Is this world real? What does Vairagya mean? Vairagya is defined as detachment from the material world. It is a state of being free from vasanas or mental attachment to worldly pleasures. Vairagya means dispassion towards sensual enjoyment.

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Is this world real? What does Vairagya mean? Vairagya is defined as detachment from the material world. It is a state of being free from vasanas or mental attachment to worldly pleasures. Vairagya means dispassion towards sensual enjoyment.

It arises due to continuously meditating on the transitory nature of the world. A person with Vairagya is naturally able to control the mind having overcome both attachment and aversion. A Vairagi a person with true detachment has only one goal in life- getting Moksha or final liberation from the cycle of life and death.

Vairagya is not shaving off your head and retiring to an ashram. True Vairagya is living between people having shaved off all the worldly attachments in your heart. Types of Vairagya Vairagya is of two kinds- karana vairagya and viveka vairagya.

Karana Vairagya can be understood by the detachment that a new mother experiences towards her own personal needs. The mother is only attached to her newly born child and experiences detachment for the world around her.

Another example is when there is the death of a loved one in the family. After losing a loved one, most people are overcome by grief and experience a temporary sense of detachment during the mourning period. Vedanta says that Karana Vairagya is temporary and not conducive to enlightenment. Viveka is the ability to discriminate between the real and unreal. Thus Viveka Vairagya is the dispassion brought about by the ability to discern on what is real and what is illusory.

Vedanta says that Viveka Vairagya is permanent and fruitful to spiritual advancement. In the riveting scripture Yoga Vasistha, Sage Vasistha tells a delightful story to a young Rama explaining how to cultivate vairagya. Read the story about the caged elephant here to understand how to cultivate true detachment. Sage Vasistha also explains to Rama that the disillusionment he is experiencing is for his own welfare. The Highest form of dispassion born of pure discrimination has arisen in your heart, O Rama.

The dispassion born out of discrimination is superior to dispassion brought out by a circumstantial cause or by utter disgust.

Such dispassion is surely due to grace of God. This grace meets the maturity of discrimination at the exact moment when dispassion arises in the heart. If viewed individually these words have the opposite meaning. However when contemplated together, these words form the cornerstone of Yoga in Hinduism. Vedanta has declared that the only way to control the mind and realise the self is by continuous practice of being in a state of detachment by meditating on the transient and illusory nature of the world.

Thus, it is abhyasa that will determine the intensity of detachment a person is able to cultivate. Dear brother! If you have no real sustained vairagya, you will find no improvement or progress in spirituality. Vows, austerities, energy and meditation will leak out like water from a cracked pot. Be careful. The king appoints his son as the new ruler and goes to the ashram of Sage Sakakanya.

It is linked together by bones. It is bound by skin. O sage! I have spent my life only fulfilling the demands of such a foul body. Now I am disgusted and want to learn the truth which will detach my mind from this body. A mind that has realised that all phenomenon related to the body in this world are unreal does not get agitated. Such a mind is not affected by sense-objects.

If you can cultivate this state of mind then the bondage of karma will also disappear because even that bondage is unreal!

Whatever the mind thinks, of that nature the experienced world becomes. This is an archaic mystery. The ignorant people who observe different castes and orders of life obtain their fruits according to their Karmas. The distinctions of caste and orders of life have divisions among them, have beginning and end, and are very painful. Therefore having given up all identification with bodily relation and pleasures, one should dwell in that endless and most supreme bliss which can be obtained by Vairagya.

Disillusioned by the disloyalty of his beloved wife Pingala, he was disgusted at his own attachment to transient relations and material objects. Raja Bharthari renounced his kingdom and spent his life meditating in the caves of Ujjain.

He realised the true meaning of existence and went on to author important philosophical works to help a spiritual aspirant.


भर्तृहरि - शतक | Bhartrihari Shatak

King Bharthari was the pride of his race — courageous, just, learned and passionate. His citizens revered him, his wives loved him and his enemies feared him. Bharthari cave in Ujjain Bharthari was an intellectual and a philosopher. In the prime of his youth, enamoured with his youngest wife Pingala, he penned down verses on love and beauty. Vairagya as concept was alien to him. What made the king renounce his kingdom and become a yogi?


Raja Bharthari- The King who became a monk

He showed that contentment is the source of happiness. Bhartrhari has experimented with all the common rhythms. Examples of everyday life are exemplified. Looking at the world in the face of a ascetic and patient yogi, he has warned those who are practising worldly affairs.


What is Vairagya?


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