“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.47)Download this episode (right click and save)
Friend1: Detachment is important.
Friend1: Because it just makes sense.
Friend1: Things are out of your control. You are not the doer.
Friend2: “The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
Friend1: It makes sense even outside the realm of spirituality.
Friend2: How so?
Friend1: Sports is a great example. The key to success is not being overly nervous. Nervousness is due to attachment to the result; the strong desire for a successful outcome.
Friend2: Sort of like being afraid to fail.
Friend1: Fear; exactly. If you are a little detached from the outcome, it’s easier to relax and go about your business.
Friend2: That’s true. Do you know the things to which we have the most attachment?
Friend1: That’s easy. Significant other. Friends. Family.
Friend2: So should we be detached from them?
Friend2: Isn’t that kind of mean?
Friend1: It’s the truth. The thing is, it’s difficult to be detached from people who are so important to us. What is the secret? What do you tell people who want to be detached, but struggle with it?
Friend2: Look into the future.
Friend1: How? By visiting one of those astrologer-type people?
Friend2: Not necessary. Go back to the sports example. There is no reason to be afraid of the outcome, since so many outcomes have already occurred in the past. People moved on from defeat. Gain and loss are almost like the tossing of a coin. One second you are happy, the next you are sad. Today you are a winner, and tomorrow you suffer bitter defeat.
Friend1: What does that have to do with the future, though?
Friend2: The past lets you see into the future. You know that at some point going forward, the outcome pressing your mind will be a distant memory. Armed with that knowledge there is no reason to be so attached.
Friend1: What about friends and family members?
Friend2: This is a harsher reality, but true nonetheless. The future says that one day we will be without the association of our closest allies. Not only is the separation destined to occur, there is nothing we can do to prevent it.
Friend1: That’s just the laws of nature.
Friend2: Exactly. So why be so attached to something that will leave you anyway?
Friend1: That makes sense.
Friend2: Remember, detachment is a vehicle towards reaching a better destination more swiftly. Being aloof from this world affords you a certain advantage, but there must be an end goal.
Friend1: It’s called vairagya in Sanskrit. It’s paired with jnana, or knowledge.
Friend2: Vairagya towards material things, raga towards spiritual things. Have attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His association is there to stay. It lasts through many lifetimes. It’s always there actually, just the realization is missing at present. Vairagya is one way to clear the mind to further meditate on the Divine, whose transcendental attributes make Him a pleasure to be around.
Friend1: So if I’m attached to Krishna, the all-attractive one, that’s not a bad thing?
Friend2: Why would it be?
Friend1: What if it leads to neglect of other things?
Friend2: Like what?
Friend1: Day to day responsibilities. Being a good citizen. Things like that.
Friend2: A pure devotee is automatically a perfect gentlemen. They are a symbol of sacrifice, which means that they are the ideal example for others to follow. They are doing the best work for others through their connection with God, known as yoga. To us, who are riddled by attachment and fear of loss, this is difficult to see. But our blindness doesn’t make the truth any less valid. Attachment to Krishna is favorable, it should be encouraged and it should be maintained into the future.
Benefits of vairagya I’ve heard,
But more to it than knowledge of word.
How detached from things to remain?
Sad when lost, so happy when gained.
From the past the future can see,
The return to equilibrium however to be.
Friends, family, outcomes not forever to last,
Through detachment advancing towards Krishna fast.