Symbols of the world's religions

               

COMPLETE DETACHMENT

Meher Baba

 
The kind of detachment that really lasts is due to the understanding of suffering and its cause. It is securely based upon the unshakable knowledge that all things of this world are momentary and passing, and that any clinging to them is bound eventually to be a source of pain. Man seeks worldly objects of pleasure and tries to avoid things that bring pain, without realizing that he cannot have the one and eschew the other. As long as there is attachment to worldly objects of pleasure, he must perpetually invite upon himself the suffering of not having them — and the suffering of losing them after having got them. Lasting detachment, which brings freedom from all desires and attachments, is called Purna Vairagya, or complete dispassion. Complete detachment is one of the essential conditions of lasting and true happiness. For the person who has complete detachment no longer creates for himself the suffering that is due to the unending thralldom produced by desires.

Opposites

Desirelessness makes an individual firm like a rock. He is neither moved by pleasure nor by sorrow, he is not upset by the onslaughts of opposites. One who is affected by agreeable things is bound to be affected by disagreeable things. If a person is encouraged in his endeavors by an omen considered auspicious, he is bound to be discouraged by one considered to be inauspicious. He cannot resist the discouraging effect of an inauspicious omen as long as he derives strength from an auspicious one. The only way not to be upset by omens is to be indifferent to auspicious as well as inauspicious omens.

Praise and blame

The same is true of the opposites of praise and blame. If a person is pleased by receiving praise, he is bound to be miserable when he receives blame. He cannot keep himself steady under a shower of blame as long as he is inwardly delighted by receiving praise. The only way not to be upset by blame is to be detached from praise also. Only then can a person remain unmoved by the opposites of praise and blame. Then he does not lose his equanimity. The steadiness and equanimity that remain unaffected by any opposites is possible only through complete detachment, which is an essential condition of lasting and true happiness. The individual who has complete detachment is not at the mercy of the opposites of experience; and being free from the thralldom of all desires, he no longer creates his own suffering.

 

DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 391-392
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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