An auspicious start for Good Life
- गृहस्थ जीवन क्या है?
- संन्यास जीवन क्या है?
- क्या गृहस्थ जीवन की समाप्ति से ही संन्यास प्रारम्भ होता है?
- क्या दोनों में कोई सामंजस्य है?
- क्या दोनों जीवन एक साथ जीए जा सकते हैं?
- क्या संन्यास से पुनः गृहस्थ में आया जा सकता है?
Sanyaas Diwas Special
14 November 2016
Launch of Liberated Life
Asceticism in Domestic Life
From Joy to Ecstasy
Who am I?, For whom I am doing all this work? Why am I doing all these work? Does my life start with this body and will my life terminate after death of this body?
Patanjali Yoga Sootra is the absolute description and reflection of the Indian philosophy, which explains the essential summary of the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana. Rishi Patanjali had created detailed explanations of each essential element of life thousands of years ago. Each study was based on self-experience. These classic principles about Domestic, Ascetic and Abstainers are immortal. These principles will continue to guide the human society for ever.
The question that arose before Patanjali were-
- What is family-domestic life?
- What is ascetic life?
- Does asceticism start only after termination of domestic life?
- Is there any compatibility between the two?
- Can both lives be led together?
- Can one return back to domestic-life from asceticism?
He analysed all these questions and postulated the first general principle that the domestic and asceticism are not separate. Asceticism is not a different life. He initiated a new principle in this context which is called Detachment Principle.
Patanjali stated- Every person wishes to obtain the full sensual pleasures i.e. the pleasures derived from different parts of the body. These sensual pleasures are the basis for creation of relationships in his life and mutual interaction. These trigger the passions, longings, wishes and desires in his life. Everything starts from the body, and this entire physical world is a manifestation of expanding infinite desires of the body.
He accomplishes his worldly tasks through his five physical senses – Swaadendri, Rasendri i.e. Taste (Tongue); Shravanendriyaan i.e. listen (Ears); Sparshendriyaan i.e. touch (Skin); Drishyendriyaan i.e. vision (Eyes); Ghraanendriyaan i.e. smell (Nose) and Karmendriyaan i.e. limbs (Hands-Legs). These physical senses provide speech, touch, generation, hearing and sight. All desires are created from them. Although these form the basis of life, but sometimes the man gets tired of them and starts exploring for any other element in the life.
Is anything else more important than children, job, business, travel, relationships and physical desires. This thinking generates a strange thirst in his life. Initially the man runs after these five sensual pleasures, but when he gets tired of them, he ponders – Who am I? I am doing all this work for whom? Why am I doing all these work? Does my life start with this body and will my life terminate after death of this body?
Such thinking shakes him and causes distraught state. This restlessness generates a special emotion in his mind. This emotion is termed as Detachment. This feeling of detachment is very significant.
Drishtaanushra vikavishayavirtakshna syavashikaara Sangyaa Veiraagyam
When the mind automatically stops running after these desires and becomes curious to know the truth which it would have experienced, read or heard somewhere. This curiosity halts his thirst for the sensual pleasures. It controls the senses. This mental condition is called as Veiragya (Detachment). It is also called as “Nirvasana”
Generally each pleasure of every human being is called as “Visible Pleasure“. “Visible Pleasure” means – the feelings and experiences generated from the senses, its pleasure, and objects used to obtain that pleasure. Therefore the Visible Pleasures are embedded within the senses and its experiences are also called as Visible Experiences. I have seen, I have lived, I have found, I have experienced. All of these are termed as Visible Pleasures. These Visible Pleasures may provide either pain or happiness.
Inner Pleasure Level
Beyond the Visible Pleasures, there is an elevated level which is called as “Anushravik“. A person would not have experienced these pleasures through his own senses, but he would have heard-read from somewhere. Reading-Hearing from someone else is the initial process to obtain this “Anushravanik Wisdom“, this is called as the first level towards detachment. This is the first step of detachment.
The Detachment or Stoicism is a strictly intellectual process. There is no specific community around detachment and you are mistaken if you feel that you will need to completely change your life to attain detachment. We have assumed asceticism as detachment. So we have set Asceticism and Domesticity on two different edges and have created a wrong doctrine to separate the two. We wrongly feel that a domestic householder can become an ascetic only upon leaving the domestic life. We have separated domestic-householder and ascetic, with no interactions between the two.
The basic element is – Detachment. The attraction towards physical pleasures will continue in absence of detachment, and such an ascetic is completely like a domestic-householder. He has only altered his clothes and costumes, but there is no fundamental difference between the two. The fundamental difference can arise only when feeling of detachment comes from within, when the thirst for consumption terminates from the mind. Detachment is the fundamental basis for asceticism. Detachment is possible both within the family-domestic life and the renunciation-ascetic life. Simply stated, we can adorn the detachment when we stop rushing after physical objects, and stabilize our mind instead of rushing to quell the sensual thirsts.
Detachment in Domestic Life
Patanjali clearly stated that we can bring the inner feeling of renunciation within ourselves even when completing all responsibilities of family and community while living in our society. Renunciation does not mean termination of responsibilities and leaving everything.
Continue to perform all the required tasks in your life, but remove the attachment and malice from your life. Passion and Prejudice are the basis for all suffering in life. Both of these imperfections are our arch-enemies, and they cause pain to our sub-conscious. This mental pain is more serious than the physical pain. It is important to follow mental detachment to eradicate this suffering.
Gita also explains same thought. The essence of Gita is – A person can stay liberated in this physical life while discharging his responsibilities, and can lead a free life. However keep one primary thought in mind to attain this liberty – Maintain distinct distance from the good and bad consequences of your action.
For this you will have to question yourself that what can you control? You can only perform work, and you already perform all of your tasks with noble intentions. It is possible that you performed the task well, however you did not obtain the proper result, or the result was different from your wish, or you received the result late. It is also possible that you did not get the results as per your desire. When you merge yourself with the results of your actions, then the quantity of your happiness and sorrow enhances. You feel very happy when you get the desired result, and similarly you feel very bad when you do not get the desired result. These extremes of happiness and sorrow causes high mental disturbance.
Always walk towards detachment
What is the goal of a Sadhak’s life? To move towards detachment state. He progresses on the path of meditation, chanting and penance. When he moves towards inner peace, then it is essential that the inner life should be free from deprivation, oppression and frustration. The mental state of the Sadhak should be completely free from any defect. What a person does in his physical world is not significant.
Let me quote an example – Kabir used to work as a weaver, Redas used to work as a cobbler, and they did not dress or live like the ascetics. Whatever you are doing in the physical worldly life is not important. There should not be any frustration, repression, restriction, or self-torture in the inner life.
Everything is within us
Therefore, the detachment always starts from within. It is not important what you wear, where you live, or what type of people are with you. It is inconsequential whether you are wearing white or red clothes. It does not matter if you are wearing four rosaries or no rosary. It is insignificant if you are digambar (naked) or wearing any cloth. All these facts are completely insignificant for asceticism or detachment. You cannot quantify detachment and asceticism with clothes, body structure, or work. It is completely unimportant for detachment whether you have long hair, or no hair, or if you have shaved off all your hair.
What do we get from detachment?
- Balanced attitude
- Stability unshaken by the results of various actions
Thus detachment is the expression of mental peace and purity. Arrival of detachment within a Sadhak’s life ushers in uninterrupted and unchangeable happiness and peace. His happiness does not depend on good or bad results of events. His mental peace gets set for ever. This is the beauty of detachment and asceticism.
Now a question arises that if the person can enter the Samadhi state through Dhyaan, then what is the importance of detachment to him. Many people say that a Sadhak can elevate his mental consciousness through Yoga, Pranaayam and Dhyaan. He can refine his mental state. Therefore it is repeatedly stated that Yoga, Pranaayam and Dhyaan are the entry doors to Asceticism but this fact does not meet the test of logic and faith.
Perform a honest and fair analysis of your mind. Your mind and mental subconsciousness is pack-filled with multiple desires, passions, wishes and ambitions. The person wants to fulfil them, and these unquenchable desires and passions generate conflict and stress. We may not be familiar with the stresses and conflicts within our subconscious mind, but these do not let us to calm our mind. We try to control our mental desires and wishes through daily Sadhana, daily meditation and daily Pranaayam; but it is very important to liberate ourselves from these inner stresses.
This is the first principle of the detachment and the asceticism. When a person liberates himself from his inner stresses and conflicts.
Suffering of the subconscious mind
Every human mind has five basic senses and desires which arise from the physical senses. These are termed as the pains of the subconscious mind. It is necessary to obtain freedom from these inner pains. These do not let the Sadhak achieve inner peace and stability. The basic fact is that – the Samadhi should be generated from within, and Samadhi means – peace within inner mind. The expression of asceticism is detachment and inner Samadhi. Basically our goal is to obtain freedom from this inner suffering.
The initiation of Joy
It is a normal human nature that he either has attraction or hatred towards various worldly objects, places, own body, and others. He either has attachment or prejudice. The mind is pack-full of these emotions. The arrival of detachment within the Sadhak causes him to control his wishes, desires, hatred and mental violence. This state of conquering attachment and prejudice is termed as the state of inner conflict. Normally the Sadhak reaches this state in one or other form during Sadhana. He has to constantly control this at every moment, and therefore, has to eventually struggle to exert this control.
Continued. Next Step of this Asceticism.