Hello and welcome to episode 18 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the power of detachment and its significance in our daily lives.
Thanks for all the questions. They have been pouring in! I’ve had to edit some of them due to time constrictions.
Today’s question comes from Cheryl. She says “I understand detachment but I find it hard to practice it. Do you have any suggestions?”
Thanks for the question. Unusually what happens is that knowledge sits in our heads but we never move it towards realisation. All knowledge should move towards realisation. Otherwise knowledge becomes philosophy. All the great teaching have to see the light of day. Anything that takes you a step forward is like gold. We must always move forward. If you gain all this great knowledge and it just stays in your head then it becomes a burden. When knowledge moves towards realisation it becomes beautiful and it reflects on our character.
Krishna says “he is the same in pleasure and pain, cold and warmth, victory and defeat for he is detached.” So what does that mean? Detachment refers to a higher power. It’s the ability to look at things without being affected by pain and pleasure.
Pain and pleasure
Krishna says we must rise above pain and pleasure. The reason for this is very important. When you categorize something as pain, what happens? What will happen is that you will want to move away from it. When you are not able to move away from pain what happens? What happens then is that the pain evolves into hatred.
When hatred comes it poisons your system. It disturbs the sanctity and peace of your consciousness. We are never taught this in life. We think that by default we move away from pain but sometimes we cannot. Like if there was a situation at work that you cannot move away from or the same at home. Sometimes you cannot escape it and then the pain takes the form of hatred. You grow to hate the person, place or event.
When hatred takes over and the poison infiltrates your system that is what will be reflected back at you. We don’t always understand it but remember that whatever you put out will be reflected back at you. If you send out love then love will be reflected back at you. The same applies to hatred. So remember to always rise above pain and pleasure. When something happens to you don’t immediately categorize it as pain. Just leave it as it is.
Most people obsess over this and worry about how they are going to do this but Krishna says you only need to practice it for 5 seconds a day. When something bad happens don’t categorize it as pain. You need to withdraw. All it takes is 5 seconds. You have the power within you to be detached. When a bad event happens just withdraw for 5 seconds and it will dissolve the pain immediately. You can practice it during meditation and then you’ll be able to do it throughout the day.
I want you to imagine something. Imagine there is a great ocean and inside it there is a big whale and a small fish. Imagine that the whale is coming towards the small fish to devour it. The fish has only one second to move away and save itself. What would be going on in the fishes mind? Here’s what Vivekananda says the fish would be thinking “what if I could sprout wings and fly away like a bird”.
You see the fish didn’t want to change the water or the whales mind. It wanted to transform itself. This is called the secret of transcendence. This stems from the power of discrimination.
So when you see something happening don’t categorize it as pain or pleasure. Withdraw your emotions for 5 seconds and then those emotions will disappear ad you will be calm. Krishna says that instead of discriminating between pleasure and pain we should be categorising between the soul and the body, mind and intellect.
Krishna says “He treats alike contempt and praise, honor and disgrace, cold and warm. He is dearest to me.” Whether someone is being nice or horrible to you we need to treat them the same way. We know from experience that pain and pleasure will always come but by not categorizing it we will not become attached. Look to the higher power of the Jiva. Pull those emotions back. Do this and you will experience great serenity.
Meditate again on this sentence: “he is the same in pleasure and pain, cold and warmth, victory and defeat for he is detached.” Do this at the most critical points in your life. You only need to do it for 5 seconds. The wave of pain will dissolve and it will not evolve into hatred. . Remind yourself that all pain and pleasure is at the level of the mind, body and intellect never in the domain of the consciousness There will be joy within you and everyone around you.
I hope this answers your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.