|The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union|
|31. Yama (or the five commandments) constitutes the
universal duty and is irrespective of race, place, time or emergency.
This sutra makes clear the universality of certain requirements, and by a study of these five commandments which form the basis of what the Buddhist calls "right conduct," it will be seen  that they form the basis of all true law and that their infringement constitutes lawlessness. The word translated duty or obligation, could well be expressed by that comprehensive term dharma in respect to others. Dharma means literally the proper working out of one's obligations (or karma) in the place, surroundings and environment where fate has put one. Certain governing factors in conduct must be observed and no latitude is permitted in these respects no matter what one's nationality, no matter what the locality in which one finds oneself, and no matter what age one may be or what emergency may arise. These are the five immutable laws governing human conduct and when they are followed by all the sons of men, the full significance of the term "peace to all beings" will be comprehended.
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