Today I will be sharing excerpts from Book One – 33 of “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” translated with commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda. “This book was created for all who seek understanding and mastery over their minds through the glorious science of Yoga.”
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Burger King Queen
I would like to begin by sharing the context of my feature image. My goal isn’t to advertise for Burger King, but I would like to highlight how friendly and kind a young Black woman worker was to me. Her kindness is still fresh in my mind. On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States ended affirmative action. “Affirmative action is the practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups regarded as disadvantaged or subject to discrimination, over similarly qualified non-minority individuals.” It was, to say the least, an emotional day for people of color. It was an emotional day for me. It felt like a huge step backwards in our efforts of equality, equity, and a shot at a prosperous and stable future.
Fast forward to pulling up to the Burger King Drive thru window and I was met with kindness from this woman. She greeted me with a smile as I paid for my food, and I smiled back. She told me that I was beautiful which completely caught me off guard and that made me smile more. She also asked me if I wanted a crown and my face almost broke as I squealed with excitement. Her face was overcome with joy and laughter as she retrieved the paper crown for me, and I feel that she too enjoyed my ability to be able to receive her friendliness and kindness. She could have easily been bitter and short with me. She didn’t have to be kind to me or uplift me, but she did and to this day I value her for it. She made me feel seen and like a queen on a day that I know was hard and possibly disappointing for her too.
YOGA SUTRAS 1.33
The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali
“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 today’s world, I personally find it challenging to know how to interact with people out in the community. Do I smile? Do I wave? Should I say hello, and will they respond? Tensions are high and people are on guard for a number of reasons. Yoga Sutra 1.33 teaches us the Four Keys for an undisturbed calmness, but also it clearly states how we are to react towards people in their current states of being. “Pantanjali 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 of these four locks, you will have the proper key to open it. The four locks are: the happy people, unhappy people, the virtuous, and the wicked. At any moment, you can fit any person into one of these four categories.”
When you encounter happy people, respond to them with friendliness. When you encounter unhappy people, respond with compassion. When you encounter virtuous people, respond with delight and when you encounter wicked people respond with disregard or indifference. If you apply these four keys correctly to their corresponding locks, you will maintain your peace and poise of mind. If you are intrigued by what I have shared with you so far and would like to learn more, continue listening as I read the full yoga sutras chapter below.
YOGA SUTRA 1.33 FULL AUDIO READ BY DENAYA WILKERSON
I am interested to know what thoughts came up for you and if you found this article to be beneficial. Can you see yourself intentionally using these four keys in your daily life? Let’s start a discussion in the comments section below or you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.