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Non-stealing in the mind

by | Jun 24, 2021 | Fear, Greed, Independent Spirituality, Love/Hate, Maaya, Mind, Patanjali Yogs Sutra, Vedic, Viveka


Patanjali says, that we should not steal even in our mind. Asteya – Non-stealing. I have a habit of always wishing for others’ things, others’ possessions, others’ looks. I really want to get over this because I know, in the process only I am suffering. The other person is totally unaware. How do I stop stealing in the mind? Please help.



First of all pat yourself on the back! Out of the 4 billion people on this planet, there are only a few hundreds that have the courage to see their own faults and want to make a sincere effort in that direction to change it and above all have the guts to ask a teacher or somebody on the spiritual path to help. You asking the question itself puts you in the exceptionally unique category of human beings. This question is very relevant to almost all the people out there who are either listening to or reading this knowledge.

Stealing in the mind is a tendency that we have developed only in this human lifetime. As an animal, you really didn’t care about how beautiful the other leopard looked or how gorgeous the Peacock was or how ugly another Scorpion looked. It did not matter to you. You were non-judgmental into those previous lifetimes. When you stepped into the human realm of existence, you were endowed with Viveka [power of discrimination of the intellect] along with a stronger degree of Maaya. One who does not utilize the Viveka tends to drown deeper into Maaya.

The purpose of this human life is to rise to a higher realm of existence. Only those special people can swim out of this ocean of Maaya who gather the courage to drop the faults and negativity collected during the human existence.

So how to help yourself? What 

    1. Fear – Fear of losing something will help you stick to the vow. For example: If you want to stop wishing for somebody else’s million dollar home or riches or wealth,take a vow that if I think about somebody else’s wealth, and feel jealous, I will donate $100 to a good cause or a charity. And tell a friend or your spouse or your companion or your family member. If you don’t have anybody then tell me. That way you will stick to your vow. And every time you break your vow, you will have to let go off that $100. Telling your friend will ensure that your cruel and cunning mind does not try to evade the penalty in future.
    2. Greed – Greed can help you stick to a vow. You can promise yourself that If for one month, I don’t think about another person’s  good looks or another person’s  money, or another person’s relationship or go on to Facebook and become jealous about how somebody else traveled the world and posted pictures and why you are not traveling. etc. etc. If you manage to refrain from all this, you will gift yourself something. So put a deadline or timeline of say one month. For one month I will not do this and at the end of one month if I have succeeded, then I will buy myself a new dress. Again, tell a friend or family member or tell me so that you are able to stick to your vow and your mind does not become cunning in the process.
    3. Love – Promise yourself that if you stick to the vow of non-stealing or Asteya for a time limit say 1 or 2 months and you will honestly tell your loved one – (Your Spouse, your parent, your child, your friend, whoever) the truth overtime you steal. And tell the loved one, that every time I steal in my mind and I come and confess to you, you should stop talking to me for 1 or 2 days, This will pinch you. And that person not speaking to you for 2 days will help you train the mind.

 So you got the techniques clearly?. Fear, Greed and Love work well with this cunning mind. This is the only way to train your mind.

 Discipline your mind – come what may I will stick to my vow.

You can go to another extreme with love where if you notice that you steal in that 1 month or whatever timeline you have set for yourself, then you punish yourself that I will not go and meet Gurudev this year. How much ever I pine for him. This is a punishment.

See that you train your mind. You have just this lifetime in front of you. You don’t know whether you will be in a human lifetime again or not. So don’t lose this opportunity. Very rarely are we born as Humans. And very rarely do we get a chance to even be fortunate enough to realize our own follies and have courage to rise above them.

So keep rising above. Keep moving up. I am waiting for you on the other side. Keep moving. Come up. I will see you on the other side.

Have questions? Reach out to Ekta by clicking on the “Ask a Question” button on the left sidebar. For attending Ekta’s online knowledge sessions, click the “Gnyana Sangha” button on the left sidebar.


  1. Level 0 seeker

    Very wise advice, it is good to become accountable to learn/unlearn behavior. I will try this. Is it ok to also understand that everyone has his/her own journey. What I see is just a part and should not compare partially. We are all one (someone did some good karma and got something as reward/ teaching tool, God only knows the reason). We all are bound in this life. I should just worry about my own self. Thank you for showing us the path.

  2. Shailaja

    Ektaji, I have a doubt. If someone goes on a vacation, the thought arises, ‘I would like to visit there’. But after 5 minutes, I forget about it, and don’t think about it again. So the desire to visit there was the first thought, it was not my thought. Does it come under the category of stealing in the mind? Thanks!

    • Gnyana Sangha

      Stealing would be ‘I want to go where he/she went and experience what he/she did’.


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