Sunday, March 24, 2013
Attachment Leads To Detachment"
We are taught by spiritual teachers not to get attached and to “detach” ourselves from desires and sense pleasures if we wish to achieve spiritual progress. As a result, people have resorted to all sorts of practices like “tapas”, etc to achieve their aim. Many have left their homes seeking they know not what. Is this correct practice? When we do tapas, what are we achieving? We are merely punishing ourselves. If we just stop to think we realize that the human body has been given to us for a purpose and it is our divine duty to keep it well because “it is easier to hold the mind of God without distraction of pain”….Sri Paramhans Yoganandaji. This is one of the reasons why Yoga was devised…when the body is healthy it is easier to meditate without any distractions from the body. Of course, a disciplined yogi can still retain his calm and happiness even when suffering from physical pain. It is widely believed that our desires are a great obstacle to spiritual progress. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states “When all the desires that surge in the heart are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the knots that strangle the heart are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal, here in this very life”.This is absolutely true but can suppressing them make us immortal? The answer is no because whenever we suppress anything it ultimately rears its ugly head again with a vengeance and we are back to square one. It is also said that the Universe runs on two basic principles…rita (meaning law, order etc) and renunciation or sacrifice. If the Universe has to run on renunciation, what is it that we need to renounce? Also what is, therefore, the true meaning of ‘detachment” or “renunciation”? The Gita tells us that in order to achieve salvation we need to renounce all mortal desires. What this actually means is that we need to renounce the fruits of our actions. We all need to perform our worldly duties as a sacrifice …”giving oneself to life” for this basic principle to be fulfilled. Not acting or doing something is certainly not the solution because act we must, since it is by our good actions that we manage to wash off our karmas. By just not doing anything we do not achieve this. By running away into the forest, away from worldly life fails to achieve this purpose. When meditating in a cave or living in a forest, we still have the demons of longings, passions, greed, sex propensities etc present in our minds …..which will burst forth again at an opportune moment. This is the reason why Sri Paramhans Yoganandaji says ”it is the better path to live in the world but not belong to the world” We are also taught that we should not get “attached” to anything lest we increase our longing and desires for sense pleasures. This again is true but is it practicable? The Bhagwat Gita has taught us that we should practice “titiksha” or imperturbability, something which the Greeks of old labeled as “stoicism”, meaning that pain or pleasure, sorrow or happiness should have no appreciable change in us, physically or mentally, that all events are good whether actually good or not (based on our understanding). How then do we achieve freedom from desires, cultivate “titiksha’ and remain free from the bondage of attachments? The only way to do that is to attach ourselves to Him. When we attach ourselves to the Almighty we automatically achieve all the desired results. This is possible when we follow Jesus Christ’s teaching “Seek and Ye shall find; knock and it shall open” meaning thereby, meditate on Him and seek Him with desperation, total surrender and complete love leading to the opening of the Third Eye at the centre of the forehead culminating in God union. To quote fellow blogger Mahin Ahsan ,(with my profound thanks) “Is He (not best ) who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon him…”(Quran 27:62) When we seek Him with all our heart and love, we achieve the connection with the primordial sound of Aum/ Shabd with the opening of our Third Eye. Our entire self opens to us, we gradually and surely “ascend” through various stages to the Divine. Our ascension is associated with freedom from desires, negative emotions, tamasic tendencies….we therefore, rise above all that is bad for us, slowly get wrapped in His warm embrace, enjoy the beautiful vistas of scintillating bright light and divine symphony.…finally losing our own entity by merging with Him……the drop becomes the ocean. Source: “God Talks With Arjun The Bhagwat Gita by Sri Paramhans Yogananda, “the Upanishads” by Eknath Easwaran