Satsang  –   Volume 2, Number 10: April 2, 1999 
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Understanding the Nature of Attachment

At Satsang this morning, one of the Gita groups sang Chapter 2, Verse 48 of the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishn talks to Arjun about action and attachment. The Group had translated the verse as follows:

    Be established in Yog,
    and then perform action.
    Shun attachment,
    My Dear Arjun.
    In success or failure,
    Just remain even.
    That even-ness,
    That vision of Oneness, is Yog."

Attachment is 'Absolutely necessary'

Swami-ji: "The word attachment," he began, "is often used in a negative way, as if it is some demoniac force that causes trouble to people. But attachment is absolutely necessary. 

  "Everywhere, there is attachment - a leaf is attached to the tree, food becomes attached to the mouth. A rider is attached to his horse when he rides. That doesn't make riding bad.  Without attachment, you cannot live!

"But in this verse, Krishn says 'shun attachment.' So there must be a reason for saying this. "The meaning here is 'shun attachment based on ignorance.' So actually, it is ignorance which is to be shunned. Krishn is not against attachment.   If he were not attached to Arjun, why would he even help him out?

"But attachment based on ignorance is what makes Arjun - and you - separate from Krishna. In any situation, attachment based on ignorance is going to create problems, create pain.

"So it is ignorance which is to be given up, and everyone can understand this."

Dikpal: "How does a person tell the difference between attachment (the good kind) and attachment based on ignorance (the bad kind)?"

Swami-ji: "The question is a good one. Any person, like Arjun, who has forgotten that it is due to Krishn that he even exists, is in ignorance.   Forgetting Self, you are going to turn into body. So no human being should forget that it is the life that is responsible for him or her performing actions. If you forget this, you will begin to think you are the doer. But it is the life itself that is doing all this - that is doing everything, that is performing all the actions.

"Once you know this, then while performing action, you will no longer go around saying, 'I am doing, I am doing.'

Each person is born of independence. Each person is born of freedom. And that freedom and knowledge permeate everything: bubbles in an ocean of freedom. The nature of all is freedom."


Moksh Flowers2.jpg (60000 bytes)"Everywhere, there is attachment -
a leaf is attached to the tree,
food becomes attached
to the mouth.
A rider is attached
to his horse when he rides.
That doesn't make
riding bad. 
Without attachment,
you cannot live!"

- Swami Shyam
(2 April 1999)


Changing and unchanging

In trying to understand, we often use the word life, because we cannot comprehend the meaning of the word God. And likewise, we are unable to know the meaning of Self.

But when we use the word life, we often refer to it in relation to death. So in your mind, the knowledge of 'life' is not life as ultimate truth, not life as imperishable - not life as Amaram hum, Madhuram hum.

In the same way, when you hear the word 'unchanging,' you always want to understand it in relation to 'changing'. In your mind, the truth of unchanging is replaced by the sense of changing, the sense of death.So the main work of saadhana, and it is really just a very little bit of work that you have to do, is that you should come to know that which is knowing. So what is that which knows the forms, which becomes delighted by songs and by poetry?

If that Knower were not there, none of this, none of existence, could be experienced. If that Knower were not there, you would have no knowledge - even of the unchanging!

Where does knowledge shine?

When you light a lamp, the light never becomes darkness. And darkness can never affect the light. Light - knowledge - never changes. It is truth. Truth never changes. So gyaan swaroop, by itself, is pure gyaan (knowledge). It never has form, is never born, never changes, never becomes anything, never becomes old. That truth, that nature, is Swa.

In a human being, where does this knowledge shine? In the heart, in the mind, in the being. So where will you see the unchanging? Right in your heart. Right in your mind.

All of you are established in that. Your existence is always blessed.

2 April 1999

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