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4 Attitudes to Have Around People to Avoid Stress

by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A compilation of his commentaries on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Sri Sri explains the 4 attitudes to have around others in order to save your peace of mind in this verse.

Maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhka punya apunya vishayanam bhavanatah chitta prasadanam Patanjali Yoga sutras 1:33

1) Friendliness: The first thing he (Patanjali) says is, friendliness. If you have the friendly feeling for those who are happy, you will overcome jealousy.

If you are not friendly with people who are happy, you will feel jealous. Your jealousy is because someone is happier than you. But if you feel that they belong to you, then you will not be jealous of them. See, you are not jealous of someone very dear to you, someone very close to you. When they are happy it does not bother you. It does not bring jealousy in you. When you think so and so is very happy and they are not connected to you totally, then jealousy comes. Then he (Patanjali) says have friendship with them, have a feeling of friendliness with them.

2) Compassion: People who are suffering very poor, sick, only compassion not friendliness. He said you should feel compassion for those who are suffering not friendliness.

People who are suffering, have sympathy, compassion for them but do not hook on to friendliness because it drags you down also to be unhappy. You are unhappy and they are unhappy. You will be of no use to in helping them out. Do you see what I am saying? If you think you have to share your friend’s unhappiness with them then share it. Then, will you be able to share your happiness with them? Not possible. So with unhappy people, do not be friendly with them, but be compassionate to them.

3) Happiness: Happy for those who are doing good work, productive, creative, and meritious work. Be happy for them.

People who are doing a good job or meritorious job, those who have a lot of merits, who are blessed, feel happy with them. Become one with them. Feel that you are doing the job with them. Then the sense of competition with people who are doing a good job disappears. Jealousy subsides. Finding fault with people who are doing good things will go away. People have this tendency. When someone is good, someone is blessed, meritorious or doing some good work, people try to find fault with them. Do you see what I am saying? Do not find faults but feel happy for those people who are doing a good job. Feel that they are a part of you and they are doing a good job, you feel happy inside.

4) Indifference: And those who are doing sinful activity very bad things horrible things, Indifference not hatred.

Ignore people who do sinful acts - ‘upeksha’. If somebody says some untruth, just brush it off. It is not worth thinking about them. We do the reverse, we do not think about people who do meritorious acts but we keep thinking about people who do sinful things. We do not ignore them. We keep chewing on it.

Not just ignoring, but educating

You educate them out of compassion and ignore them. Otherwise you keep that in your mind and start worrying. You think somebody is imperfect and you keep thinking about it: “They are imperfect, they are imperfect.” And you become imperfect yourself.

So, these are the four different attitudes when we cultivate in our life we will save our mind. Said you can save the mind - Chita Prasadanam.

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