Episode # 79 – Why is “Detachment” important for spiritual progress? An important discussion!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had tried to give answers for four important questions that might arise from Sage Kapilaachaarya’s first advice to his mother Devahooti on controlling our mind. As an overview, we had witnessed that the mind plays a vital role in whatever we wish to do in life – Whether our actions are professional, personal, spiritual or whatever. If our mind doesn’t co-operate properly, none of the actions would bare any fruit! Hence, for any action to become successful, we should make sure that we tune our mind to that required level of “frequency”. Even for our professional growth in our organization wherever we work, we need to have the right mindset to succeed in whatever jobs we undertake. Similarly for our spiritual growth too, it is the mind that needs to be tuned in such a way that we progress further.

We have also witnessed a brief accord on what are “Vaasanas” and how do our Vaasanaas constantly keep pegging us back from our spiritual pursuit. I’m sure that many of us must have realized this by now. Hence the important point here is that, if we’ve to eradicate our Vaasanas from our mind and make our mind pure, we need to consciously work towards it and keep trying again and again, whenever we fail in our spiritual pursuit. For instance, if we’ve to sit for meditation for 30 minutes continuously, initially we would not be able to concentrate even for 3 minutes continuously, because our mind would be wavering everywhere with thousands of thoughts. However, we should not give up! We should keep trying again and again and as we gradually increase our intensity of our trials, the thoughts that our mind has, would gradually start coming down. As these unwanted thoughts are eliminated from our mind, automatically our mind would start becoming calm and in turn, our Vaasanas would gradually be taken care of. Thus, for every problem, there is a solution! It is upto us to follow the solution and rise up the spiritual ladder.

Another method of getting rid of our Vaasanas is by doing “Mantra-Japa”. If we’re performing constant “Mantra-Japa” every passing day, it automatically generates an internal spirutal energy within us. This would directly be instrumental in getting rid of our Vaasanas that are clogging our mind. The more intense our “Mantra-Japa” becomes as days progress, quicker and effectively can we come out of our Vaasanas. Hence, let us consciously try and do this.

Moving on further, we need to talk a bit about “detachment” of the mind. This is in lieu with what we’ve discussed till now with respect to our mind and how to control our mind. As our mind gradually comes out of our Vaasanas, we enter into a complete state of detachment. Now, what is this “detachment” all about? For instance, if we light a camphor and throw it on the floor, two things can happen here – If the floor has some inflammable items such as grass and other things, this camphor will start burning all of these items and thus the fire will become bigger and bigger. Whereas, if the floor is clean and devoid of any items, the camphor would just burn for 2-3 minutes and gradually the fire would doze off! Similarly, our mind is like this camphor – If our mind is having innumerable attachments like the grass on the floor, we’re going to be consumed by all of them, just like the grass is consumed by the camphor’s fire. Ultimately, this is going to destroy our spiritual pursuit. Rather, if we can keep our mind clean as in the second case, just like the camphor burns for 2-3 minutes and switches off, our mind would also be stable and would be ready for spiritual growth and pursuit.

But here comes a counter question: If we’ve to detach ourselves from our worldly matters completely, how do we lead a life in this earth? Shouldn’t we have a family? Shouldn’t we earn money? How can we survive without all of this? The answer here is that, of course we should have a family, earn money, etc. But just like how water doesn’t stay put on a petal of a lotus, we shouldn’t get too much “attached” to anything.

Imagine that we’re residing in a rented house, rather than an owned house. How would we conduct ourselves? We take possession of this house from the owner for a fixed time period, pay rent on a monthly basis, and once the time period is over, we just move out of this house and go into another! All the maintenance activities, etc. are not ours in a rented house. It’s the headache of the owner, isn’t it? Here, we just need to move in, live for a certain time period, and vacate! Similarly, this world is like a rented place and we’re like tenants residing in this world. We reside in this world until our lifetime gets over and after that, we’ve to leave this rented place! If we have this mindset, attachment would never happen! The moment we start considering this world and belongings as our “own”, we would start getting possessive about things, and thus our attachments start getting built up – Just like how the owner of the house should take care of all the maintenance activities, etc.

Thus, the point here is that, we should lead a personal life, family life, professional life, etc. but we should be able to “maintain a safe distance” from all of these, by not getting too close to anything. Of course, we have to discharge all our important duties towards our family, our job, etc. but that duty should not be focused on the end-result. This is what Bhagawan Krishna also says:

“Karmanyevaadhikaaraste maaphale shukadaachana!!”

The simple message here is that, “Do your duty without expecting the end result of it!” If we’re able to attain this state, this is what is called “detachment”. In other words, we’re performing our duty, but we’re leaving the result of it to Bhagawan to take care! Bhagawan knows when and when not to give us the fruits of our actions. Hence, if we’re having a supreme master who’s guiding us in all aspects, why should be bother about the result? Let Him take care of it!

So for today, let us ponder over this important aspect of life and let us take a conscious step to come out of our Vaasanas, desires, expectations, etc. which would aid our spiritual progress. Of course, it’s easier said than done! But we’ve to put a conscious effort in this direction to realize our goal. We shall continue this interesting and important discussion further in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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