Resources

Vairāgya

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

16 August 2021

LineDrawing-NSji

The secret of a Knower’s life and action – his indomitable courage and unlimited inspiration – lies in his vairāgya. In fact, ātmā represents the pinnacle of vairāgya.

When we speak of vairāgya (dispassion), mostly it is understood as having no interest in anything happening around, or in the extreme case, leaving the so-called worldly life and going away to the forest. But then, how is it that great Maharshis, who were embodiments of vairāgya, worked tirelessly for the welfare of entire humanity? Their eternal compositions, resulting from their life-long selfless dedication, are undoubtedly the greatest and eternal contribution towards sustenance and wellbeing of human civilization. And what about the revolutionary role of Krishna, Shankaracharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Swami Vivekananda, and so many others, who took the heaven and earth by storm?

Initially the dawning of vairāgya may appear as an absolute indifference towards world situations. It is because of the intensity of the enquiry into the transcendental Reality, which overwhelms all other interests. But, once the search is over, vairāgya manifests in its supreme dimension – a Godly impersonality and impartiality, a sky-like dimension of the mind.

The word vairāgya etymologically (from vi-rāga) means ‘without colour’ or ‘without preferential clinging’. Generally, we see the world coloured by ‘me’ and ‘mine’. Vairāgya allows us to see the world as it is, without applying the colour of ‘me’ and ‘mine’. So, it means ‘impersonality and impartiality’.

Vairāgya makes our mind free of possessiveness and selfishness. It liberates us from the fear of losing what we like and facing what we dislike, from preferential clinging and prejudicial intolerance. It enables us to embrace the entire world as it is, and do whatever is needed to be done for the welfare of the society, with utmost sincerity, attention and naturalness.

The secret of a Knower’s life and action – his indomitable courage and unlimited inspiration – lies in his vairāgya. In fact, ātmā represents the pinnacle of vairāgya.

We have found in Poojya Swamiji’s life, desirelessness pervades everything; it surrounds him like a halo. In fact, this is the ‘feel of the Soul’, the touch of divinity one gets in the presence of a saintly Knower – through his gaze, his voice, and his silence. In the association of a Knower, this Soul-dimension permeates the seeker unawares, as if by a process of osmosis.

Call it samatva-buddhi or transcending rāga-dvesha as explained in Bhagavad Gita, or śaraāgati (surrender) and nirapekshatā (non-expectation) as illustrated in Śreemad Bhāgavatam, or transcending kartr-bhoktr-bhāva (doership and enjoyer-ship) as described in Yogavāsishṭha Rāmāyaṇam, or desirelessness and brahma-nish as emphasized in the Upanishads – all are same when it comes to living the concept.

As vairāgya increases, we come closer and closer to the Soul (ātmā) – the Soul that remains unaffected, untouched by anything happening in the world.

– Article by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

LineDrawing-NSji

“As vairāgya increases, we come closer and closer to the Soul (ātmā)”

“We have found in Poojya Swamiji’s life, desirelessness pervades everything”

“Vairāgya allows us to see the world as it is, without applying the colour of ‘me’ and ‘mine.”

“Vairāgya makes our mind free of possessiveness and selfishness. It liberates us from the fear of losing what we like and facing what we dislike, from preferential clinging and prejudicial intolerance.”

end
arrow-icon