Monday, January 18, 2010

Unalloyed Happiness




"To overcome the obstacles and to win unalloyed happiness, Patanjali offered several remedies. The best of these is the fourfold remedy of Maitri (friendliness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (delight) and Upeksa (disregard)."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, 43rd paragraph of the Introduction.

Happiness without the Seeds of Sadness

A metal alloy is a mixture of metals, or a mixture of metal with another substance. An unalloyed metal is pure, nothing else is mixed in. Happiness that is alloyed might have sadness or despair mixed into it. Happiness that is unalloyed is pure happiness.

I've heard that when someone starts a new relationship, inside the elation of the new connection are the seeds of sadness and loss of the relationship ending. And I've bought into it. It seems to have followed what I've known so far: the loss and sadness of endings.

The above excerpt offers a "fourfold remedy" for embeded negative emotions: the ones that are mixed into some instances of happiness, or impure happiness. The aim is "unalloyed happiness," or Happiness that is pure.

A "remedy" is usually something that relieves or cures a bodily disorder, but in this case we are talking about curing anything that might interrupt the experience of Happiness.

The Fourfold Remedy:

1. Friendliness
2. Compassion
3. Delight
4. Disregard


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1 comment:

YogaforCynics said...

At this point, I'd settle for some only-somewhat-alloyed happiness...

I think when someone starts a new relationship, there are almost always expectations...often based on projecting one's own desires and needs onto the other...and I guess this self-centered attitude stands in the way of true friendless, or compassion, or delight in the other person...not quite sure how disregard fits in, though...