The Keys to the Peace Garden

I.33 from Patanjali Yoga Sutras says: maitri karuna muditopeksanam sukha duhkha punyapunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam

“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.”

This yoga sutra, teach us how to deal with people’s attitudes. In this sutra, Patanjali says that there are only four kinds of locks in the world, sukha (happy people), dukha (unhappy people), punya (the virtuous), and apunya (the wicked). At any given moment, you can fit any person into one of these four categories and Patanjali reminds us that there is a way of approaching all people no matter what behaviors and attitudes they may be indicating at the moment. He gives four keys to open these locks, so you can have serenity on your mind. This tool will help anyone maintain peacefulness through anything; it is like an antidote for each one:

Happy/ Joyful - When someone around you is happy/joyful you may feel resistance or distance or jealous and try to destroy their happiness through a hostile attitude or negative verbal comments. Instead of being with those kinds of feelings, it is better to cultivate friendliness and kindness.

Pain or suffering – When someone is upset, suffering or in pain, use compassion, support and help the other person. Try to give comfort; don’t take pleasure in seeing someone else suffering.

“Through compassion you find that all human beings are just like you.” – HH The Dalai Lama

Virtuous/benevolent - If you see a virtuous person, you should feel happy. Do not envy the person and feel jealous, you should rather appreciate the good qualities and try to cultivate them in your own life. Be happy for the other and feel inspired by them. Observing noble qualities in others is a virtue of the heart.

Bad/wicked – Sometimes in our lives we feel anger and aversion towards bad or wicked attitudes; we may have acted, spoken, thought wickedly or hurt another person. Sometimes we become indifferent to the person who is wicked at the moment. Instead of feeling this way, perturbed or turning our backs to them, we should cultivate acceptance and neutrality and remain undisturbed by the errors of others.

During daily meditation time, it can be very useful to spend some time reflecting on these four attitudes. No matter what is going on, we have the choice in every moment to open our hearts and allow the natural state of peace that exists in our hearts to arise. Babaji says: Peace in the mind, love and compassion in the heart brings the scattered world into one reality...

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