Wednesday, April 20, 2011






Patanjali prescribes 2 methods of mind control (1) abhyasa or  repeated practice and (2) vairagya = non-attachment or  dispassion.

But, repeated practice of what? Being a witness to your mind functions or Chitta Vritthis. The moment, you, as witness, start watching – the mind’s power comes down drastically.  When you are not the witness, you become the thought your self and become the slave of the mind. Either you are the thought, or, you are the witness. 

Witnessing  requires great care, caution and consistent practice. This practice (of being a witness to mind function) must be done (a) for a long time,(b) without interruptions, (c) steadfastly with great devotion and dedication and (d) in right manner, before it becomes firmly rooted in you and will gain a deep foundation – for success in Yoga.As we analyzed, we found that these are the Standard Success Principles for any great effort.

There is no bigger success in this world, than success in controlling our own mind. Each stage of success will give you greater and greater, true Joy. So, Sadhaka will have sufficient incentive to do his Sadhana all the time. 


drista anushravika
vishaya vithrishnasya
vasheekaara sanjna vairagyam

Ø  drista = seen, perceived
Ø  anushravika = listened, scriptural testimony
Ø  vishaya = matter, objects, experienced things
Ø  vithrishnasya = free from desire or craving
Ø  vasheekaara = supreme, mastery, total control
Ø  sanjna = awareness, consciousness, knowing
Ø vairagyam = non-attachment, without attraction or aversion

The Attractions in the world are too many, for the mind.

Certain attractions, mind develops on its own, as its habits; certain others are cultivated by looking at others and following their example; and certain others are cultivated because they are considered superior or lofty, having been mentioned in one’s own culture as superior and lofty, or having been mentioned in some respected scriptures (like the Vedas) as worthy of possession, enjoyment etc.

But, vairagya (non-attachment) is that state of mind, when the mind loses all desire for all such objects, even those mentioned in tradition or scriptures as worth possessing.

In Vairagya, you do not have either deep desire for such objects and things; and you also do not have any aversion for them. Your mind is neutral.

As we have said earlier also, for vairagya also, we are not going to fight with mind. Patanjali has not given us any other method so far – except witnessing. And, witnessing, without involvement, results in vairagya.


One farmer was walking at the edge of the road, with some bag-loads on his head. His foot stumbled against a small, strong stone and his foot got hurt. He was angry with the stone – and pushed it angrily further into the middle of the road, muttered a few abuses against it and went away.

A soldier came that way, saw the stone, pushed it to the edge again with his sword and went his way.

A sage came that way, looked at the stone, knew that the stone was a big diamond, but smiled and went his way.

Finally, a diamond merchant came that way, saw the stone, picked it into his bag, went fast to his house, with great fear of being robbed of it.

The farmer stumbled against the stone but did not know the value of the stone. He got hurt, cursed it, pushed it to the middle of the road and went away. But, that’s all. He did not suffer beyond that.

The soldier saw it, pushed it back to the edge, and went away with some satisfaction of having done his duty to the passers-by. He got some satisfaction from doing his duty – but the stone was not of any consequence to him.

The sage saw the stone, knew it as a diamond; but his mind had no attachment or aversion to diamonds. He has no use for it, since the joy in his heart from his “abhyaasa and vairagya” and the consequent mastery over his mind – is far superior to any pleasure that any diamond can give. His mind knows the pitfalls that all desires possess inherently. His “joy” remained undisturbed on seeing the diamond and on leaving it on the road.

The diamond merchant knew the diamond and its material value and hence, avaricious as he was, he picked it up, put it in his back, took it home, secured it from robbers, kings and others, thought he had become very wealthy; but, in reality, his suffering only has increased; without he becoming conscious about it. If a robber, or king takes it away, he too will lose some of his happiness and not gain an iota more.

We really do not know the inherent disadvantages of all of our desires , which are briefly mentioned below :

(i)                  Mixed with Sorrow : No desire and No pleasure is an unmixed blessing. It always comes mixed with some sorrow, which we are unable to see. But, we will have to go through that sorrow, fear, anger - or lack of happiness, on account of our desires for any Possessions. There is fear or sorrow when we try for it, when it actually comes, when it is secured by us, when we are using it, when it is depreciating or getting damaged and when it goes away.

(ii)                 Bondage : Every desire and every Possession creates bondages. We become a slave to it, in some way. Buy a car. You will no more use your legs. Get married. Your wife or husband creates untold bondages, which take away your earlier freedoms. Addiction to sex is a bondage.

(iii)                Temporary : None of our possessions and desires can be permanently with us. They are all temporary. Their temporariness itself makes you go on revolving around it to repair, maintain, keep in good health, and do many other things to – just prolong their stay with us. This list includes external possessions and also our own body and mind too.

Once a King gave a gold vessel to a sage, in token of his gratitude for the sage’s teachings.

When the sage was meditating, a robber came to his cottage and tried to steal the gold vessel.

The sage opened his eyes and told the robber to take whatever he wanted. The robber took the gold vessel and went away.

After 3 days, the thief came back, gave back the Gold vessel  and told the sage – I don’t want this gold vessel; I went through so much fear and sleeplessness these 3 days, because of this gold vessel; not knowing when some body will steal this away or even kill me because of it.

The sage smiled, closed his eyes and went back to his meditation again. The arrival, departure and re-arrival of the Gold vessel was of no consequence to the sage. He had neither attachment nor aversion for the Gold vessel. This – is vairagya. Vairagya must never be confused with AVERSION. It is not.

It is a state of blissful desirelessness. You don’t suffer because of vairagya. You become more and more joyful because of vairagya. 

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