and body (samdhi). Within the first limb, yamas, are the values of non-harm (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (asteya), continence (brahmacharya), and greedlessness (aparigraha). These 5 sub-categories are discussed in reference to negotiation, mediation, and arbitration in section II.
Keywords: law, alternative dispute resolution, Yoga Sutra
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