Faith

Practice of detachment

In all his writings comprising the commentaries on the Prastanatraya texts, works such as Viveka Chudamani, and stotras in praise of the deities, Adi Sankara highlights the most important truth about jnana and bhakti as a sure route to release from samsara, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. In the fifteenth chapter of the Gita, the Lord directly proclaims that the secret doctrine He has taught Arjuna will enable one to fulfil his duties in life and become wise to gain liberation. Adi Sankara says that the wonderful aspects of the cycle of samsara whose origin or end is not known, is explained imaginatively in this chapter as the Aswatha or peepal tree. The entire universe is imagined as a tree with roots on the top and the branches and leaves flowing downwards to the earth.

The name Aswatha is symbolic of the ephemeral nature of creation and existence that is also paradoxically endless. None can even try to fathom the reality behind all this wonderful creation. When there is no certainty about it, will it not be wise to remain detached from all involvements with family, desires and enjoyments through senses, etc?

During Rama avatar, Rama is shown to succumb to the pangs of separation when Sita is missed from the hermitage. Lakshmana's advice about renunciation in this context is most valuable to all. Desire, attachment and enjoyment are fleeting experiences of this world that have to be kept at a distance. We have to understand that all objects, places and people we meet and come into contact with are temporary associations and have to be relinquished at some point of time. We cannot claim possession over any thing in this world. But the atma within is eternal and undying, and not bound by all these worldly changes.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 9:09:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/practice-of-detachment/article34652460.ece

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