Iyengar: Yamas are the great and mighty universal vows, unconditioned by place, time, and class.
Iyengar says these yamas form the framework of rules on which society is based. He says these describe the approach for a universal culture.
Bryant: [These yamas] are considered the great vow. They are not exempted by one’s class, place, time or circumstance. They are universal.
Bryant points out that these rules are non-negotiable. He points out that renegotiation of the yamas in the Western culture is “emphatically not recognized by the classical yoga tradition”. Although yoga goals are for self liberation, Bryant says it cannot be achieved except through “moral means of interacting with others”. He says then that yoga is a moral system.
Taimni: These (the five vows), not conditioned by class, place, time or occasion and extending to all stages constitute the Great Vow.
Taimni gives examples of real life issues that come up when following the yamas. For example, if you are stuck in the wilderness and are starving, do you kill animals for food? And Taimni also points out that doing the right thing means knowing what is right. If the wrong thing is done, suffering will occur.
Carrera: These Great Vows are universal, not limited by class, place, time, or circumstance.
Carrera points out that these yamas apply to everyone, not just yogis. They are as valid today as they were when they were written thousands of years ago.