Yoga dictionary. Vairagya
This is the phenomenon on which all suffering in the material world is based. Being attached to objects of pleasure, to the comfort zone, to a habitual state of Affairs, a schedule of life, Outlook and so on, the person is doomed to sufferings. This is due to the impermanence of the material world. No material object can exist forever. Everything that is created will be destroyed sooner or later. Moreover, even what lies beyond the material – our own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, concepts, mental patterns, and so on – is also subject to constant change. And what yesterday people considered good, today can be considered evil despite the fact that the external situation has not changed. Due to constant changes in the external and internal world of man, everything to which a person is attached, sooner or later destroyed, or rather – is modified. From the point of view of physics, nothing is created or destroyed, everything is only transformed, that is, changes one state to another. But these changes happen all the time.
Just as a raging mountain river never for a second retains a constant form. And even if a person is under the illusion that an object has some stable, stable state, it is only a temporary phenomenon, and when this or that object changes its form-if there is attachment to this object – the person will experience suffering. In the yoga sutras of Patanjali special attention is paid to such quality as Vairagya. Vairagya is translated from Sanskrit as non-attachment. Patanjali writes about this quality in Sutra 15 of Chapter one. “What’s the matter?” The Bailey Sutra reads: “non-Attachment is freedom from wanting all objects of desire, earthly or learned from tradition, both here and in the future.” A. Bailey offered quite an interesting translation, simultaneously also revealing such a concept as” freedom”, which in modern society is often distorted.
Freedom is often understood to mean the ability to do whatever you want with impunity. But, first, it is impossible, even if the external conditions will create the illusion of impunity, there is a law of karma, the action of which is inevitable, and secondly, true freedom-is, as correctly written by A. Bailey, freedom from “wanting all objects of desire.” A similar interpretation of the concept of “freedom “can also be found in the Apostle Paul:”Everything is permissible to me, but not everything is useful.” Thus, freedom is an opportunity to act not under the influence of one’s passions, attachments and desires. And it is the quality of Vairagya that gives true freedom.
In the translation of Sutra 15 of the first Chapter A. Falkov said: “Complete emancipation comes to those who do not want anything from the perceived sight or hearing of the object.” Why are only these two senses listed? The matter is that initially objects of desire are perceived by these two senses, and only then there is a perception by all others. About 90 percent of the information a person receives through sight and hearing. And the original desire arises when a person sees an object of desire or hears about it. Through smell, touch, and so on, there is already a secondary perception of the object of desire, which only reinforces the emergence of lust.
The fruits of detachment are described in the next Sutra of this Chapter, Sutra 16. A. Bailey’s translation of the Sutra reads as follows:”the Result of perfection in this detachment is the exact knowledge of the spiritual person in the liberation from the qualities or gunas.” What is meant by”exact knowledge”? This concept more fully reveals Swami Vivekananda’s translation: “Complete liberation from attachments is associated with detachment even from certain properties and comes from knowledge of the true nature of Purusha.” The absence of attachment to anyone or anything comes from pure perception of reality and knowledge of Purusha.
So attachments cause suffering because of the impermanence of the world. The state of detachment is a state of absolute freedom from suffering as well as from its causes. To the state of detachment leads the knowledge of the Supreme reality, which in itself is nondual. The division of objects into pleasant and unpleasant, which is carried out by the mind and is purely subjective, leads to suffering. And the state of attachment arises not only in the case of pleasant objects. The perception of an object as unpleasant causes attachment to attempts to avoid this object or react negatively to it.
Thus, any dichotomy in relation to the surrounding world causes a sense of attachment. Only the nondual perception that comes from knowing the nature of Purusha can eliminate attachment. Vairagya, on the other hand, allows one to master the principles of Yama and Niyama perfectly, because attachment is one of the main obstacles in the way of following moral precepts. In turn, observance Yama and Niyama allows not accumulate negative karma actions, aimed at pursuit of the objects attachments, and create positive karma effort in spiritual practice. This is also facilitated by Vairagya.