The one thing we all have in common is to find happiness. Here are the 4 keys to unlock happiness. They are from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.33.
~ Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1.33 ~
The mind becomes peaceful and free when the qualities of the heart are cultivated.
These qualities are:
Friendship toward the joyful,
Compassion toward the suffering,
Happiness toward the pure, and
Undisturbed toward the impure.
Sri Swami Satchidananda helps us better understand what Patanjali is conveying in his booklet, Integral Yoga: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Pocket Edition). On pages 16-19, he writes:
“Whether you are interested in reaching samadhi or plan to ignore Yoga entirely, I would advise you to remember at least this one Sutra. It will be very helpful to you in keeping a peaceful mind in your daily life. In my own experience, this Sutra became my guiding light to keep my mind serene always.
Patanjali gives us four keys: friendliness, compassion, delight, and disregard. There are only four kinds of locks in the world. Keep these four keys always with you and when you come across any one of these four locks you will have the proper key to open it.
When you see a happy person, use the “friendliness” key. Why should Patanjali say this? Because even four thousand years ago there must have been people who were not happy at seeing others happy. It is still the same way. Suppose somebody drives up in a big car, parks in front of his huge palatial home and gets out. Some other people are standing on the pavement in the hot sun getting tired. How many of those people will be happy? Not many. They will be saying, “See that big car? He is sucking the blood of the laborers.” We come across people like that. They are always jealous. When a person get name, fame. or high position, they try to criticize him. “Oh, don’t you know, his mother is so-and-so; she must have pulled some strings somewhere.” They will never admit that he might have gone up by his own merit. By that jealousy, you won’t disturb him, but you will disturb your own serenity. He simply got out of the car and walked into the house, but you are burning up inside. Instead, think, “Oh, such a fortunate man. If everybody were like that how happy the world would be. May God bless everybody to have such comfort. I will also get that one day.”
Make him your friend. That response is missed in many cases, not only between individuals but even among nations. When some nation is prospering, the neighboring country is jealous of it and wants to ruin its economy. So we should always have the key of friendliness when we see happy people.
And what of the next lock, the unhappy people? “Well, Swami said everybody has his or her own karma. This person must have done some wretched thing in her last birth. Let her suffer now.” That should not be our attitude. Maybe someone is suffering from previous bad karma, but we should have compassion. If you can lend a helping hand, do it. If you can share half of your loaf, share it. Be merciful always. By doing that, you will retain the peace and poise of your mind. Remember our goal is to keep serenity of our minds. Whether our mercy is going to help that person or not, by our own feeling of mercy, at least we are helped.
Then comes the third kind, the virtuous people. When you see a virtuous person, feel delighted. “Oh, how great he is. He must be my hero. I should imitate his great qualities.” Don’t envy the person; don’t try to pull him or her down. Appreciate virtuous qualities in that person and try to cultivate them in your own life.
Lastly, the wicked. We come across wicked people sometimes. We can’t deny that. So what should be our attitude? Indifference. “Well, some people are like that. Probably I was like that yesterday. Am I not a better person now? He will probably be alright tomorrow.” Don’t try to advise him because wicked people seldom take advice. If you try to advise them you will lose your peace.”
Or that calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or retention of the breath. Yoga Sutra 1.34
Or the concentration on subtle sense perceptions can cause steadiness of mind. Yoga Sutra 1.35
Or by concentrating on the supreme ever-blissful Light within. Yoga Sutra 1.36
Integral Yoga: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Pocket Edition). Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. Integral Yoga ® Publications. Buckingham, VA. 1985