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May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Monday, November 9, 2009

About Vairagya - Dispassion



Vairagya – dispassion is a very important quality that a yoga practitioner need to have along side with Viveka – right discrimination of the real and the unreal, if we really want to walk the path of Yoga.

We are living in the world and we are human beings. Very naturally and there is nothing wrong about us having passion about many things in life.

Many people think that dispassion means we cannot enjoy life at all. But it is not true.

When we know what is real and unreal, we will naturally not chasing after the fleeting material enjoyments or the sensual pleasures. We will appreciate a simple life with very minimum needs and wants.

We actually enjoy life very much meaningfully but without the craving for love and affection from family and friends or from anyone. Without the need of any material enjoyments or sensual pleasures to give us happiness. Without the need of social status, or success, or agreement from others, or positive feedback from others to give us self-confidence and sense of self-worth.

We enjoy all the things that we have in life at the present moment, but without the clinging towards all these things. When we don’t have them anymore, we will not feel unhappy or refuse to let go.

We also don’t need to pay too much attention onto all the things accept for the basic maintainance of living and the basic needs for us to move on in the path towards self-realization.

We don’t need much actually in this world. We don’t need fancy clothing, exotic food and drinks, sensory enjoyments, extreme fitness and good physics, too many hobbies and activities or get involve in lustful sexual activities or indulge in drugs and alcohols abuse.

We don’t need branded things, luxuries comforts, big cars and big houses, a lot of money to buy the things that we “want” and “like”, “beautiful” appearance, titles, worldly success, accumulation of wealth and things or longing for love relationships or friendships to be meaningful in life or feel good about ourselves.

We will learn to let go our attachment, cravings and clinging towards things, passionate love and affections in life bit by bit until one day we can let go of them easily.

We don’t feel lonely being with oneself because we found peace and contentment already with the Self. And all are not separate from the Self. How can we still feel lonely when we are not separated with everyone and everything? We don’t have to own a single thing, or having a relationship or friendship to feel love and belonging, because we are the love itself and we don’t need to ask for love and attention from anybody. We are receiving unlimited love from everything and are sharing this love with all. There is not even a separation of “love” and “me”. There is no “receiving” and “giving”. There is no “needs” and “wants” of love and affections.

It doesn’t mean that we are cold hearted beings without love and feelings. We are love. It’s just that we don’t need to crave for love or crave for receiving love from the outside to make us feel loved. It is because we are content and at peace with our true Self. This doesn't mean that we don't want to have any friends or relationships, but it is not a necessity anymore. Everything and every living beings has become our friends. Our happiness doesn't depend on love and affection from friendships and relationships, but we are sharing the love and happiness with all the beings whether we know them or not, whether they know us or not, whether they do good or not, whether they like us or not. And everyone and everything has become "us" because we don't see any difference between us and all the things and beings out there anymore.

All our unhappiness and suffering are deriving from our own greed, unsatisfied cravings, strong attachments and clinging. It is our strong attachment towards the likes and dislikes about what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, that is causing us cravings and aversions. We feel frustrated and irritated when we don’t get the things that we like, or are having the things that we don’t like, or we are losing the things that we like and can't get rid of the things that we dislike.

We can enjoy lots of things but without the attachment towards likes and dislikes. But how many people can really do so when even a yoga practitioner who suppose to practice detachment and dispassion will also unconsciously gets attached to his or her likes and dislikes, and having cravings and aversions in the spiritual path itself and not to say there are so many diversities and distractions in worldly life.

The real Yoga is only one. Although there are many paths in Yoga to suit every individual with different personality but definitely not about changing the original practices especially the Asana practice into something totally not the same idea and same perspective anymore. And nowadays many people who wants to learn “Yoga” but not want to follow the traditions of Yoga, they wants something different and something special or new invention of names and forms to satisfy the ego and the mind. And the dis-satisfactory tendency of the ego and the mind will continue to look for something new and different, it is never satisfy or it gets bored easily.

People don’t want the traditions of Yoga because they don’t like to know about dispassion and detachment. They don’t like self-control and self-discipline. They don’t believe in simplicity. They have no idea of what is non-identification with the body and the mind. They don’t like the idea of ego-less. They don’t want to give up the cravings and clinging towards worldly enjoyments and sensual pleasures. They want short cuts to get momentary good feelings or excitement. There want “happiness” but not intend to give up the source of unhappiness. There is nothing wrong about that. Everyone are free to do what they like to do as long as they are responsible for the consequences of their actions. If people want to do modernized “Yoga”, or luxury “Yoga”, or sensual “Yoga”, or Bhoga “Yoga”, or easy “Yoga”, or fitness “Yoga”, or branded “Yoga”, or many different types of “Yoga Asana classes”, or not want to do chanting and prayers, let them be. As long as they are not harming anybody. It’s just like there are many people like to do different types of activities, or eating different types of cuisines, or enjoying different types of pleasures, or enjoying varieties of movies or musics, or looking for success and achievements in life, and there is nothing wrong about that. Be happy. It is better than to do lots of harmful activities and hurting other beings.

But for people who are looking for true happiness and self-realization, we will still stick to the traditions of Yoga.

May we all be free and at peace.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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