Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33
मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षाणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातः चित्तप्रसादनम् ॥३३॥
maitrī-karuṇā-muditā-upekṣānāṃ sukha-duḥkha-puṇya-apuṇya-viṣayāṇāṃ bhāvanātaḥ citta-prasādanam ||33||
The psyche can be calmed by cultivating as an object
friendliness, compassion, gladness and disinterest
within happiness, suffering, virtue and vice.
Commentaries and Reflections
Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:
“Bhāvana is a beneficial attitude that is consciously cultivated despite tendencies to the contrary.”
Commentary by Paul Harvey:
“Yoga Practice is about a re-turning towards our inner life.
However, even without outer obstacles, we can encounter inner feelings that arise and manifest as obstacles to that re-turning.
Here it might be helpful to reflect on the four pillars of Maitrī, Karuṇā, Muditā and Upekṣā and the role they can have in helping to transform the unhelpful aspects of these inner feelings.
With the spirit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 33 in mind, the cultivation of the four pillars is a practice that can support a stepping, rather than stalling, onto our mat or seat through:
Cultivating a feeling of friendliness towards our own attempts,
let alone other’s demands, to distract ourselves.
Cultivating a feeling of compassion towards our bodies and minds,
whatever state we find them in.
Cultivating a feeling of looking for the positive spot in ourselves
and what we can do well and now, rather than what we can’t do well or now.
Cultivating a feeling of keeping distance from the self-deprecation that can so often accompany our attempts to improve the quality of our inner life and old responses to inner tensions and memories.”