Four Types of People

Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Knowledge Sheet 28

Contd. from knowledge sheet 27

"Maitrikaruna muditopekshanam sukhadukhapunyapunyavishayanam bhavanataschitta prasadanam''

maitri = friendliness; karuna = compassion; mudita = happiness; upeksha = indifference; sukha = happiness; dukha = misery; punyaha = virtue; apunya = vice; vishayanam = regarding; bhavanataha = by constant practice;  chitta = mind; prasadanam = pleasant

"By practicing the habits of friendliness, compassion, happiness and virtues and by being indifferent to misery and sinful vices, your mind is pleasant."
-Patanjali Yoga Sutra #33

Patanjali categorizes people in the world. There can be only four types of people:

  • People who are happy
  • People who are unhappy
  • People who are engaged in good acts, meritorious acts (blessed people)
  • People who are engaged in not so good acts or demonic acts (sinful people)

How do you deal with them?

He says maitri friendliness with those people who are happy. Be friendly with happy people. If you are not friendly with people who are happy, you will feel jealous. Your jealousy is because someone is happier than you. But if you own them, if you feel that they belong to you, then you will not be jealous of them. See, you are not jealous of someone very dear to you, someone very close to you. When they are happy it does not bother you. It does not bring jealousy in you. When you think so and so is very happy and they are not connected to you totally, then jealousy comes. Then he (Patanjali) says have friendship with them, have a feeling of friendliness with them.

You can see the same Self in everybody but the feelings will not be the same. It can differ for a beginner. One does not feel the same with everybody, though intellectually you may say that, 'It is only myself there', but since your feeling is not yet fully cultured, not fully established in itself, it still has its preferences. Then what preference will you take? Be friendly with those who are happy.



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(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)