becomes “harmless” by being put into a state of non-function. And meditation dissolves itutterly. But until that interior state is established, we must work backwards from outward toinner, and abstain from all forms of injury.The aspiring yogi must clearly realize that the observance of ahimsa must include strictabstinence from the eating of animal flesh in any form or degree as well as the use of anythingobtained by or derived from the slaughter of animals.He must do nothing in thought, word, or deed that harms his body, mind, or spirit. On theother hand, he must do whatever benefits the body, mind, and spirit, for their omission is alsoa form of self-injury, as is the non-observance of any of the yama or niyamas.It is no simple thing to be a yogi.Satya: truthfulness, honesty“Satya is said to be speech and thought in conformity with what has been seen or inferredor heard on authority. The speech spoken to convey one’s own experience to others should benot deceitful, nor inaccurate, nor uninformative. It is that uttered for helping all beings. Butthat uttered to the harm of beings, even if it is what is called truth, when the ultimate aim ismerely to injure beings, would not be truth. It would be a wrong.” So says Vyasa.Shankara says that truthfulness means saying what we have truly come to know is thetruth–mostly through our own experience or through contact with sources whose reliabilitywe have experienced for ourselves. “Untruthfulness in any form puts us out of harmony withthe fundamental law of Truth and creates a kind of mental and emotional strain which preventsus from harmonizing and tranquillizing our mind. Truthfulness has to be practiced by thesadhaka because it is absolutely necessary for the unfoldment of intuition. There is nothingwhich clouds the intuition and practically stops its functioning as much as untruthfulness in allits forms,” says Taimni regarding the most personal and practical aspect of satya.Bending the truth, either in leaving out part of the truth or in “stacking the deck” tocreate a false impression, cannot be engaged in by the yogi. Regarding numbers it is said that“figures do not lie–but liars figure.” The same is true here. Equally heinous is the intentionalmixing of lies and truth. (Some liars tell a lot of truth.) This is particularly true in themanipulative endeavors of advertising, politics, and religion.Refusing to speak the truth, as well as avoiding speaking or facing the truth, is a form ofuntruth.There are many non-verbal forms of lying as well, and some people’s entire life is a lie.Therefore we must make sure that our actions reflect the truth. How many people claim tobelieve in God and spiritual principles, but do not live accordingly? How many people continuallyswear and express loyalty and yet are betrayers? We must not only speak the truth, we mustliveit.