4 Virtues for Mental Peace

One of the philosophies that we learn from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the 4 virtues. The teaching is that we can find mental peace and serenity through these four practices:

Yoga Sutras 1:33

The mind becomes clear and serene when the qualities of the heart are cultivated:

1. Maitri: Friendliness toward the joyful
2. Karuna: Compassion toward the suffering
3. Mudita: Joyfulness towards the virtuous
4. Upeksha: Indifference towards the non-virtuous

Maitri – Friendliness
  • Maitri, friendliness towards the joyful.
  • Sanskrit: Maitri
  • English: Friendliness, friendship, lovingkindness
  • Pronunciation: MAY-tree
  • Practice: Extending unconditional friendliness towards yourself and others

Karuna – Compassion
  • Karuna, compassion towards those who are suffering.
  • Sanskrit: Karuna
  • English: Compassion
  • Pronunciation: Ka-ru-NA
  • Practice: the desire for all beings, including yourself, to be free from suffering

Mudita – Joyfulness
  • Mudita, joyfulness towards the virtuous.
  • Sanskrit: Mudita
  • English: Joyfulness, happiness
  • Pronunciation: Moo-dita
  • Practice: the pleasure of finding joy in the happiness and success of others.
Upeksha – Equanimity
  • Upeksha, indifference towards the less-than-virtuous.
  • Sanskrit: Upeksha
  • English: indifference, equanimity, imperturbability
  • Pronunciation: Oo-Pay-k-shA
  • Practice: practicing imperturbability even in challenging circumstances.

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