Tag Archives: discrimination


Voidness Vairagya

If detaching oneself from situations (vairagya), for example in order to restrain the senses and further progress on The Path, it can lead to the common misinterpretation that one is either ignorant/arrogant or just appearing to saddle their own spiritual high horse (with their over inflated spiritual ego” alongside for the ride). People can misinterpret ones sense of redirection as appearing to ‘know it all’ or think that one is trying to place oneself above others, looking down on them rather than trying to help them on their own difficult journey.


On the other hand, we could all strive to offer more compassion/empathy/love and understanding, rather than our more common negative and judgemental ‘spiritual opinions’ (with the spiritual ego” alongside and in full effect). Whilst detaching (vairagya) from certain situations or social circles we appear aloof, therefore us yogis should endeavour to integrate with others in tandem with reclusive work for inner development. This is where the real power of karma yoga – selfless service/voluntary work (seva) – can come into full effect.


Whilst using vairagya at work (detachment to expected outcomes and dispassion towards goals that are achieved) one can transcend the body, mind and ego by offering all to the Divine. The Divine may be your parents/family, it may be your own perception of spirituality, it may be a Higher Power (God) or one of your own chosen deities – whatever resonates with you. With the correct attitude at work then one can learn to consecrate one’s actions towards the Divine.


As is said in the ancient Sanskrit texts Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 4, Verse 18:

कर्मण्यकर्म : पश्येदकर्मणि कर्म : | बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु युक्त: कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् || 18||

karmaṇyakarma yaḥ paśhyed akarmaṇi cha karma yaḥ sa buddhimān manuṣhyeṣhu sa yuktaḥ kṛitsna-karma-kṛit

Sw Vivekananda_Vairagya

Translated as “Those who see action in inaction and inaction in action are truly wise among humans. Although performing all kinds of actions, they are yogis and masters of all their actions.” The commentary says such things as follows, where inaction becomes action within non-action, almost like a dynamic meditation grounding ourselves deeper in the normality of our day to day tasks, whichever we choose them to ‘be’:

Action in inaction.

One type of inaction that arises is when people take the view that their social duties/career are tiresome, then they renounce them out of laziness. They may indeed have given up their actions physically (vairagya) but their mind continues to wander and contemplate upon the objects of the senses. Such persons may appear to be inactive, detached and comfortable from within but their lethargic idleness is actually ‘sinful’ action. When Arjuna suggested that he wished to shy away from his duty of fighting the war, Lord Krishna explained to him that it would be a sin and if so, he would go to the hellish regions of the netherworld for such inaction.

Tantric Vairagya

Inaction in action.

There is another kind of inaction performed by karma yogis. Here the karma yogi executes their social duties without attachment to any form of results (vairagya), dedicating the fruits of their actions to the Divine. Although whilst engaged in all kinds of activities, they are not entangled in karmic reactions, since they have no motive for personal fulfilment. There were many great Kings’ in Indian history – Dhruva, Prahlada, Yudhisthira, Prithua, and Ambarisha – who discharged their stately duties to the best of their abilities and yet because their minds were not entangled in material desires, their actions were termed Akarma (or inaction). Another name for akarma is karma yoga which is discussed in some detail during the previous two chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.

Vairagya Mystic

This is why in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna taught Arjuna renunciation of action, not renunciation of the body. One need not turn away from one’s social duties, responsibilities and status (vairagya). Instead we must strive to fulfil those duties which have to be done as a form of worship, as offerings of one’s intelligence, talent, qualities, thoughts and feelings, all consecrated to the Divine. This can be carried out in a spirit of gratefulness for the chance given, without any inherent trace of egoism or a sense of attachment to the fruits of one’s actions. Our obligatory karma’s must be worked through, wherever we are, with sincerity and compassion. These karma’s are then exhausted and during such, awarded continuously by the required discrimination and detachment used throughout the entire process.

References and Bibliography

Sri Swami Sivananda. (2010). The Bhagavad Gita. Rishikesh: The Divine Life Society

Attachment vs Non-attachment

#1Attachment vs Non-attachment

Where to begin when it comes to non-attachment? Why not be attached I hear some ask? What is the problem with attachment & letting the mind cling to sensorial experiences? When should we attach & then detach? (not detaching by pushing away or being repulsed which leads to further destructive behavior, detaching by letting go & seeing things as they really are).

In the grips of intense passion & deep longing to feel loved, how can we replace the most powerful natural drug on the planet [love] to one side & completely detach? Can one love without attachment? Clearly this is becoming quite a dilemma & before one even attempts to manage attachments emanating from the mind of a Klingon, it may help us to understand how the mind desires/seeks/attaches/clings towards entertainment & further pleasures. Swamiji Mandala

Of course if you like your steak raw & sensorial, if you like the illusory world of the senses your experiencing 24-7, just remain cool & calm, stay plugged into the Matrix – no need to even inquire further. However, if we are all brutally honest with ourselves we are ALL attached to something. Usually these minor attachments are disguised as habits therefore justified as excusable; more often than not the attachment forms to the object which is perceived as desirable. Entertaining or stimulating the senses appears to be at the root of our attachments.

Whether constantly checking social media, reliving & duplicating that game on the console until ‘complete’, watching our latest episode on ‘catch-up’, enjoying mild stimulation of the senses via caffeine (or perhaps a more suitably addictive ‘fizzy’ beverage), smoking, placing that current song on ‘repeat’, stimulating the tongue with favourite ‘finger’ foods, planning our next adventurous but ravenous throws of passion with our partner – whichever way the mind chooses to escape its vacuity is irrelevant (or even unimportant to some). What is evident is that the mind always seeks a way to ‘escape’ placidity & replace such with one experience that feeds the boredom, fuels the agitated & distracted mind. KB at BSY

As Ajahn Dhammvidu would assert, this craving or clinging originates with the ego first developing a sense of ‘self’, of a “me/my or I” holding dear to experience (wasting time debating the existence of ‘self’, ‘non-self’ or macrocosmic Self is one we’ll leave for those that way inclined). As Ajahn Dhammvidu clearly & mindfully describes, this sense of self comes into being when the first sensation of mother’s milk is longed for once more. How to locate this warm addictive loveliness? Yes, cry your lungs out until one takes notice & succumbs to the demand! Ego is born, self established & a pattern of behaviour laid bare for time immemorial – the mind will desire/clinging & attach to whatever it desires for pleasure & sheer entertainment.

We could go a tad deeper, really breaking down the mind & its sub-constructions, enquiring to where the nature of attachment actually arises based on sense contact; however, at present this information isn’t of relevance here. I’m sure by now we can see how the mind cultivates its desires, longs to cling & repeat once more, then before we know it a habit is born & a firm attachment takes place. We can be quick to point the one finger at others less strong than ourselves (many battle with inner demons & addiction); but really with the one finger pointing, are those other three fingers pointing straight back at us highlighting our own ‘self’ disguised addictions & attachments? Ganges at Munger

We’re building some blocks here, setting some stones – leaving the patio construction till a much later date. For now we can begin to understand the mind & how it constantly looks for stimulation of some form or another. If we have a choice to just sit outside in nature & ‘be’ – watch & listen as the natural beauty unfolds between our eyes – would we choose to do so or would we reach straight for the phone/internet & social media? Therefore why to worry, this is just the mind doing what minds do – relax, the game is being played to fruition & the intellectual elite continue to reap the rewards. However, should we wish to step outside this box, begin by looking towards the inside from outside the box – we endeavour to develop non-attachment/dispassion & correct discrimination.

So, non-attachment is a state of mind which is full of viveka (discrimination). In fact, we can even call it viveka. Have the ability to discriminate and act accordingly. That is the yogic concept of non-attachment. – Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati