Workshop 3, Day 2


Sri Swami Satchidananda

The Four Keys

There are four keys one can use when interacting with four types of people. Those types of people are:

  1. Happy people (sukha) —> use the friendly key (maitri)
  2. Unhappy people (dukha) —> compassionate key/mercy key (karuna)
  3. Virtuous people (punya) —> respect key/delight key (mudita)
  4. Wicked people (apunya) —> disregard/indifference key (upekshanem)

These keys come directly from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is a step-by-step book about how to practice yoga. This book is integral to my advanced yoga teacher training. Here is the verse:

1.33: By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.

In my training, we are using a book with commentary from Sri Swami Satchidananda, who was another famous student of Sri Swami Sivananda. Satchidananda went on to form Integral Yoga. Here is a little something about what Satchidananda had to say about this particular sutra:

Whether you are interested in reaching samadhi [realization] or plan to ignore Yoga entirely, I would advise to remember at least this one Sutra. It will be very helpful to you in keeping a peaceful mind in your daily life. You may not have any great goal in your life, but just try to follow this one Sutra very well and you will see its efficacy. In my own experience, this Sutra became my guiding light to keep my mind serene always.

Who would not like serenity of mind always? Who would not like to be happy always? Everybody wants that. So Patanjali gives four keys: friendliness, compassion, delight and disregard. There are only four kinds of locks in the world. Keep these four keys always with you, and when you come across any one of these four locks you will have the propery key to open it.


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