What is Vairagya? (fwd)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 27 09:48:39 CST 2002

Dear Krishnaji
You have thrown the challenge for writing a whole essay on Vairagya. Let
me make a small attempt.
Vairagya means dispassion. Raga is attachment or passion. The prefix ‘vai’
denotes the negation of that. We have attachment or passion to everything
that we call our own. To the money we possess, to the kith and kin we pour
love on, to the property we take pride in possessing, to the friend to
whom we are indebted, to the parents on whom we have leaned from birth, to
the spouse without whom we can’t live, to our opinions that have been
cultivated by us through our education and associations,  to the material
creations of our own making, to the children whose birth and growth are
because of us  and to our own  body, mind and intellect that we have
nurtured all our life. All these are our own. We would not like to miss
them or lose them. What is wrong in attachment to them? Is it wrong to
love our spouse and be ready to sacrifice anything for the well-being of
that spouse? Is it wrong to shower affection on our children who look to
us for their very subsistence? Is it wrong to be attached to our parents
who have done so much for us?

No, not at all. Then what is wrong about attachment? Exactly. That is what
we are trying to analyse now. Slowly, standing apart from your own mental
associations, try to think ‘dispassionately’. Is any of these things
listed above permanent? They will all one day be dis-associated from you.
In other words they will disappear. That is the work of time. So our
scriptures give us the advice to slowly ‘detach’ ourselves from such
attachment to impermanent things and gradually attach ourselves to what is
permanent, namely, God. Attachment to God is also an attachment, of
course. But in order to ‘detach’ ourselves from all the things to which we
are attached, the only way is to change the object of attachment to God.
Then God will do the rest for us. There is a famous Kural of Tiruvalluvar
which says exactly this.

With praNAms to all seekers of spirituality

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