05 Jul 4 Virtues for mental peace
4 Virtues for mental peace
Patanjali Yoga Sutra I. 33 “Maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya visayanam bhavanah cittaprasadanam”
- Maitri= Friendship;
- Karuna= Compassion;
- Mudita= Pure Joy or happiness;
- Vishayanam= Regarding;
- Cittaprasadanma= Favourable disposition
Sage Patanjali codified a perfect text “Yoga Sutra,” containing 195 sentences. It explains true essence of Yoga required for achieving and experiencing the highest spiritual goal. For us mere mortals to achieve peace and serenity within does seem like an uphill struggle.
The fast-paced lifestyles and stressful ways of the world can cause us to periodically behave in ways that do not align with our inherent nature. Patanjali Yoga Sutra I. 33 makes complete sense that helps us inculcate four primary virtues i.e. Maitri= Friendship; Karuna= Compassion; Mudita= Joy; Upekshanam=Indifference. These virtues are fundamental for our own favourable disposition or mental peace.
Daily life distractions are many, but the whole point is not to let these situations persist. These four primary virtues hold the key. They help us to restore balance on mind level and help us gain better understanding and acceptance of any given situation. This sutra teaches us how to deal with various kinds of people and situations in everyday life.
The following 4 virtues or values can be understood of as guidelines that help us realise our personal pursuits of mental peace and contentment.
Friendship or friendly attitude helps us in accepting a person for “what is” rather than demanding “what should be” This helps us cultivate an attitude of unconditional acceptance. There is uniqueness in everyone one of us. Friendly attitude towards everyone helps us to celebrate the beautiful imperfections of human-related experiences in life. Friendship gives us a chance to further our understanding that we all need each other for learning, understanding and personal growth. So, Maitri towards ‘punya’ and ‘sukha’ i.e. friendship towards positive and happy people who take life as it comes without grumbling and complaining.
Being compassionate towards others is an important tool for spiritual and personal growth. Being compassion towards others feeling helps develop an emotional understanding and bond. This helps you to develop important qualities of being less judgemental, being a sympathetic listener, more accepting of others and difficult situations in life. An appreciation of how others feel will lead to a deeper understanding of self and life. Also, you will find that you are less prone to anger and aggression. Karuna towards people who are ‘dukhi’ and ‘apunya’ i.e. show compassion towards people who are suffering from pain and the less fortunate. All the holy saints, sages, prophets or spiritual beings like Buddha, Christ, Mera, Muhammad prophet etc. all epitomized compassion.
Being genuinely happy for others is vital for one’s own mental peace and wellbeing. So, feel Mudita towards ‘punya’ or positive people. Mudita is pure joy one feels unadulterated by any self-interest. Try to relate this emotion to parent and child relation. Parents selflessly give to their children without expecting anything in return. Mudita nurtures a gentle, caring and blissful state of mind.
Imperturbability (Upeksha) in day-to-day situations that might be happy, painful, successful or unfortunate helps in harmonizing of our Citta. There is an example of Krishna being challenged by a scoundrel into a fight. Krishna walked away even though the person called him a coward. It wasn’t cowardice. It was wisdom. Similarly, we shouldn’t react if someone abuses or criticizes us. We should be indifferent. Let them speak. We have to maintain our balance state of mind. So, show Upeksha towards ‘apunya’ or people who are critical and judgemental of you. It is a pre-requisite on the path of peaceful healing and spiritual happiness.
4 simple virtue practices prescribed by Sage Patanjali hold the secrets to long lasting happiness, contentment, and peace within.
So, next time your boss yells at you or you happen to have a tiff with spouse or parents scolding you, refrain from reacting immediately and start making a habit of finding some positive learning of the given experience. These four virtue practices will certainly come in handy.
The success mantra to follow for finding peace within and having better relations. We at The Yoga Institute teach classical or Asthanga Yoga. Learn from one of the oldest organised yoga centres of the world.