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Vairagya

by Swami Sivananda

W
hy do you laugh in vain, friend! when you have just the cause really to weep? You have wasted this life in foolish mirth and carnal pleasures. You have done various sinful acts. You have not done anything to improve your nature. You have no clear conscience Your heart is filled with all sorts of impurities. You have no peace of mind. Remember that all carnal pleasure will bite and sting you to death in the end.

In the Gita, Chapt. XVIII-38, you will find: That pleasure which arises from the contact of the sense-organ with the object is at first like nectar but in the end it is like poison. Open your eyes now. Do virtuous actions. Seek the company of the wise. Remember Him. Practise meditation. You will have a new glorious life.

Vairagya is purely an internal, mental state. A man may remain in the world amidst luxuries, women, riches etc., and yet may possess perfect Vairagya, while a Sadhu who remains in the cave in the Himalayas may be attached to his Kamandalu, stick or piece of loin cloth. Raja Janaka was a perfect dispassionate man though he ruled a vast kingdom. So was Raja Bhagiratha. Queen Chudala possessed perfect Vairagya though she ruled a dominion, while her husband who retired into the forest was intensely attached to his body and Kamandalu. You cannot form a correct opinion of any Sannyasin or a householder as to his state of Vairagya or mental condition by a casual talk with him for a few hours or staying with him for a few days. You will have to live with him for a very long time and study his internal mental attitude. Generally people make serious mistakes. They are deluded by external appearances. They take a physically nude Sadhu for a great Mahatma in the beginning. Later on, they change their impression after close contact. Physical nudity alone will not constitute real Vairagya. What is wanted is mental nudity, i.e., complete eradication of Vasanas, egoism, etc. Do not be deceived by external appearances!


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