When no desire arises for objects worthy of being enjoyed, know this as the ultimate in nonattachment. When no I-ness arises, know this as the ultimate in knowing.
When the dissolved desires do not arise again, this is the ultimate in relaxedness, and such a sthitpragya, a seeker, stable in wisdom, ever remains in bliss.
He whose self is absorbed only in Brahman, the ultimate reality, remains desireless and actionless. When purified by its oneness with Brahman and drowned in this one single rapture, the activities of mind are choiceless and remain only as the consciousness, then it is called pragya, wisdom. He who always has such a pragya is called jivanamukta, the one liberated while living.
One who has no I-ness for his body and the senses, and no my-ness for other things, is a jivanamukta, the one liberated while living.
When no desire arises for objects worthy of being enjoyed, then know this as the ultimate in nonattachment. When no I-ness arises, know this as the ultimate in knowing.
Ordinarily vairagya, meaning non-attachment, is understood by people as viraga, meaning detachment. Raga and viraga – attachment and detachment – are opposites. Attachment means the arising of a desire to indulge on seeing an object. If beauty is seen, a tasteful food is seen, a comfortable situation is seen, then the desire that arises to enjoy it, to drown in it, to be lost in it, is attachment.
Attachment means a desire to become attached, a desire to become drowned in something by losing one’s own self. If a pleasure is seen outside oneself, then the desire to drown oneself in that pleasure is attachment.
Detachment means a repulsion arises on seeing something enjoyable; a desire arises to go away from it, to turn one’s back towards it. According to language, raga is attraction, viraga is repulsion. Where there is a desire to go towards a thing it is attachment, where there is a desire to move away from a thing it is repulsion. Viraga means inverted raga. In one we are drawn nearer, in the other we move away. Viraga, detachment, is not freedom from attachment, it is just inverted attachment.
Somebody desires money; if he gets money he thinks he has achieved everything. Someone else thinks that if he could give up money he would have achieved everything. But they are both focused on money. Somebody thinks there is pleasure in man or in woman, and someone else thinks there is pleasure in renouncing man or woman. But the central point to both of them is man or woman. Somebody thinks this worldly life is heaven, someone else thinks this world is hell, but the attention of both of them is on the world.
From the point of view of language, vairagya, nonattachment, is the opposite of raga, attachment, but for a seeker of the spiritual, vairagya is not the opposite of raga, it is the absence of raga. Please understand the difference properly. If you look in a dictionary, nonattachment is the opposite of attachment, but if you move into experience, nonattachment is not the opposite of attachment but its absence. The difference is subtle.
There is attraction towards women; this is attachment. If it becomes a repulsion towards women, it becomes difficult to bear their company, then a tendency is born in the mind to keep away from women. This is detachment, according to language and the dictionary; but according to samadhi, awakening, it is still an attraction.