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Attitude of Friendliness

Patanjalias Yoga Sutras Chapter 1 Verse 33 “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.”

The above Sutra is putting us in the right perspective, and is one of the greatest reminders of the purpose of yogic practices.  It is very difficult for us to be friendly toward those who are happy.  We are trained to be unhappy toward those that are doing well or happy.  On a very gross, top layer we are happy when we see others succeed, but if the cost is at us, all of a sudden we are not happy for them anymore.

For example, you own a restaurant and it does well.  Your friend of many years decides to open a restaurant on the same street.  His business is thriving, instead of being happy for them, they all of a sudden become your enemy.  This problem lies within our own self interests.  Similarly, we are taking a train somewhere.  Were waiting on the platform and there are many people waiting for this train.  You know there will be limited seats, and the rest will have to stand.  It isn’t until you have seated, and secured yourself, that you open up and start talking to others.  When our interests are attacked, we become unfriendly.

Some supposed friendships are built on these interests.  Some people are so good at this, that they plant the “friendship” months or years before they need something from you.  They have their interests first, and create this fake friendship in order to get what they want.  This supposed friendliness was so fake.  In order to give true friendliness toward others, toward those who are happy and succeeding, we must first become friendly with ourselves; we do this through the practice of yoga.

  We cannot create something out of nothing.  Therefore, the seed has always been there.  The seed of compassion, love, true friendliness has always been there deep inside of us.  Yoga will help cultivate what we all have inside of us already.  This is not a onetime thing, but a lifetime work.  Cultivation takes a long time.  Like a farmer, you must be vigilant, alert, and attentive through the process.  There will be a rise and fall.  The beauty is that, once this friendliness is cultivated, there is no wait.  If i am 1% friendly, you get this 1% return right away.

This Sutra is one of the best reminders of the practice of Yoga.  The Sutras were written over 2000 years ago, and go beyond time, because they were all written by experience.  Continue to keep the goals clear, and continue to work every day.  Yoga is not just a 1 hour practice, but constantly being practiced 24 hours a day.