Sometimes you see a sixth yama called Dhriti, steadfastness.
To be steadfast, you have to use your willpower. Willpower is developed
easily in a person who has an adequate memory and good reasoning
faculties. Courageous and fearless people who are just and honest prevail
over all karmas.
It is impossible to be steadfast if we are not
obeying the other restraints, the other yamas. Observe those who are
steadfast. You will learn from them. Observe those who are not, and they
too will teach you. They will teach what you should not do. To be
indecisive and changeable is not how we should be on the path to
enlightenment, nor to be successful in any other pursuit. When we live
with Dhriti, we are not preoccupied by feelings of responsibility, duty or
things left undone.
An essential part of steadfastness is
overcoming changeableness. Changeableness means indecision, not being
decisive, changing one's mind after making a deliberate, positive
decision. Changing one's mind can be a positive thing, but making a firm,
well-considered decision and not following it through would gain one the
reputation of not being dependable, even of being weak-minded. No one
wants a reputation like this.
Daily spiritual practices are
recommended to develop a spiritual will and intellect. The spiritual
path is a long, enduring process. It does not reach fruition in a year or
two years. The spiritual path brings lots of ups and downs, and the
greatest challenges will come to the greatest souls. With this in mind, it
becomes clear that steadiness and perseverance are absolutely essential on
the spiritual path.
In the Sandilya Upanishad Dhriti has been
described as preserving firmness of mind during the period of ups and
downs, a ship that can endure and persevere on its course even when tossed
about on the waves of a turbulent sea.
Some might wonder why it is good to passively endure
hardship. To persevere through hardship one must understand, that
any hardship coming to us we ourselves participated in setting into motion
in the past. To endure hardship and rise above it in consciousness is to
overcome that karma forever. To resent hardship, to fight it, is to have
it return later at a most inconvenient time.
A person who is
patient and truthful, who would not harm others by thought, word or deed
and who is compassionate and honest has the strong nature of one who is
firm in Dhriti, steadfastness. He is the prevailer over obstacles. One
firm in Dhriti can be leaned upon by others, depended upon. He is
charitable, has faith in God. Worships daily and manifests in his life a
spiritual will and intellect.