Saturday, May 23, 2009

Developing detachment is difficult

It was Marcus Aurelius who wrote hundreds of years ago in his Meditations that “We ought to consider not only that our life is daily wasting away and a smaller part of it is left, but another thing must also be taken into the account, that if a man should live longer it is quite uncertain whether the understanding will still continue sufficient for the comprehension of things, and retain the power of contemplation which strives to acquire the knowledge of the Divine and the human.: He pleads that “We must make haste then, not only because we are nearer to death , but also because the conception of things and understanding of them cease first.’
Our own Bhartruhari in his Vairagya Satakam urges that “ Life is changing like a big wave, beauty of youth abides for a few days; earthly possessions are as transient as thought; the whole series of our enjoyments are like occasional flashes of autumnal lightning; the embrace round the neck given by our beloved ones lingers only for a while. To cross the ocean of the world, attach your mind to Brahman (God).”.
Easily said, well nigh difficult to follow. Still if one must slowly progress towards his spiritual journey, some amount of detachment should be cultivated. A man may live in the world but should strive to discharge all the duties of his order and stage of life with detachment. He may be a grihastha living with family and children. But that need not preclude him from practising perfect mental detachment or doing his spiritual Sadhana. This can be achieved by doing everything as duties enjoined on him and doing them as offerings to God. It may appear strange to be detached doing mundane things at home or in office. This can be acquired by doing the job sincerely without a longing for the outcome. In other words not getting passionate about the results of what we do. In fact, he will be better than a sadhu living in far off mountainous caves as he has to face unlike the sadhu the innumerable temptations of life.
It may look impractical but is possible gradually to develop inner mental detachment from pleasure if we are not carried away by the pleasant experiences of the world by clinging to them. If we adopt the attitude of a silent witness and keep practising, such an experience may help in our ascent in spiritual ladder. Eventually we will have mental poise and an unruffled state needed for such a journey. There is no other short cut for liberation from this cycle of births and deaths.


  1. Dear Parthasarathi,

    :) :) :) I had a feeling that you would soon write something on what I have understood to be your currently favourite topic: DETACHMENT.

    Krishna alone knows why from February onwards you have become so ATTACHED to DETACHMENT.

    I personally do not think too much of DETACHMENT is needed for attaining saameeppya moksha.

    All the best to you on your mysterious journey in DETACHMENT. Just see to it that you don't hurt beyond repair (by you) those who love you. Please remember, like you, they too belong to Vaasudev Krishna and He does not like to see them cry.

    I have written this comment from the bottom of my heart :) :) :)



  2. The above comment made me wonder if people confuse detachment with not loving. Isn't loving possible with detachment! Age and experiences teach one to be detached yet continue to shower our love all around.