The Armour of God and the Fruits of the Spirit

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Galatians 5:22-23 lists the Fruits of the Spirit. These are principles of behavior and conduct, as determined by mental state.

Ephesians 6:14-17 lists the various elements of the Armour of God, that one should dress themselves with, if only in mental imaginative space. These elements of the Armour of God are attached to self-discipline and spiritual observances, these elements are attached to principles of faith and belief.

When looking at these two listings of moral statements, from the Bible, and then in conjunction with the Yoga Sutras, describing Eight-Limb Ashtanga Yoga [1] one sees a natural connection between the two statements of morality in Yoga, Limbs One and Two, corresponding to The Fruits and the Armour.

The Fruits of the Spirit, aka Yama, Limb One

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

– Galatians 5:22-23

Fruits of the Spirit

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Meekness
  • Temperance

Yama: The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five yamas are:

  • Ahimsa: nonviolence
  • Satya: truthfulness
  • Asteya: nonstealing
  • Brahmacharya: continence
  • Aparigraha: noncovetousness

The Armour of God, aka Niyama, Limb Two.

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

– Ephesians 6:14-17

Armour of God

  • Girdle of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Boots of the Gospel of Peace
  • Shield of Faith
  • Helmet of Salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit

Niyama: Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. Regularly attending temple or church services, saying grace before meals, developing your own personal meditation practices, or making a habit of taking contemplative walks alone are all examples of niyamas in practice.

The five niyamas are:

  • Saucha: cleanliness
  • Samtosa: contentment
  • Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities
  • Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self
  • Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God

[1] Eight-Limb Ashtanga Yoga – https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/the-eight-limbs

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