In Patanjali’s Sutra 33 on contemplation, he explains, “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.”
Have you ever been around someone who is happy-go-lucky all the time? Do you know someone who seems to ‘have it all’? Sometimes we may be a little annoyed, irritated, and jealous of these types; maybe they just get on our last nerve. The unfortunate thing with reacting unenthusiastically to their good fortune or happiness is that it really only effects us, bringing negative within our own mind and body. They just go on being happy. Let us be friendly with that person and realize that if they are happy and have good fortune it means that we too may have those things in our own lives.
In the same way a happy person can annoy us, an unhappy person can as well. We sometimes look down upon those less fortunate and unhappy; this too only creates negative energy within ourselves. Let us have compassion, help them when we can. In doing this we retain peace in our minds and in our hearts. Helping others is helping ourselves.
We sometimes don’t understand one who is virtuous, especially when we struggle. But don’t tear someone down because they are great or doing great things. Instead look up to those people, imitate them, and begin to cultivate their words and actions into your own lifestyle choices.
What is the difference between unhappy and wicked? I had the chance to discuss this with a wonderful Yoga instructor in the area, Sofia Nelson. One idea that we agreed upon is the unhappy mostly harm themselves and generally want to be well, the wicked may harm others and with little or no regard for the wake of destruction left in their path. It’s the latter that should be avoided. Sometimes when we try to help others they may consider us arrogant or righteous and refuse our help or worse lash out at us for trying.
The Key to Your Heart
One person is generally not all of one thing and neither are we; there is a little happy, unhappy, virtuous, and wicked in each of us. In the same way that we deal with others we can deal with these parts of ourselves as they emerge. Be kind to yourself when you are happy, have compassion for yourself when you are sad, delight in how far you have come in this life, and do not feed or spiral into the negative aspects of yourself.
Finding the Right Key
According to Patanjali when we use the right key with the right person we can retain our happiness. In my life I have often tried to save someone as many of us have. In most cases, my intentions were good, but I used the wrong key and I suffered because of it. Guard your heart until you are strong enough to handle taking on the darkness and turning it into light. This practice is revered for seasoned spiritual practitioners and when taken on by someone who is not ready, can cause grief, pain, and uncertainty.
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