Avoid attachment

Many philosophical and psychological insights pertinent to an individual’s worldly existence can be drawn from the skilful depiction of the Jadabharata episode by Vyasa in the Bhagavata Purana, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. King Bharata had been a righteous ruler and duly fulfilled all the duties that had devolved on him. At one stage in his life, he gave up all this and chose to lead an austere life in the Himalayas as a way to seek liberation. His life as a hermit is described as exemplary in the Bhagavata Purana. Yet, he slipped from his aim of salvation at the end of his life owing to the attachment and concern he developed towards a motherless young deer. He began to believe that the deer too endeared itself to him and derived much comfort from this thought.

Once, when the deer was missing, he became greatly agitated and worried. His mind imagined all the likely dangers that the deer might have met with. The more he thought of all these, the more he longed for its presence as he believed that it will be safe only in the ashram. He would ruminate thus: Will the deer come back before the sun sets and sit on my lap once again and remove my distress? He even forgot the austerities he had been practising all these years and concentrated only on the deer.

Sastras advocate practice of compassion as a virtue and also warn against show of dvesha towards any object or being. But when concern turns into possessiveness, it ties one to samsara. Rama worried about all the sufferings that Sita would be undergoing and was inconsolable. Lakshmana tried to calm Him by pointing out that all human contacts and relationships are very temporary and one should accept that parting from all these is inevitable. It is attachment that makes separation unbearable.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 3:39:44 AM |

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