The importance of keeping good company

Open Yoga journal

There are many different people among our acquaintances. We communicate with some of them easily and with pleasure, others are hard to deal with. When we start practicing yoga we may notice that our social circle qualitatively changes and like-minded people, in whom we are interested, come to our life. There are more of them around us every day, but at the same time, there are those who we do not like. Why does this happen? Why are there unpleasant people around us? What does yoga say about it?

Nobody is a «random guest» in our life!

According to the law of cause and effect, which is called karma, we do not have incidental friends. If there are people in our social circle who we dislike, it shows that our acquaintance with them resulted from our previous will expressions. Otherwise, we would never meet them, even if we were neighbors. We invited to our lives all those people, with whom we have to communicate, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant to us, and we did it ourselves, either knowingly or subconsciously. We generated situations and a series of events by our actions in the past, which led us to meeting these particular people.

The law of karma tells us that our surroundings is the reflection of our own actions. That is why the existence of unpleasant people in our life means that we have a negative karma. Whereas the company of like-minded people, who have similar interests and views with us, is our positive karma. In both cases we created connections with these people by our own actions. In yoga axiomatics these connections are called associative links. You can find more detailed information about the nature of associative links in the appropriate articles of the Open Yoga journal.

We committed ourselves to self-development, but not all our friends are going the same way. Nevertheless, we cannot just cut off all connections with those who came to our lives as part of our negative karma. The law of karma tells us to «work it out» in a kind way and «untangle this karmic knots». Only by doing so, we shall avoid the same problem in future. Otherwise, the situations will repeat as «Deja vu» and we shall meet people similar to those with whom we just cut the ties.

Prana is the universal currency, neutralizing the negative karma

When we commit ourselves to self-exploration and practice yoga, we increase the amount of prana – our vital force, which, like a universal currency, starts to settle all our karmic debts. So our negative karma becomes neutral: all our inappropriate acquaintances naturally disappear, all contacts with them stop. Our life changes tremendously for the better and we raise to a higher spiritual level. 

From this point of view, prana is like the immune system of our body. When the infections attack our body like unwanted guests and the immune system is weak, the body feels discomfort and pain. However, strong immune system actively fights the disease, neutralizes it and the body becomes capable to develop further. In the same way, when we have a lot of prana, we have strength to filter appropriate and inappropriate links, blocking those people who have a bad impact on the process of our spiritual growth and slow down our self-development. This process can be easy and painless, if we follow the First principle of yoga, the principle of doing no harm to any living being unless it is necessary. 

Neutralizing negative karma in the background

When we have received the first positive results, we should not relax. On the contrary, we must be extremely attentive to ourselves and conscious in our manifestations. After all, despite the seemingly stable neutralizing effect of prana, the internal in-depth work on neutralizing negative karma may continue for a long time. This is because our karmic relations with other people are not limited to external visual level of our physical bodies. We are also connected on the subtle level of our thoughts, emotions, different memories, associations and other things, which we do not even suspect. Therefore, until all these karmic knots are untangled completely, we cannot talk about final and irrevocable rupture of inappropriate relationships. Just as the disease does not always disappear with the normalization of body temperature or with the cessation of pain. We may feel healthy, but our immune system continues to fight the illness, in the background, until full recovery. 

Negative karma, which has not been neutralized completely, will come back during the periods of low level of prana, similar to an untreated disease with low immunity.

If during this period we descend to the previous state of anger, resentment, destructive thoughts and unethical attitude toward people, we will become vulnerable to our negative karma. We may discover at this period that some old friends, who we have forgotten, will start to come back to our life. Just as an untreated disease comes back as soon as we expose our body to cold, stress or inappropriate diet.

Obviously, our old friends do not monitor our condition in order to annoy us by their sudden appearance. However, by returning to our previous condition, we generate identical vibrations, and resonate on a subtle level. It brings the effect of “like attracts like” when they start to be attracted to us and either contact us directly or we meet them “incidentally”. Our reaction to such a meeting will depend on our readiness to it. It would be better if we look at it with kindness and positive approach. We need to remember that each person deserves a chance, and that some time ago we started at the same point. We need to understand why this person came to our life, and to realize our faults and mistakes. 

What is happening to us is not as bad as our inadequate reaction to it!

Doing yoga regularly, we learn to be more attentive to ourselves. It allows us to analyze our condition better and trace any possible mistakes. To notice the mistakes and to remember them is the first step to the right direction. Everything is in our hands!

No matter what is our social circle, whether we like our friends or not, we need to remember that we invited them to our lives by our previous actions. Therefore, if someone became unpleasant to us we should not break the connection with them at once. On the contrary, we must treat all our “guests” with kindness. Yoga teaches us that nobody will stay in our life longer than necessary, according to our karma. Prana, acquired by diligent practice, is capable to speed up the process of neutralizing our negative karma. Then, all inappropriate friends will leave us, and the appropriate ones will follow us on our way to self-development. 

Form your social circle with love and kindness!

Author: Olga Belous

Photo: IOYU archive

Editors: Maria Gayatry, Anna Prema, Eva Rati, Evgenia Lakshmi, Alla Ravi

Chief editor: Maria Mirra

Translators: Teya Sweet, Alexander Vijaya

Chief curator: Kerigona

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