What is Yoga Sutra 1.33?
Roughly translated Yoga Sutra 1.33 states…
“Infusing the mind with friendliness, compassion, cheerfulness, and uninvolved observation in relation to those living a happy, miserable, virtuous, and non-virtuous life respectively, results in reclaiming a pristine state of mind.”
What does Yoga Sutra 1.33 mean?
To me, Yoga Sutra 1.33 speaks to showing kindness to everyone, regardless of their attitude.
One of my favorite quotes goes with this sutra very well.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet if fighting a hard battle.” -Ian Maclaren
Showing compassion and kindness to those who are living a happy and virtuous life is definitely easier than doing the same for miserable and non-virtuous people. However, jealousy can get in the way. Which is why it’s important to remember that you are on your own path and that you are comparing someone’s “best of reel” to your outtakes.
I admit I struggle with this myself. When this happens, I have to stop and remind myself of all the things that I to be grateful for.
Showing kindness and compassion to miserable and non-virtuous people can be very challenging. Ian Maclaren’s quote is what helps me in these situations. When someone is being mean or hurtful, it is probably because they have something so challenging in their lives that are on autopilot. This isn’t to say that they have an excuse and can in whatever way choose, but it does help me have some compassion towards them.
This Sutra is about being nonreactive. Whether someone cuts you off, is impatient with you, or is just plain rude. Being able to take a step back, take a breath, and then continue your day of spreading love and kindness, even to this person who is probably in need of it the most.
I’m not saying it’s easy, and there are times that I don’t follow this Sutra. However, it is something to strive for and work on every day. It makes your life and the world more peaceful. Which is something we could all use more of.
More on the Sutras
The yoga sutras are the principles and basic teachings of yoga, broken up into short verses. They are at least 4,000 years old but can still be easily applied to our lives today.
If you are interested in the Sutras, check out Yoga Sutra 2.46 and Staying Calm during Yoga.