June 10, 2013 Comments Off on Vairaagya
Dispassion, vairaagya, is a quality that cannot be dispensed
with in any spiritual instruction, for ascetics as well as householders. True,
Bhagavadgeeta, ever since it has transpired, has remained a spiritual gospel.
And the reason for it is obvious. Its tone, content, message and emphasis have
consistently adhered to the true spiritual notes throughout.
Those who take Geeta as a Gospel of Action and would like to
rejoice in worldly or secular pursuits in an exclusive manner, should not fail
to reflect on this fact and moderate their thoughts and addictions. Let it be
clear that dispassion is a quality that always enriches everyone – a spiritual
seeker as well as a secular person. That alone adorns the Soul-wisdom and
renders the seeker strong, wholesome and independent.
To all sensory objects, which verily includes the entire
world with all its contents, says Krishna, the attitude should be that of
dispassion. Do not crave for any sensory object. Let not world objects be the
seeker’s master. Let them be, if at all, subservient to the seeker. Looking at
the bounteous world, seeing the thrills and allurements it provides, let no
servility be allowed to creep into the mind.
To be spiritual is not to look for one’s delight and
fulfillment in the objects of the world. The mind that causes delight through
any object of the world can also provide delight without such object. Delight
in reality belongs to the mind alone. It is verily the mind’s own gift. It may
be occasioned by an external medium or spontaneously generated internally.
People in general, due to ignorance, seek to satiate their
senses by courting the sensory objects. This habit prevails till one grows to
be a saadhaka. When the spirit of saadhana takes over the mind, the focus
shifts from the objects to the Inner Spirit. Krishna is quite emphatic on this,
although he is speaking to a fighter in the battlefield.
What is vairaagya? It is the direct impact of knowing the
perishable nature of the world – its contents, sentient and insentient alike.
This one plight of perishability is sufficient to question man’s attraction
towards them. At the same time, the spirit that enlivens the body is not
perishable. Should not then the Imperishable Spirit within be dearer than the
Krishna also explains how to make such dispassion grow
stronger. While presenting a precept, how to make it work is also clearly
shown. This is where our scriptural treatises excel. Ponder repeatedly and well
over the trouble and torment associated with birth, death, old age as well as
disease. Worldly life abounds in all these. In fact, these are fates and
plights any living being has to course through.
What does Krishna mean? Think of any one’s birth. Neither is
birth a creation of the born one, nor is it an event brought about fully by
another. To marry and live in the company of each other is very much in keeping
with the scheme and process of Nature. As a natural corollary of married life,
children too are born, making the couple their parents.
Except undergoing the biological processes leading to
conception and birth of a child, the parents do not have any creative role as
such in forming the physical body of the off-spring. Everything takes place
governed by Nature’s laws and processes. In fact, an animal baby and a human
baby are born alike. Only in their potentials and possibilities, Nature has
built in some distinctions and differences.
None can predict with certainty what kind of a child will be
born, with what character, looks and intelligence. Death is the last phase of
life. It is definite that the born will die, but none can say when and how. As
the growth of the foetus after conception results in birth of the child, so too
the growth following birth leads to the old age. How many are there for whom old
age is a crowning maturity and fulfillment? Every one seems to curse and lament
over old age and the disadvantages it brings. Disease is another factor that
intrudes into life. Grief of various kinds is a sure constituent of life.
Thus, observed well, human life in the world does consist of
a variety of defects or evils. Should not one be mindful of these? A good
seeker cannot but reflect upon these. Krishna exhorts us to do so. Such a habit
or pursuit will go to generate, strengthen and deepen dispassion in the mind.
by: Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha [This is an extract from Poojya
Swamiji’s article published in the Feb 2004 issue of Vicharasetu](c)
Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2008, http://www.brahmavi dya.org
(Viragya ; Freedom from worldly desires, perseverance. Fanaticism,