Maitri Bhava

Maitri Bhava and Yoga

Maitri Bhava and Yoga

Yoga has a belief of ‘bhavas’, which means feelings. One such bhava is MAITRI BHAVA, which means a feeling of friendliness or benevolence. It is unattached loving kindness.

Externally, a person may not appear friendly, but his intention, his bhava, is more important. External behaviour is misleading. Someone who wishes you ill may be an excellent actor and appear very friendly towards you.

In Vedas, a statement states, ‘Lord, let me not face a person who is externally different and internally different.’ It is difficult to manage with such a double-faced person. There are examples of a couple fooling innocent people in a train with their friendliness and then disappearing with their belongings when they go to have a drink of water at the platform, or feeding them medicated food that puts them to sleep and disappearing with their belongings. Today, all this cleverness is happening in the world. We are taken in by such show of friendliness, but instead we should be indifferent to external show and go more by the internal intention of a person.

We have to be clear about the concept of maîtri bhava. We should not develop feelings of animosity towards others. Our internal reality ends up being expressed in the external world through vibrations and in turn, we attract antagonistic vibrations to ourselves. Similarly, we should not be affected by someone else’s negativity. We should maintain our friendliness. We could learn this kind of kindness from children.

Maitri Bhava

Maitri Bhava

Buddha’s story is a case in point. Someone comes to kill him, but Buddha treats him in a friendly fashion, without fear or aggression. The person is overwhelmed and ends up surrendering to Buddha. We should also develop this strong quality within us. We should perceive everyone as our friend, not our foe. Our mind should be peaceful and our feelings should be genuine regardless of what the world around us is like.

Yoga sutra mentions that one should be friendly with only a happy person. Only a happy person knows how to live life in the right fashion. A negative person is always worried about his tricks.

Yogis and Yoginis who are in the process of seeking an enriching experience may want to consider the concept of Maitri bhava, especially when exploring meditation. This practice begins with the idea of first being benevolent towards one’s own-self, before extending this to eventually cover all sentient beings.

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