“satya pratisthayam kriya phala ashrayatvam”
“As truthfulness (satya) is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi.”
Yoga Sutras 2:35
This Yama is a commitment to truthfulness. Satya literally means ‘to speak the truth’ and
is considered to be essential to the yogic code of conduct. Honest communication and honest action form the basis of any healthy relationship including with community and with yourself.
It is considered that there is four sins of speech: abuse and obscenity, falsehoods and lies, telling tales and the last is ridiculing what others hold to be sacred. Speaking without malice and with self control means that when we do speak our words will be heard, respected and remembered because they are good and real and true.
It is important that Satya does not come into conflict with our efforts to behave with the first Yama, Ahimsa. Meaning, if the truth has a very negative consequence and may cause more harm than good, then it is better to say nothing, allowing nature to take its course. It is important to mind what we say, how we say it and in what way others may be affected by it.
Satya is also not necessarily just concerned with speech. It can also be taken as living in your truth and being to true to yourself.