For the past few days I have been listening to commentary of Guruji (H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar) on ‘Patanjali Yogsutra’ given to this world thousands of years ago (around 150 BC) by Maharishi Patanjali. The following contents are excerpt from the same.

As per Patanjali, there are four types of people in this world and he has immaculately mentioned how to deal with them. The sutra goes like this-

“Matiri karuna muditopeksanam sukha dukha punyapunya visayana bhavnatah citta prasadanam.”

1.  Successful or happy people-
Whenever you see someone happy (sukha) or successful then just be friends with them (maitri). Feel happy for them and their success. Be a part of celebrations.
Often when you see someone who is more successful than you, we feel lack in ourselves, jealousy creeps in and it completely engulfs your peace of mind. The reason why we feel jealous is because there is lack of belongingness; we never feel jealous from the success of a person who is dear to us. So in order to avoid jealousy we should increase our sense of belongingness i.e. being friends to them.

2.  Unsuccessful or sad people-
Whenever you come across someone who is unsuccessful or depressed (dukha) then don’t be friends with them instead have compassion (karuna).
Primarily, the reason is that if you try to be friends with them at that time then you will also land up into the ditch then how can you pull them out? It doesn’t mean you don’t listen to them but the problem starts when we try to console them by saying ‘Oh! Poor you’ or ‘God has been so unkind to you’ all these words strengthen their misery rather than comforting them. In such depressed situations, your mere presence is enough but if you wish to say something better say something that increases their faith in themselves and Divine.
3.  People engaged in good acts-
If you ever come across people who are involved in good deeds (punya) and are very blessed then you just become one with them, join them in their deeds and be delighted (mudita).
Often when you see such people then doubt, jealousy or sense of competition arises. People/organizations involved in any social work are often criticized for various activities and their conducts, they might have done hundreds and thousands of good deeds but even if there are few flaws then they are blown out of proportion. At least they have done something good for upliftment of less fortunate, what good you did by criticizing them?
Hence, we should not feel jealous of them but feel one with them, this will dissolve sense of competition and blessings will come your way too.

4.  People engaged in sinful acts-
On encountering such people, simply disregard (upeksanam) them!
If someone says something that is not true or harsh, you simply ignore it. But generally we do opposite and chew on it. This will destroy your peace of mind. If someone is involved in demonic activities (apunya) then you first educate them out of compassion and then ignore them. You need to educate them out of compassion otherwise you will take anger in your mind. If you can do something about the problem then better be a part of solution but don’t just gossip or brood about their imperfections, otherwise you will also become that. Instead you should see how many imperfections are also in you and you might be even worse than them. There are very few people in this world who are bad, but their effect is so much, as if whole world is bad. Even in press-media, there is so much buzz about crimes but hardly there is coverage to good deeds, unless they give some publicity to them. So you need to focus your energies on positive and neglect the negative.
This approach makes your mind gracious and centred. (bhavnatah citta prasadanam)

Even in today’s time this knowledge has so much of relevance; this is possible because Patanjali knew human mind very well and was aware of its tendencies. It feels amazing to be a part of such knowledge which is so ancient yet so profound.

Lots of love,

PS- In case you apply these sutras in life then do share your experience. :)

25/6/2011 05:32:47

good to read..difficult to apply..even judge..

25/6/2011 08:29:48

hey dats really nice....nd i think i have frns almost all the types, sinful also saints also ;)

25/6/2011 10:30:47

really...we need to learn this ,to live nd let oders live happily...

27/6/2011 01:53:28

Q: Whatever you preach sounds very good. But at times I find it difficult to implement. What should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You do not do anything which is difficult. Easy go lucky. Spirituality makes everything easy. Everything in the ‘Art of Living’ makes life easy. There are certain things which are easy to begin with but later on turns to be difficult. There are certain other things which may appear to be difficult in the beginning but later on makes everything easy. Spirituality is the later one.
When you were kid, you were forced to brush your teeth. Suppose you had not undergone that, what would be the scenario of your mouth now? Half your teeth would have dropped. Like this you may find it difficult in the beginning but it makes things easy later on.


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