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Yoga Sutra 1.33 Cultivate friendliness

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

yoga sutras philosophy class

For a long time now I have been studying, contemplating & reading the Yoga Sutras, one of the most important texts in Yoga, and still to describe them would not only take me a long time, but would also feel nearly impossible as I feel that there is still so much depth that I need to learn about this amazing text.

The Yoga Sutras were probably written somewhere between 1,700 and 2,200 years ago, although they may have existed long before that in unwritten form. Even though they were written such a long time ago, they contain immense knowledge and guidance for the Yoga practitioner.

I will not go into depth about the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, but would rather love to tell you a bit about a particular Yoga Sutra, namely Yoga Sutra 1.33. As this is a Yoga Sutra that I feel such a strong connection with and like my senior Iyengar teacher said, too often get's forgotten in day to day life and even in Yoga & the search for Samadhi (complete awareness).

So what does Yoga Sutra 1.33 say? In Sanskrit it is: Maitri karuna mudina upeksanam sukha dukha punya apunya visayanam bhavanatah cittaprasadanam

Which BKS Iyengar in his book Light on the Yoga Sutras translates as: Through cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy and indifference to pleasure and pain. Virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness becomes favorably disposed, serene & benevolent.

He then explains "the above qualities keep the mind in a state of well being. This Sutra asks us to rejoice with the happy, to be compassionate to the sorrowful, friendly to the virtuous, and indifferent to those who to continue to live in vice despite attempts to change them. This Mental "adjustment" builds social as well as individual health. This approach to life will keep the mind of the sadhaka (practitioner) serene & pure."

So basically what this Yoga Sutra is saying is just be friendly, happy & live with joy and all will become serene & pure. How lovely is that :-) Yes I definitely think this is one of my favorite Yoga Sutras! Not always easy, and should definitely not be forced, but can be trained and adjusted, laying the groundwork for our journey to Self-Realization, so that life bit by bit comes more calm & filled with equanimity & delight.

Namaste & peace,Shaini

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