Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Advice of Detachment and Vairagya by Sri Chandrashekhara Saraswati Swami to Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Swami of Shringeri Math

(1) No amount of learning, wealth or enjoyment can confer total freedom from sorrow and everlasting bliss. Only the realization of the Truth can do so. Kingship, divine weapons, heavenly damsels and the power to even create a new universe did not, for instance, free visvAmitra from all unhappiness. In the chAndogya upanishad, it is narrated that though versed in the Veda-s and various SAstra-s, nArada continued to experience sorrow; he transcended all sorrows only when he received enlightenment from sanatkumAra.

ल्भ्धा विद्या राजमन्या ततः किं
प्राप्ता संपत्प्राभवाढ्या ततः किम्‌ ।
भुक्ता नारी सुन्दराग्ङी ततः किं
येन स्वात्मा वैव सक्षात्कृतोऽभूत्‌ ॥

- अनात्मश्रीविगर्हणम्‌

So what if learning respected by the sovereign himself has been acquired? So what if unsurpassed affluence has been obtained? So what if a belle has been enjoyed? What is there for him who has not realized his own Atman?

Enlightenment dawns only in a very pure mind. Desires are impurities that sully the mind. To render the mind pure and fit for enlightenment, they must be assiduously eradicated

(ii) Sense objects are not the source of happiness. It is a mistake to think that they are. Were an object intrinsically a source of joy to a person, he ought not to ever find it to be a pain. However, it is well known that objects are sometimes liked and sometimes disliked. For instance, to a person who develops severe nausea during a meal, the very dishes he found delectable appear to be unappealing and a burden to consume. How can an object intrinsically be a source of happiness to a person when, though remaining just the same, it is at times a bane to the very same person?

When a desire for an object arises in the mind, the mind loses peace and the period of longing is not one of joy. When desired object is obtained, the desire that agitated the mind becomes temporarily quieted. With the calming of the mind, there is joy. Thus, calmness gives happiness and not desire or a sensory object. In deep sleep, when no sensory object whatsoever is apprehended and the mind is in a state of latency, there is very great happiness. The sage whose mind is very calm and focused on the Supreme has unsurpassed happiness.

Stable mental calmness can never be had by the gratification of longings. Though briefly quieting a desire, gratification only leads to the growth of the desire manifests again later, with increased strength. Desiring and striving for sense objects constitute, therefore, the wrong approach to obtain happiness, which is what all want. By discerning that sense objects are never the cause of happiness, one should develop detachment towards them. The dispassionate one is calm and happy.

(iii) There is great benefit in observing perfect brahmacharya. For this, complete control over the mind is important. To achieve such mastery, one should avoid thinking of sense objects. The reason is that as one thinks of sense objects, one gradually develops a degree of attachment to them. When attachment is allowed to grow, it becomes an intense desire. When a powerful longing is permitted to manifest, it becomes difficult to check and uproot. When a man strongly desires some object or honour and a person or situation thwarts the consummation of his longing, he becomes irritated.

When a man gives way to anger, he loses his power of proper discrimination between right and wrong. It is well known that an irritated man may be disrespectful even to his Guru. From delusion, the recollection of what one has been taught regarding righteous conduct is lost. This destruction of memory disrupts the functioning of the buddhi and the man in this state is as good as destroyed. The seed of all this evil is thus thinking about sensory objects. So, if you wish to control your mind, you must not allow your mind to cogitate upon the objects of the organs.

(iv) Married life is a big source of bondage. A householder has to cater not only to his own requirements but also to those of his family. Hence, he cannot devote himself entirely to meditation and such spiritual practices. Many are the people who get married and think that, that course of life is good for them. Actually, for a discriminating person, family life is so full of misery that it is better to stand on burning coal rather than to get married.

The body is made up of skin, blood, flesh, bones and so on. It contains within it unrine and faeces. The body of even the female whom the undiscriminating consider to be extremely beautiful is only of this kind. bhagavadpAda has taught:

नातीस्तनभरनाभीदेशं दृष्टा मा गा मोहावेशम्‌ ।
एतन्मांसवसादिविकार मनसि विचिन्त्य वारं वारम्‌ ॥

- मोहमुद्गर - ३

Seeing the breasts and the navel of a woman, do not fall a prey to delusion. The female form is but a modification of flesh, fat, etc. Reflect well thus in your mind, again and again.  - mohamudgara - 3

Such recourse to discrimination enables one to combat lust and be established in brahmacarya.

Source: Page 33-36, Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal

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