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WHAT IS VAIRAGYA (Dispassion) IN HINDUISM? Practice is crucial no doubt, but without detachment or vairagya, it does not bear the desired result in practice of Yoga and Spirituality. Without detachment or vairagya, knowledge of scriptures does not make a spiritual aspirant to grow in his spiritual quest. Without vairagya, one cannot properly follow any Yoga or Spiritual discipline............. 1-A seeker in the path of Jnana Yoga needs to develop detachment from body and mind. 2-A seeker in the path of Karma Yoga needs to develop detachment of the will from the fruits of action. 3-A seeker in the path Of Bhakti needs to develop detachment to all worldly feelings that come in the way of his love for the Divine Beloved. 4- Raja Yogi has to develop detachment to all distracting thoughts that make the mind restless. Whatever be the path of Yoga, detachment is complementary to practice in getting the desired result. Practice without detachment is lame and detachment without practice is blind. What one needs, therefore, is a harmonious combination of both practice and detachment in yoga and spirituality for spiritual growth. WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF VAIRAGYA?------- 1-Vairagya is the opposite of Raga, or desire. It is dispassion or non-attachment. It is indifference to sensual objects herein and hereafter. Vairagya thins out the fatty sensual mind. It turns the mind inward (Antarmukh Vritti). This is the most important qualification for an aspirant. It is the one and the only means to enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. 2-If the mind is constantly thinking of tea and if it gets pain when you do not get it, it is said that you have got 'Aasakti' (attachment) for tea. This 'Aasakti' leads to bondage. The practice of 'Vairagya' (dispassion) demands you to renounce this 'Aasakti' for tea. Mere giving up of taking tea does not constitute the essence of 'Vairagya'. 3-Study Vairagya-Prakarana in Yoga Vasishtha. You will have a comprehensive understanding of the real Svarupa of Vairagya. A clean description of the actual dispassionate mental state of Sri Rama is given. Palatable dishes, refreshing beverages, affectionate father and mother, brother, dear friends, diamonds, pearls, flowers, sandal, ornaments, soft beds, gardens had no attraction for him. On the contrary, their very sight gave him intense pain. In Vairagya, Brahmacharya is Antargata (hidden). Vairagya includes celibacy in thought, word and deed. NAME TWO KINDS OF VAIRAGYA ------ Vairagya (dispassion, indifference, non-attachment) is of two kinds, viz., 1- KARANA VAIRAGYA ------ (Vairagya on account of some miseries) ----The mind of a man who has got the former type of Vairagya is simply waiting for a chance to get back the things that were given up. As soon as the first opportunity offers itself, the man gets the downfall and goes back to his former state. Vishaya does havoc in him with a vengeance and redoubled force from reaction. 2--VIVEKA PURVAKA VAIRAGYA ----- (Vairagya on account of discrimination between real and unreal)------But the other man who has given up the objects on account of Viveka, on account of illusory nature of objects, will have spiritual advancement. He will not have a downfall. Vairagya is of three kinds ( VIEWPOINT OF INTENSITY )----- 1-Dull (Manda), 2-Intense (Tivra) and 3-Very intense (Tivratara). Dull Vairagya cannot help you much in the attainment of your goal. HOW VAIRAGYA DAWNS (become evident to the mind )--- 1-Note how Vairagya arises in the mind......... The transitory and perishable nature of all things creates a sort of disgust in all minds and, in proportion to the depth and subtlety of nature... This reaction from the world,,, works more or less powerfully in the mind of every individual. 2-An irresistible feeling arises in our mind, viz., that the finite can never satisfy the Infinite within us, that the changing and perishable cannot satisfy the changeless and deathless nature of ours. When you are not impressed with the idea of rich living, rich style of living cannot attract you. 3-When you are impressed with the idea that meat and wine are not at all pleasurable, they cannot tempt you. 4-In that case, if you do not get meat and wine or rich living, you will not be agonised at all in your mind. Why are you attracted towards a young, beautiful / handsome opposite gender? Because, owing to your ignorance, you vainly think you will get pleasure through his /her. If you have got Viveka, it will at once tell you that you will get immense pain through his /her. Then the mind will recede or withdraw from the object, opposite gende . 5-Vairagya that is born of Viveka/discrimination is lasting and steady. If you seriously think of the various kinds of pain in this Samsara such as birth, death, worries, depression, suffering, disease, loss, hostility, disappointment, fear, etc., if you understand intelligently the defects of sensual life (Dosha Drishti), and the transitory and perishable nature of all objects of the world, Vairagya will immediately dawn. IS SADHANA WITHOUT VAIRAGYA GOES TO WASTE ?--- 1-A-When Vairagya appears in the mind, it opens the gate to Divine Wisdom. 1-B-From dissatisfaction (with the sense-objects and worldly sense-enjoyments) comes aspiration. 1-C-From aspiration comes abstraction. From abstraction comes the concentration of the mind. 1-D-From the concentration of the mind comes meditation or contemplation. 1-E-From contemplation comes Samadhi or Self-realisation. Without dissatisfaction or Vairagya, nothing is possible. 2-Just as cultivation in a stony land or saltish earth becomes absolutely fruitless, so also Yogic practices and Atma-Vichara (enquiry of the Soul) done without Vairagya (dispassion and indifference to the sensual enjoyments) becomes fruitless. Just as water, when it leaks into the rat-holes, instead of running into the proper channels in agricultural fields, becomes wasted and does not help the growth of plants, grains, etc., so also, the efforts of an aspirant become a wastage if he has not got the virtue Vairagya. He gets no spiritual advancement. Intense Vairagya Necessary For Moksha 3-There must be intense (Tivra) Vairagya in the minds of the aspirants, throughout the period of their Sadhana. Mere mental adhesion (devoted attachment) will not do for success in Yoga. There must be intense longing for liberation, a high degree of Vairagya plus capacity for Sadhana (spiritual practice). Then only they will get Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Moksha. 4-It was only Raja Janaka and Prahlada who had Tivra Vairagya (intense dispassion). This kind of Vairagya is necessary for quick realisation. It is very difficult to cross the ocean of Sansara with a dull type of Vairagya. The crocodile of sense-hankering (Trishna) for sense-enjoyments and sense-objects will catch the aspirants by the throat and, violently snatching away, will drown them half-way. NAME ENEMIES OF VAIRAGYA----- 1- THE CURSE OF AFFECTION-------- a-Delusion proceeds from affection. It is a common observation that a person is distressed if the cat eats his domestic fowl; but when his affections are not touched, for instance, if the cat eats a sparrow or a mouse, he expresses no sorrow. You must, therefore, root out affection, which is the cause of vain attachment. The body generates numerous germs which people are anxious to remove; but to one variety they give the name "children," for which their lives are wasted away. Such is the delusion of the world. b-At the back of affection and love, there is grief and sorrow. Affection is mixed with sorrow. At the back of pleasure, there is pain. Pain is mixed with pleasure. Man sows the poisonous seed of sorrow under the name of love, from which quickly spring up shoots of affection which contain a fire dangerous as lightning; and from these shoots, grow trees of sorrow with innumerable branches which, burning like a heap of covered straw, slowly consume the body. c-The knot of affection is strengthened by long indulgence. Affection has entwined its threads around the hearts of men. The principal means to get rid of affection is to consider that this is a fleeting existence. In this wide world, how many millions of parents, wives, children, uncles and grandfathers have passed away. You should consider the society of friends as a momentary flash of lightning and, revolving this often in your mind, enjoy felicit (intense happiness). 2- HOPE & ANTICIPATION--- Hope and anticipation are the opposite of Vairagya and Tyaga. They fatten the mind. To be perfectly hopeless is a very high state for a philosopher. It is a very bad state for worldlings. They always say with contempt: "He is a hopeless man." Worldlings and philosophers move towards diametrically opposite poles. HOW TO DEVELOP VAIRAGYA----- 1-Those who do not develop the painless Vairagya inherent in one's self and that with great felicity and happiness are, at best, but vermins in human shapes. When a bee finds that its feet are stuck in the honey, it slowly licks its feet several times and then flies away with joy. Even so, extricate yourself from the mind's sticking and clinging to this body and children-honey owing to Raga and Moha through Vairagya and meditation and fly away from this cage of flesh and bone to the Source, Brahman or Absolute. 2-It is very difficult to wean some children. They suck the breast even when they are three or four years old. The mother applies some nim-paste to the nipples. The child is weaned quickly. Even so, you will have to get a medicine of nim-paste for the mind to get it weaned from sensual objects. 3-Sit in a solitary room. Think of the miseries of this earthly life, its cares, worries, anxieties, hunger, thirst, sins, temptations, passion, fighting, fears, vanity, disease, death, old age, sorrow, grief, tribulation, loss, failures, disappointments, hostility, scorpion stings, mosquito bites, etc. This will serve as an efficient nim-paste to wean the mind from Sansara. You must think in the above-manner daily. 4-Remember constantly the pains of various kinds pertaining to this mundane existence. Moha will vanish if you repeat the following line of Chapter XIII of Gita several times daily: "Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosha-anudarsanam-Insight into the pain and evil of birth, old age and sickness." Always make the mind understand clearly that there is only pain in this world. Reflect often on the instability of this world. This is the first Sadhana for aspirants. They can thus develop Vairagya. The mind will be weaned from objects. Attraction for sense-objects will gradually vanish. NAME FOUR STAGES OF VAIRAGYA----- 1-YATAMANA--- This is an attempt not to allow the mind to run into sensual grooves; 2-VYATIRKA-- In this stage some objects are attracting you and you are endeavouring to cut off the attachment and attraction. Slowly Vairagya develops for these objects also. Then, the Vairagya matures. When some objects tempt and delude you, you should ruthlessly avoid them. You will have to develop Vairagya for these tempting objects and it must also mature. In this stage you are conscious of your degree of Vairagya towards different objects; Avoid’ always involves an effort to keep away from what is considered to be a source of danger or difficulty. ‘Shun’ refers to deliberately keeping clear of what is unwelcome or undesirable. 3- EKENDRIYA---The senses stand still and subdued, but the mind has either Raga or Dvesha for objects. Mind is, in other words, the only sense that functions independently; 4- VASIRARA---- In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The senses are perfectly quiet. The mind also is free from likes and dislikes (Raga and Dvesha). Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your supremacy. Without Vairagya no spiritual progress is possible. ..........SHIVOHAM.........