Patanjali Yoga Sutra - Knowledge Sheet 33
“Vishok¢ v¢ jyotishmatiÃ’’
vishok¢ = getting rid of unhappiness; v¢ = or; jyotishmatiÃ = the bright effulgent state of the mind
“Get rid of unhappiness and at the same time know that your mind is bright or effulgent.”
- Patanjali Yoga Sutra #33
If you have observed that some person is very unhappy, sad and you go and sit with that person for a few moments, you also start feeling depressed, sad. Have you experienced this? How many of you have experienced this? Somebody is unhappy and you simply go and sit with them, you start feeling unhappy. And someone is very joyful, someone is bubbling with joy and enthusiasm, you just go sit with them, you start laughing, you start feeling that way.
How Is Your Mind Trained?
Again, this feeling of being happy or unhappy is the training we have given our mind. If you have made a habit of being unhappy, you do not specially feel unhappy, but that has become sort of your second nature. To keep a long face and complain, you feel at home.
You can see this in all the senior citizens’ homes. Very old people. They made a big habit, a long habit of complaining. So they just go on complaining even if there is nothing to complain also. They keep a long face and remain sad. Even though you would feel, “Why are they so unhappy? They may as well be happy.” Haven’t you experienced this? Don’t you feel this? Why can’t this person, who is aged, be happy? You would wonder. They have done everything they need to do, they have done everything that they wanted to do and they have everything they need. And still, they keep a long face. You wonder why. What is the need?
Many people are unhappy because they are unable to work. Well, that is the body's nature. When you are 80 years old and if you are unhappy because you cannot run as well as you could when you were 30 years - this is ignorance, foolishness.
The other day, a senior citizen came to see me. I asked him, “How are you doing? Are you happy?” He said, “See, I used to run so many miles a day. I used to work for 16 hours a day. Now I am unhappy because I cannot work so much. Now after four hours, I feel tired. After walking one kilometer I feel tired. How can I gain back my strength so that I can walk four miles a day?” I said, “What do you have to do walking four miles a day?” Because one feels inside, “I need to be fit” but the body is not listening. Inside the mind says, “I should be working. Earlier I used to work. How can I not work now? I am growing old.”
This idea 'I am growing old' makes a person feel sad, unhappy. And such unhappiness, nobody can take out of you because it is a self-imposed unhappiness. And with that unhappy mind, the person gets jittery, angry, tense, all other things - negativity comes to them. They get soaked in negativity and they die like that. Do you see this happening?
Freedom From Unhappiness
Patanjali gives this idea: vishoka, means get rid of the unhappiness. The sadness is just your habit. Look into your mind and you see, “This is sadness. This is simply unfounded. This is self made.” The moment you look at your mind, the self-made sadness will disappear. You become free of that sadness. It is just a concept like any other concept.
A concept like, “Oh! People do not respect me.” This is baseless. “Nobody respects me. I am not smart enough”. All ideas about oneself that one imposes on one, makes one very unhappy. “Nobody cares for me”. Who does not care? Everybody will care for you. Why do you think that nobody cares for you? “I am so stupid”. Who said you are stupid? Stupidity is only a comparison. You are wise to somebody who is more stupid than you. There is a scale for stupidity. You can get even people who are more stupid than you. Look down and feel you are wise. Your comparisons can bring sadness and disturbances in the mind. Do not compare yourself with somebody. Then you can be more happy. You see what I am saying?
Vishoka - make your mind free of sadness. That sadness that comes out of concepts. Do you see this?
(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)