“maitri karuna mudito-peksanam-sukha-duhkha punya-apunya-vishayanam bhavanatah citta-prasadanam” Patanjali Yoga Sutra ||33||
Root cause of all the suffering is the afflictions (something that causes pain or suffering). These afflictions are described as 5 klesha by Sage Patanjali. These are categorized as the following –
- Abhinivesa(Fear of death)
Understanding and accepting the existence of these klesa in oneself is the first step towards eternal happiness. These klesa are a window into the state of mind. If we observe the history of wars and the current scenario of human suffering, they are the results of Raga and Dvesa. Looking through the lens of klesa before taking an action, brings clarity of thought and results in actions, one would not repent and cause suffering.
Sage Patanjali has given a beautiful formula to make decisions resulting in happiness, in the form of Citta prasadanam. Citta Prasadanam can be directly translated as “Blissful Mind”. Great sage also gave a simple tiered approach to achieve this bliss for everyone.
How to do this by Patanjali’s way?
All you have to do is, cultivate the attitude of friendship(maitri), compassion,(karuna), joy(mudita), and develop indifference towards pleasure(sukha), misery(dukha), virtue (punya) and viciousness(apunya). By repeating this attitude one can achieve citta-prasadanam- the blissful and peaceful state of citta (mind).
Reading through the above recipe, one might think it is easier said than done. I agree with that, that’s why one should first slow down the thought process. This can only be achieved by the practice of Pranayama (control of breath), under the guidance of a certified teacher. By Pranayama, you can achieve clarity of thought. After achieving that, all you have to do is turn negative feelings into positive ones. For example, when one of your friends achieves success, don’t be jealous and look for negatives, instead appreciate that person’s success wholeheartedly. This not only brings you happiness but also gets you a lifelong friend. Same works for an opposite event, when someone is in grief, be supportive and show compassion. When someone is having a joyous moment, amplify the joy of the person, by spreading the word about the person’s achievements, this amplification turns joy into bliss.
How to start?
- Looking through the lens of klesa, understanding deeper thoughts and using the cittaprasadanam as remedial processes, you can achieve perfect mental health and happiness.
- By spending an hour a day in practice of simple Yoga techniques such as “Om” chanting, Bhramari Pranayama, Gayatri mantra japa, and Anuloma Viloma pranayama, one can train the mind to have a upeksha bhavana.
To summarise, here is the happiness equation-
Blissful mind = (Slow down the thoughts + amplify joy + show compassion) – (hatred – jealousy)
If everyone follows this simple principle of citta prasadanam, both individuals and society at large will have a peaceful and harmonious existence. With this, you would see Ishwara in everyone.