Cultivation of Non-Attachment
We can never be free from Maya unless we cultivate non-attachment
It is true that we can that we can never be free from Maya unless we cultivate non-attachment. But it does not mean severing our connection from home, family and all worldly concerns and taking up the life of a religious mendicant. I do not agree with those who hold the view that the only means of cultivating non-attachment is to get away from home and family, and retire to a solitary corner discarding all worldly ties. Renunciation effected by such forced means is seldom found to be genuine. For it is just possible that in spite of their apparent forced detachment from the world, they may still inwardly be clinging to it. No doubt, as a householder we have to look after many things; we have to support our family; we have to provide for the education of children; we have to look to their wants and necessities; we have to protect them from heat and cold and so on. For these necessities we earn and possess money and property. The real evil is only our undue attachment to the things which we are associated with. This is the main cause of our suffering. But if we are able to do everything in life, thinking it to be our duty without any feeling of attraction or repulsion, we are in a way free from worldly ties and have renounced the world in the true sense, although we possess and make use of many things. Everything we possess shall, then, seem to be a sacred trust from the Supreme Master for the discharge of the duties entrusted to us. Renunciation truly means non-attachment with worldly objects, and not the non-possession of things. Thus, a householder’s life in which possession of things and worldly ties are indispensable is no impediment in the way of renunciation and consequently of realisation, but only if one is not unduly attached to the objects he is connected with. There are numerous examples of saints having attained the highest degree of perfection while leading a householder’s life all through. Renunciation is, in fact, a condition of an inner state of mind which brings to view the transitory and changing character of things, and creates a feeling of non-attachment to such objects. His eyes are fixed every moment on Reality, which is unchanging and eternal, and he is free from the feeling of attraction and repulsion. This is vairagya (Renunciation) in the true sense of the term. When we have achieved this state of mind, we are free from desires. We feel connected with what is available to us. The end of desire means stopping of the formation of samskaras. What remains now is only to undergo the effect (bhog) of the previously formed samskaras (impressions) which are to be worn out during the course of our life. Nature, too, helps us in the process by creating a filed for bhog in order to remove the impressions of our thoughts and actions from the causal body. When these coverings melt away we begin to assume finer forms of existence.
The man who is born in this world is sure to taste miseries. One cannot escape these. When I see the world, I find it very troublesome. Some are groaning with pain; a few are suffering from the loss of their dear ones; and a great number are anxious to achieve success at each step. We try to get rid of these by going into penance, and rishis (sages) have devoted themselves thoroughly to it. All that is born of attachment is misery. Pleasure and pain both contribute to misery. There is no remedy for overcoming these miseries except devoting ourselves towards Godly thought of the purest nature.
We need not to renounce the world and go for penance in the forest. Let the material world and the spiritual world go side by side, glittering equality. One, cannot be a loser in any way if, doing his household duties, he brings himself up to the realisation of God as well. We should soar with both wings if we want to succeed. It is a vague idea of the people in general that God is to be searched for in the forests. My idea is that He should be searched for in the heart. One is performing the household duties and at the same time is equally busy with Godly devotion. You may say that these two things are incompatible and are contradictory to each other, but it is not the case. In the long run, Godly wisdom begins to work and one does his duty from the mind beyond.
Thus, Vairagya can be attained only when one is wholly diverted towards the divine. When it is so, one naturally becomes disinterested in his own self including everything connected with it. Thus he loses not only the boy-consciousness but subsequently loses the soul-consciousness as well. What remains then is nothing but the “being in dead form or a living dead”.
Observance of Preliminaries to Meditation
A natural easy posture (asana) paves our way to the ultimate.
When the thought of going back to the original was stirred up in man, it became essential for him to bring activity, which had sprung up in him, into a latent state as far as it was possible. He began to seek out the means for it. At last it came to his understanding that just as the latent motion was grosser in comparison to the Absolute with which it was connected, even so he must take up something grosser for the purpose, to enable him to attain the desired ideal of Reality. This led him to the conclusion that he must create in him a form of contraction or withdrawal similar to that at the time of Pralaya. Self is all pervading in man just as it is in the whole universe, taking the universe in a collective sense. The state of Pralaya comes in when contraction begins to take place. Similar contraction in man leads to his individual Pralaya. That means that he begins to proceed from his state of grossness to the real state. The contraction always, starts, from below and proceeds gradually upwards because of its upward tendency. Therefore, in order to go upwards he must start contracting from below. The form of contraction could be only to bring his legs and allied parts to one pose and to keep them steady. In whatever way it might be done, the form will finally be that of the Asana. It is essential because it paves our way to the Ultimate. This posture must always be the same. The reason is that in this way he gets himself associated with the great power, the very thing he takes up in the beginning for the attainment of his particular objective. Thus, the form which is associated with Reality helps him a good deal in his primary initiation.
The upright position of the backbone, neck and head in an erect straight line during meditation has been thought to be most advantageous from very ancient times, because the flow of Divine grace is believed to descend straight
upon the Abhaysi in that posture. In our way of practice, however, this is not insisted upon. I advise the Abhyasis generally to sit in a natural easy posture. Moreover, even those who assume a tight straight post are found to give way automatically to a suppliant, slightly forward drooping posture, as the state of blissful absorbency sets in. As such, it may be considered to be more natural even for the purpose of an ascent into higher states of consciousness. In fact, a controversy over a point of comparatively lesser significance seems irrelevant.
It is better to sit in the grey of the morning for meditation, or when that is not possible, at any fixed hour convenient to the Abhyasi. Do not feel disturbed with the outer things but remain engaged with your own work thinking that they are in a way helping you to feel the necessity for greater absorption in your practice.