HomeInspirationWhy start with meditation instead of yama and niyama?



Dear Kamlesh bhai,

In Heartfulness, you start with the last three steps of Ashtanga Yoga – dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Why not start with the first two steps, yama and niyama, as in the traditional view?

Dear Swamiji,

Pranams. You have raised a very valid point, but after years of practical experience, I can say that my Guru’s guidance is absolutely practical. Let me try to explain why.

The goal of yoga does not mean the absence of mind, intellect, ego, consciousness, and physical existence. The ultimate achievement does not deny their presence. The ultimate blossoming only shows us the beauty of all that is. There is a great shift in the understanding of the body, mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness; they are the vehicles that become finely tuned with the inner being we call the soul.

Meditation (dhyana) is the pathway to ultimate nothingness. It helps us to refine the mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness. A person with a refined consciousness cannot harm themselves or others by any means. Right and wrong, good and bad, are easily discernible by such a mind. With sharpened discernment, a developed mind becomes the perfect vehicle.

Having begun the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga with dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, we can then appreciate the value and importance of yama and niyama. In contrast, if we begin with yama, it is like putting the cart before the horse.

Please visit Kanha ashram and stay with us for as long as you wish.

With salutations, 



Kamlesh Patel is known to many as Daaji. He is the Heartfulness Guide in a tradition of Yoga meditation that is over 100 years old, overseeing 14,000 certified Heartfulness trainers and many volunteers in over 160 countries. He is an inn... Read More