What to Attach To

What to Attach To July 16, 2015

A few weeks ago Brad and I got to spend time with my Hindu cousins. Out of the whole discussion the thing that really stood out to me was when talking about the idea of detachment.

Being detached is a very valuable quality in Hinduism. You want to have the ability to step back and see the play going on around you without taking everything super personally. The real you, the Self, is not affected by the drama going on within the world.

But detaching is a difficult practice to master. It’s a negative definition. It’s not doing something rather than doing something. Very tricky.

My cousin-in-law had a way of looking at this that was new to me. He suggested that rather than trying to detach we should instead refocus what we’re attached to. Attach to Krishna, he suggested. The more attached you become to Krishna, the more you’ll detach from the material world.

I think in the end even the attachment to God goes away, but you can’t leap straight to that. A very important stepping stone along the way is to build an attachment to God and a desire for moksha even though in the end both attachment and desire will evaporate.

I really like the idea of being able to refocus my attachment rather than trying to force myself not to be attached to anything. Detachment is some high level stuff and not many of us can actively avoid being attached.


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  • Who are the real renunciants? We know that they are the materialistic people who cling to filthy riches forsaking the unparalleled riches of a Spiritual Life and the protection of a Guru.

    • Ambaa

      Is renunciation a bad word to you? I’d like to understand more of what you’re saying.

      • Lokesh

        There is this story of a king, I have heard of

        He was a prince of a kingdom in the 19th century, when his parents died, he left his palace and became a wandering monk in the Himalayas

        After a few years, someone from his kingdom recognized him and praised him for his spirituality saying “you are a true renunciate who has left the grandness of palace and richness that comes with it”

        To that the monk replied “It is the worldly people that are true renunciates, I have given up rags for the greater riches of spirituality, it is the people of world who stick to petty pleasures of world renouncing the true riches of God’s world”

  • Donald M

    I think this nicely captures the essence of the difference between the path of devotion (Bhakti, attachment to the Lord) and the path of knowledge (Jnani, detachment from the world). I think I follow a bit of both paths, but more of the jnani path.