Why self-righteousness is not yoga practice?

Some yoga enthusiasts are not free from self-righteousness where they think and believe that self-righteousness is a good and upright quality that compliment their yoga practice.

Due to deep rooted ignorance and egoism, there are minds that think and believe that they are good and righteous people and seeing themselves are somehow better human beings than some others whom they perceive as bad and wrongful human beings, and for the sake of humanity, they should stand up for righteousness and condemn those who think and behave in the way that is against what they think and believe is good and rightful way of thinking and behavior, that is bad and wrong, based on their understanding and expectation towards how people or human beings should or shouldn’t behave.

None can ‘tell’ or ‘teach’ another being/person/mind/community about “This is right and that is wrong.” as there’s neither right nor wrong, but just different minds judging everything differently based on their own particular thinking, belief, values, practice and preferences, and to behave, act and react in certain way. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha never said or taught about “This is right and that is wrong.” even though there’s the Eight Fold Path observations for the mind to purify and silent itself to allow the mind to inquire the truth of everything, to see things as they are, beyond the limited/conditioned judgment under the influence of different egoistic worldly thinking and beliefs.

It has to come from the mind itself to inquire into the truth of self-righteousness, where it doesn’t exist in selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness.

Just as the ideas of patriotism, loyalty, family ties, friendship, relationship, connection, society, community, country, nationality, pride/shame, deserving/undeserving, meaningfulness/meaninglessness, or positiveness/negativeness, are all part of the play of the ego and egoism derived from ignorance. The mind only knows what it knows and what it thinks and believes about what it knows. The mind cannot comprehend what it doesn’t know, what it doesn’t think, what is beyond all kinds of knowledge that the mind could learn and remember. Just as the ego (the idea/perception of I) cannot comprehend ‘selflessness’ or ‘I-lessness’. And hence, the yoga practice is all about annihilating the ego and egoism to allow the mind to realize selflessness and see things as they are, transcending all the worldly egoistic thinking and beliefs.

Being conditioned by egoistic thinking pattern unwittingly

The minds can still be functioning under the influence of conditional egoistic thinking pattern to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react, unwittingly, even if the minds have ‘good’ intention to be supporting and upholding ‘good’ values/practice/behavior, and believe in performing ‘good’ actions and standing up for protecting ‘goodness and righteousness’ in the world.

Yoga practice is to free the mind from conditional egoistic thinking pattern that most minds are unaware of, while thinking and believing that those thinking and beliefs are the important values of humanity.

Yoga practitioners can perform self-introspection to find out whether one’s mind is being conditioned by egoistic thinking pattern unwittingly, by asking oneself these questions, as most minds are unaware of itself is being conditioned to think and believe in such way, to behave, judge, expect, aspire, act and react.

– Is there a strong sense of belonging towards a particular name and form of family/relationship/friendship/social group/community/country/nationality/ethnicity/culture/religion/school/spirituality/profession/politic/any form of practice and etc, and one would do one’s best to uphold and protect that particular name and form that the mind thinks and believes, ‘This is where I belong, that I am being proud of being part of it, and I have the duty and responsibility to do my best to be protecting it from being hurt, damaged or destroyed by what I think and believe as negativity, badness and wrongfulness’, or I don’t know where I belong and it’s important for me to be in searching for something/somewhere that I belonged to, that can give me the sense of belonging?

– Does the mind thinks and believes that patriotism and loyalty towards something/somewhere that one belonged to, is a great value or quality that everyone should be cherished and be proud of, where ‘Betrayal of any kind is something terribly wrong and unforgivable, and those who commit any form of betrayal must be condemned and punished accordingly’?

– Does the mind thinks and believes that there are certain things/objects/lives that it likes and agrees with, that it understands as something important and appreciates very much shouldn’t be subject to ‘impermanent changes’ and don’t deserve ‘extinction’?

Not that patriotism and loyalty or upholding something that one’s mind thinks and believes is ‘good and righteous’ is something bad or wrong, but it promotes ‘separateness’ and ‘discrimination’ where it doesn’t allow the mind to go beyond the conditional thinking pattern that hinders the mind from realizing selflessness, oneness, non-separateness, namelessness, formlessness and attributelessness, which is the ultimate goal of yoga. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with showing great appreciation towards something that the mind perceives as important, lovable and agreeable, but the intense attachment towards something that the mind thinks and believes is important, lovable and agreeable, and not allowing everything being what they are, where everything will change and disappear, is what hinders the mind from realizing ‘yoga’, or be free from ignorance and suffering.

Patriotism/Loyalty and the sense of belonging or the need to find where one belonged to don’t exist in selflessness. Due to ignorance and egoism, many yoga practitioners are still being conditioned by such egoistic thinking pattern, where they think and believe that they belong to certain ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga family’, or ‘yoga community’. Similarly, the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism can be appreciating all the lovable and agreeable names and forms, but without attachment and are able to respect the law of nature (impermanence and selflessness) as it is, and be able to let them go, in peace.

Patriotism/loyalty and self-righteousness is not yoga practice. Yoga practitioners must work cautiously and diligently to free the mind from such egoistic thinking/belief/values/practice in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness, that leads the mind towards right discrimination towards the truth of everything and non-discrimination towards all the different qualities of names and forms that co-existing in this space, which all are subject to impermanence and selflessness.

Never tell people who live in difficult life condition about what they should and shouldn’t eat

The realization of unconditional peace is not determined by what people eat or don’t eat, or whether one is eating ‘pure non-animal products vegetarian food’ or ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’.

By consuming ‘pure and clean food’ or ‘non-animal products vegetarian diet’ doesn’t guarantee that one is or will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering. Just like by performing many years of ‘yoga practice’ also doesn’t guarantee that one is free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One might still be overpowered by the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, and hence, be disturbed very much by what the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negativity, inferiority, hurtful, offensive, insulting, disrespectful, undeserving, disappointing, painful sorrow, or suffering. People can be observing vegetarian diet due to cultural/religious practice for many years, and feel proud for being ‘compassionate vegetarian’ or being one of the member of a culture/religion, but still the mind might be not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

People who consume ‘particular type of non-animal products vegetarian food’ with the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, might be over-powered by self-righteousness and would criticize/condemn others who consume ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’, or vice versa. This is not part of the yoga practice.

Whether it’s part of the spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical practice, or due to some other reasons that people choose to adopt a particular type of food choice based on one’s thinking/belief/thoughtfulness/conscience, but we cannot tell or interfere with people what they should or shouldn’t eat, or ‘criticizing’ or ‘condemning’ those whom we think they don’t adopt ‘that particular type of food choice’ for some reasons, as we think that we are somehow more superior than others because of our superior food choice.

Just like we ourselves want to practice yoga, but we can’t go into people’s life and tell people what they should and shouldn’t practice, or how people should and shouldn’t think/believe/behave/act and react, and we can’t criticize/condemn anyone who don’t like yoga, or who don’t practice yoga, or who aren’t interested in yoga, or who don’t practice yoga as it is, even though we see yoga as something good and beneficial for many people, provided if people allow their minds to be open, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief that has been conditioning/influencing how they think, judge, feel, expect, act and react towards all the names and forms, as those who attached strongly onto their particular thinking and belief cannot be open to inquire the truth of other teachings/practice that are different from their own thinking and belief, as they would instantly reject and object what is different from and contradicted with their existing social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, of what they think they know, and do not want to learn/inquire/know any further about other teachings/practice that they disagree with based on their own thinking and belief, as well as there’s fear towards knowing the truth of what if their own thinking and belief from young until now is not necessarily true, but people just blind-believing and blind-following those thinking and beliefs, and fear of ‘sin’ and ‘punishment’ due to ‘losing faith in their thinking and belief’, if they start questioning the truth of their thinking and belief. We can only share our knowledge and experience in yoga with those who are interested in yoga and they want to learn from our knowledge and experience, and they are ready to allow their minds to be open to inquire the truth of everything. Even so, we can’t expect anyone of them to practice yoga diligently as it is. It’s their own freedom and responsibility whether they want to practice yoga diligently as it is, or not, after we share the knowledge and experience with them.

People have the rights or freedom to choose what they want to eat or don’t eat, even if our minds feel disagree with and disturbed by other people’s choice of food consumption.

Although it’s everyone’s freedom if they want to interfere with other people’s life, but those who truly practice yoga will not be interested in interfering with other people’s life. Never tell people who live in difficult life condition, who are or have been going through many difficulties and hardship in life about what they should eat or shouldn’t eat. People might be suffering and dying from hunger and malnutrition or diseases, due to poverty and lack of educational background being bullied, discriminated and exploited by the commercial world, and most probably don’t make enough ‘money’ to buy/get enough food not to say ‘clean’ and ‘nutritious’ food even after working very hard for many hours a day. Imagine people who have a rather easy comfortable life, who don’t need to suffer much hardship and difficult condition in life, go around and tell other people who have no choice but have to be doing hard labour work with very low income for survival while struggling to provide food and shelter for oneself and/or the family about what they should eat and shouldn’t eat.

Keep one’s thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life to oneself, and respect other people’s different thinking/beliefs/practices/food choices/ways of life, even if they are contradicted with our thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life. If people want to follow our way of life/practice/food choice, that’s their freedom, but not because we expect and believe that everyone should be like us.

There’s nothing wrong if out of our own conscience/ethical reason that we want to adopt a particular type of food choice, but we also respect others for their different type of food choice, without criticizing/condemning other people’s choices of food consumption that we don’t like or don’t agree with, that we think is bad and wrong, unethical or unhealthy.

Go beyond the name and form of ‘vegetarian’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. It’s not who you are/what you are, as many people, including yoga enthusiasts like to say, “You are what you eat.” No doubt that food intake directly influences the energy field, the physical condition and the state of the mind, but the minds that have realized selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/non-separateness, it goes beyond all the identifications, names, forms, attributes, dualities, separateness, energy field, the physical condition, the state of the mind, good and bad karma, easy and difficult life condition, desirable and undesirable life experiences. It’s part of the teaching of yoga of ‘Transcending all the Gunas, energy field, names and forms, attributes/qualities, dualities, the physical condition and the states of the mind’. Whatever the mind thinks and identifies as ‘I’, is merely ignorance.

Self-righteousness is not yoga practice (2)

Teaching yoga, or practicing yoga, is not about ‘I am an unique spiritual being’ being chosen by ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being initiated/assigned/given a righteous ‘duty’ from ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, being ‘self-righteous’ for helping ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ to patrol/judge/control/criticize/discipline/punish other people’s actions and reactions, or to be interfering with other people’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice that are different from one’s thinking/belief/behavior/practice, that the mind thinks and believes as ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’, and interfering with other people’s different ways of life, actions and reactions, mental and physical activities that one’s mind doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, that one’s mind thinks and believes as ‘contradicting’ with the teachings and practice of yoga.

As all these ‘thinking’ and ‘actions’ coming from the mind acting and reacting towards the world of names and forms that the mind comes in contact with/perceives/experiences/acknowledges are nothing but the play of egoism born out of ignorance. Although most minds would think and believe that they are being the ‘good spiritual beings’ acting on behalf of ‘God’ or ‘Guru’, or upholding what they think and believe is ‘supremacy’, ‘authority’, or ‘righteousness’.

Teaching yoga is merely sharing the knowledge derived from one’s direct experience and self-realization, to give guidance to those who come to them to seek guidance to be learning and practicing yoga, while allowing everyone to be what they are, whether they want to take the guidance, or not; whether they want to learn and practice yoga as it is, or not; whether they want to develop awareness, correct understanding, initiative and self-discipline to discipline their own minds, or not; whether they are aware of all the egoistic urges/intentions behind all their actions and reactions, or not; whether they want to restrict their own mental and physical activities, to purify their minds to be free from egoism, impurities and restlessness, to silent the modifications of the mind, or not; and whether they want to perform inquiry towards the truth of everything and be free from ignorance, or not.

There’s no egoistic idea/desire/intention of “I want to be a yoga teacher to teach yoga to other people.” or “I am a yoga teacher performing action of teaching yoga to other people.”

Practicing yoga is also about allowing everyone and everything to be what they are, that everyone and everything are impermanent and selfless, while ‘working’ diligently to free one’s mind from ignorance and the consequences of ignorance.

Those who understand this, either they don’t need to perform any practice at all as they are peaceful as they are where their minds are free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, or if they are aware of the existence of ignorance, egoism and impurities in the minds, they will mind their own practice to discipline, to purify and to silent their own minds, while allowing all the other minds to be what they are, to be evolving as they are.

If ‘God’ or ‘Guru’ exists, they are ‘the selfless/mindless silent witness of pure consciousness’, being undisturbed/unaffected/uninfluenced/unchanged/unbothered by all the existing impermanent and selfless names and forms of different thinking/belief/behavior/way of life/actions/reactions of everyone and the consequences of that, or whatever is happening in ‘the world of ignorant egoistic impure minds functioning under ignorance, egoism and impurities’. If ‘God’ and ‘Guru’ exist, they don’t have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything. If they have egoism, or the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention derived from egoism to be interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing everyone or everything, making sure everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’, then they are not really God or Guru.

Such like some people would inflict anger, hatred, ill-will and violence towards others out of the excuse of ‘upholding peace’ or ‘upholding righteousness’. This is not yoga practice, although it’s everyone’s freedom for what they think and believe, and how they behave, act and react.

“In the name of God, I condemn you to hell.” or “These are bad and evil people, I hope that they will be punished with great suffering that they deserved.” Quite many minds/people would think and speak in such way ‘proudly’. No wonder, many of the saints and sages in the past renounced the world and retreated from the society/community to avoid wasting energy from dealing with such affairs.

Those who truly practice yoga, they withdraw the outgoing tendency of the mind, turning the mind inward to be ‘working’ diligently towards attaining/reaching that ‘pure consciousness of the selfless/mindless silent witness’, where they go beyond the egoistic urge/intention of interfering with/patrolling/judging/controlling/criticizing/disciplining/punishing anyone or anything.

If one is aware of this ‘self-righteous’ thinking and behavior existing in one’s mind, and is aware of oneself constantly feels dissatisfied, or frustrated, or disturbed, or angered, or offended by other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions that one’s mind dislikes and disagrees with, and couldn’t help oneself being over-powered by the ‘self-righteous’ urge or intention to be interfering with other people’s different thinking/belief/practice/behavior/way of life/actions and reactions, then either one can try to help oneself by developing will-power to free one’s mind from this self-righteous thinking and behavior, or one can try to seek ‘professional helps’ from the many ‘psychiatric professionals’, to have peace in oneself and stop generating ‘disharmony’ and ‘unrest’ into the surrounding environment, being free from restless impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, possessiveness, authoritarianism, offensiveness, defensiveness, hurts, hostility, animosity, aggressiveness, violence, ill-will, ill-thinking, fear and worry. That itself is a great contribution towards peace in oneself and peace in the world.

Look after one’s mind before it’s too late where one might be completely losing the reasoning power that allow yoga practice to be taking place, even if one is interested in yoga, or strongly believe in ‘God’ or ‘Guru’. One might be doing some form of ‘yoga practice’ or ‘rituals’ regularly, but couldn’t help being busy looking at other people and shouting at other people, “You people should be like this and shouldn’t be like that,” expecting everyone and everything ‘to be the way that I think it should be’. That’s everyone’s freedom of thinking and behavior. It’s everyone’s freedom whether to look after one’s mind, or they prefer to be busy minding about other people’s minds, and losing the sanity of their own mind being lost in ignorance.

Be free.

Self-righteousness is not yoga practice

Self-righteousness is part of the egoism acting in conjunction with worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, it’s not part of the yoga practice. In yoga practice, the mind disciplines itself to be free from the cause of suffering – Ignorance, egoism and impurities, to see the truth as it is, going beyond all kinds of thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, being free from egoism of attachment, identification, craving and aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation. This is not the same as egoistic self-righteousness that is based on particular worldly thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad, to judge, criticize, discipline and punish oneself and/or others, or out of the sense of pride and superiority, one interferes with other minds/people, with intention to influence/control/change/discipline/punish other minds/people that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Under the many different cultures, many people growing up being encouraged to develop self-righteousness to uphold what they believe as right and good. It’s regarded as a ‘good quality’ that someone should possess, to discipline oneself. It’s fine if people just stop at ‘disciplining’ oneself in accordance to one’s belief and practice about ‘what is right and wrong/good and bad’. But most people don’t just stop there, but they also want to self-appoint themselves as ‘morality guardian/hero’ to ‘discipline’ others whom they know or don’t know, whom are different from them, whom they dislike and disagree with, whom they think and believe are ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ in accordance to their own cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief or practice.

People are being encouraged to develop a strong self-identity/family identity/national identity/cultural identity/religious identity/political identity/social identity and have strong sense of pride towards their identity of that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, and then based on that particular thinking and belief, values and practice, people judge all and everything, and expect themselves and others in the society or the world to somehow comply to that particular thinking and belief, values and practice to think, to behave and to live life the way that they can agree with/accept.

People also like to talk about personal/family/social/national/global ‘development’ and ‘peace and happiness’, but mostly are being influenced by self-righteousness based on their particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief, values and practice about what are ‘good/right/positive/progressive development’ and ‘peace and happiness’ to them. It’s not so much about universal selfless development, peace and happiness for all kinds of diversity beyond all the different names and forms, unlimited by any particular cultural/religious/social/political/personal point of view, thinking and belief, values and practice.

If someone truly/sincerely wants to have peace in oneself and wish to contribute peace into the world that one is living in, the mind needs to be free from self-righteousness based on a particular values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief about what is right and wrong/good and bad.

Though it’s not necessary, but most minds/people think and believe that as ‘an individual among the species of human beings’, they need to rely/attach onto a particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief to nurture/build a personal/worldly identity to be existing as who they are, and to think, to behave and to live life complying to that particular values, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political/personal thinking and belief.

Most minds/people don’t just keep their values of life existence, way of life and conduct, cultural/religious/social/political thinking and belief only to themselves, but they want to interfere with others who are different from them. Out of survival instinct and fear of extinction, people want to gather/invite more other people into their ‘group’ to form a ‘strong and powerful group’ by converting/recruiting many others to ‘join’ their group, to adopt and support their vision. People also have the tendency of self-righteousness to control/change/condemn/punish others for being different from themselves, which they dislike and disagree with, where they feel that their values, belief and practice are being threatened/intimidated by the other values, beliefs and practices.

  • The idea of ‘I’.
  • Attachment and identification onto certain qualities of names and forms to ‘support’ the existence of a self-identity of ‘I’.
  • Possessiveness and pride towards the self-identity and the possessions of ‘my life’, ‘my body’, ‘my mind’, ‘my thinking and belief’, ‘my culture’, ‘my religion’, ‘my God’, ‘my wealth and health’, ‘my success and happiness’, ‘my accreditation and reputation’, ‘my virtues and merits’, ‘my home’, ‘my family’, ‘my parents’, ‘my partner’, ‘my relationship’, ‘my children’, ‘my friends and relatives’, ‘my country’, ‘my world’, ‘my practice’, ‘my contribution’, ‘my teacher’, ‘my students’, and so on.
  • Desire of craving and aversion of “I want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like this and I don’t want ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ to be like that.”
  • Fear of losing the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’ the way that ‘I’ like it to be.
  • Defensiveness/protection towards the identity of ‘I’ and all that is ‘mine’.

“This is my home/my country/my world. I want my home/my country/my world to be like this and not like that. I don’t like and don’t agree with all the others who are different from me, who’s vision is contradicting to my vision of the perfect home/country/world that I want to have. I want everyone to comply to my values of life existence, way of life and conduct, thinking and belief. If they don’t, I won’t be able to have my home/my country/my world exactly the way that I want it to be. And I don’t want that. I don’t want these people being here ‘polluting’ my beloved home/my good country/my beautiful world.”

Most minds are outgoing and desire to be engaged in community or worldly affair with very strong self-righteousness towards how the community or the world should be like, where they feel proud towards their thinking and belief and towards their identification with that thinking and belief as who they are, that they believe that they are being ‘assigned’ with the responsibility to ‘save’ the world (their world the way that they prefer) by ‘disciplining’ or ‘teaching’ others about what is right and wrong/good and bad based on their particular thinking and belief, to eliminate what they think and believe as ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ from the society or the world.

Yoga practice is turning the mind inward, focusing on eliminating ignorance and egoism in this mind, to go beyond all the ‘right and wrong’/’good and bad’/’positive and negative’, to free this mind from being limited by any thinking and belief, values and practice (including the teachings of yoga) judging all and everything including this body and this mind, or expecting oneself and/or others and the world to be in certain ways that the egoistic mind likes/agrees with/desires based on those thinking and belief, values and practice. It’s not about enhancing health and fitness, to look good and feel good, or to create a ‘good’ world with everyone behaving in the way that we think it should be. Though there’s nothing wrong with that aspiration, but all these qualities of names and forms are impermanent, and it’s not the goal of yoga practice.

The freedom of being free from being limited or determined by any thinking and belief or identification with qualities of names and forms is unthinkable/unperceivable for the minds that attached strongly onto the thinking and belief to be who they are.

It’s everyone’s freedom for what they want to do with their life, body and mind, and whether to practice yoga, or not.

Be free.

The consequences of pride and self-righteousness

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
+ passion + ambitious + idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be + craving and aversion + impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry + pride + self-righteousness + trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= egoistic actions derived from selfish intention and aspiration based on personal thinking, belief, desires, ideal, attachment, identification, judgment, expectation
= the possibility of a more messy world with more impurities and ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
– passion – ambitious – idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be – craving and aversion – impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry – pride – self-righteousness – trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= selfless actions derived from selflessness, wisdom and compassion
= the possibility of a less messy world with less impurities or ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

When we don’t like and disagree with the world being what it is and want to change the world to be the way that we think it should be, when we think there are people in the world are ignorant and selfish who behave ignorantly and selfishly, and we try to perform ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ actions to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ those whom we think are ignorant and selfish, with intention or hope or expectation to change their thinking, belief and behavior to be less ignorant and selfish (because we think we are better than them or we know better than them), will only provoke/generate more impurities and ignorant behavior in the world. This is because due to ignorance, selfishness and pride, people don’t like to be ‘educated’ or ‘changed’ or ‘controlled’ or ‘interfered’ by anybody, they will be very offended and feel being challenged or insulted or humiliated, and hence, they will react under the influence of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, defensiveness, pride and anger, and be inclined/provoked to perform more ignorant actions and selfish behavior.

None can take away another being’s ignorance. It has to come from oneself being aware of ignorance in oneself and self-initiated to be free from ignorance.

If we really want (to help) the world to be free from all sorts of ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, then mind our own mind, to free one’s mind from ignorance and ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, is the most efficient way to help the world to have less ignorant beings and less ignorant thinking, belief and behavior.

Have peace in oneself if we want (to help) the world to have (more) peace.

Friendliness is about respecting everyone to be different from oneself, to be what they are, as they are

Friendliness doesn’t necessarily mean making social contacts or personal friendships and hanging out together, connecting, interacting and socializing with other like-minded people. It is about respecting everyone, whom we know or don’t know, to be different from oneself, to be what they are, as they are, being free from discrimination, judgment, expectation, superiority/inferiority and self-righteousness.

Those who are open-minded and free from egoism will not interfere with other people’s thinking and belief that are different from them, and won’t be disturbed or offended by other people’s thinking and belief that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, and have peace and harmony in oneself. And they allow other people to dislike or disagree with their thinking and belief, being undisturbed and not be offended or insulted by other people’s dislike and disagreement towards oneself. But not many are open-minded and egoless. Lots of conflict, argument and violence derived from closed-minded and egoistic mind reactions towards what the ego doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, being disturbed and offended by one’s dislike and disagreement towards other people’s thinking and belief that is different from oneself, or be disturbed and offended or insulted by other people’s dislikes and disagreements towards one’s thinking and belief which one thinks is right, or true, or superior.

Putting the blame onto other people’s thinking and belief and behavior that our minds think and believe as wrong and bad, that we don’t like and don’t agree with, for the peacelessness and disharmony in us, is ignorance. It’s how the ego reacts towards something that it doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with, that causes the peacelessness and disharmony in the mind.

In yoga or Buddhism, friendliness is the ability to be able to be aware of all the different qualities of names and forms in different people or beings, and be able to respect everyone as they are, even though we might not like or agree with them of their thinking, their beliefs, or their behavior, without judgment or criticism, without trying to change or control those whom we dislike or disagree with to be what we would like them to be, or to be the way that we think they should be. Instead, we have self-awareness, self-discipline and self-control over our own thoughts, actions and speech, being free from discrimination or prejudice that based on our personal likes and dislikes or agreements and disagreements influenced by our own personal thinking and belief about what things are and how things should be like.

One can keep one’s personal thinking and belief as well as what one practices or doesn’t practice to oneself, and allows other people or beings to have their own thinking and belief, and what they practice or don’t practice that are different from oneself, without interfering with other people’s freedom of thinking, actions and speech, even if their thinking, actions and speech might cause disturbs or harmful damages to themselves and other beings. But, allowing everyone to develop self-awareness, self-discipline and self-control over their own thoughts, actions and speech via self-realization for the well-being of themselves and others.

The pride and arrogance towards ‘I’ am better and more superior than all the others is why the ego constantly judging and criticizing and interfering with other people or beings that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with. The thinking and belief of ‘I’ am good and right, ‘I’ want the world to be good and right, ‘I’ want other people to be good and right, ‘I’ should correct these people or beings whom ‘I’ think they are not good and wrong, whom I think their thinking and belief and behavior are inferior than mine, is merely coming from the ego, it’s not the teachings or the practice of yoga.

In yoga and Buddhism, if one truly wants to do good and be good and wants the world to be good, one focuses and works diligently on self-inquiry by taming and quieting one’s mind through self-discipline and self-control, to be determined to free one’s mind from ignorance and egoism, and allows everyone to be what they are, as they are, and allows the world to be what it is, as it is. If everyone knows this and frees their minds from ignorance and egoism, the world will be free from all kinds of discrimination, prejudice, hatred, jealousy, greed, possessiveness, fear, exploitation, conflict, war, or violence. All these affliction arise due to people want to interfere with other people’s thinking, belief and behavior that one doesn’t like and doesn’t agree with.

Find out what really happens when there is conflict or argument or unrest between two people? May it be between the parents and their children, the husband and the wife, two friends, two strangers, two neighbours, two religions, two communities, or two countries. It’s all deriving from ignorance and egoism and impurities of dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, possessiveness, exploitation, selfish desires and expectations, feelings of hurt and insult, pride and arrogance, offensiveness and defensiveness, or fear and worry. It’s not because one party is ‘good and right’ and the other party is ‘bad and wrong’. If either one party is truly ‘good and right’, there’s no conflict or argument at all. There will be peace and harmony in oneself even when the mind perceives and is aware of something is ‘not good or wrong’ based on the thinking and belief in one’s mind.

If people want to believe or disbelieve in God, that’s everyone’s freedom.

Be truly friendly. Only when one knows what is true friendliness, one will also know what is compassion. Or else, even though one talks about and promotes compassion, and wants to be compassionate, but one couldn’t be truly compassionate if one’s mind isn’t free from ignorance and egoism yet.

Be free.

Be ourselves, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness…

If we identified with and attached to certain ideology, ways of thinking, ways of living, ideas, beliefs, actions and reactions to live our life, to be who we are, about how we as “human beings” should behave, but we also expect other people or other living beings in the world to be agree with and live up to the same ideology or beliefs as we do, then we are not just generating affliction and unhappiness (Such like anger, hatred, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, disappointment, feelings of hurt, and etc) in ourselves, but also generating unnecessary conflicts with other people.

Sometimes, or, most of the time, while we are looking for freedom of thinking, action and expression to be what we want to be, we are not aware that we are “violating” other people’s or other living beings’ freedom of thinking, actions and expression, if ourselves is strongly attached to our own ideology and being self-righteous.

We get offended, feel insulted or humiliated, or feel hurt easily by other people or other living beings who have different ideology than us, who think, behave, act and react differently from us, which is contradicting with our own points of view and beliefs.

We’ll get angry and upset easily, hurting ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, disturbing the equilibrium of the body and mind, as well as we might be hurting other beings, if we don’t have awareness and self-control over our own anger, irritation and frustration whenever our egoistic minds come in contact with something (names and forms) that our mind strongly dislike and disagree with, based on what our minds believe what things are, or how things should be like.

And that’s where anger and hatred begins, where arguments and clashes begin, where wars and violence begin…

Have our own ideology, be ourselves, as we are, but also be opened, let go of self-righteousness.

Allow and respect other people or other living beings to be what they are, to be different from us… It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with other people’s thinking and behavior that we cannot agree with, nor are we supporting other people to behave the way that we think is “wrong” or “not right” based on what our minds believe what is right and wrong…

Have peace in ourselves, before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace in the world, if we think we are so right and so good human beings.

Be in harmony with ourselves and with others. Let go of expectation towards other people or other living beings that they should behave in certain ways that our mind can agree with, no matter how “great” we think our ideology is…

Learn how to love unconditionally before we can “expect” or “hope for” peace and harmony in our relationships with anyone.

This is yoga practice.

Om shanti.