Category: Yoga Sutras

  • On Developing Indifference

    The quality or bhavana of upeksha is the fourth quality that Patanjali prescribes for the spiritual seeker, in addition to karuna (compassion), maitri (friendship) and mudita (joy). The literal meaning of upekShA (उपेक्षा) is “overlooking, disregard, negligence, indifference, contempt or abandonment”. At first glance, indifference or negligence seems to imply that we should be insensitive…

  • The Attitude of Joy in Life

    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describe four bhavanas or human traits that are essential for our spiritual growth. Two of these traits – compassion and friendship – were discussed in previous articles. This article focuses on the third trait – Joy. The particular sutra that encourages us to acquire and remain in a state of…

  • On Friendliness in Growing Happiness

    As promised in the previous article on Karuna or compassion, we discuss here the role of one of the most important bhavanas or attitudes for human existence. This bhavana is called maitri, or friendliness.

  • On Service with Empathy and Compassion – Seva and Karuna

    The concept of compassion or empathy has a unique expression in Sanskrit – it is called karuna. I have been contemplating this word ever since a visit with Amma Karunamayi a few weeks ago. She had made a very important point about helping those in need – often called “seva”.