Relativity of detachment

This is a short story recounted by Swami Dayananda Saraswati (b 1930), the founder of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (not to be confused with Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati of the Arya Samaj).  It was posted recently on a web forum.  The title of the story is mine.

The story goes as follows: “A man was enjoying his weekend at home with his family. His children were playing in the backyard with a balloon. They were very happy playing with the balloon until the it fell on a thorn and burst.  The children came running to the man crying. The man did not get perturbed. He had experienced the same pain and suffering of bursting balloons as a child but over years he had matured. He knew better. He understood the nature of the reality of balloons and explains to his children that the reality of balloons is that the balloon was going to burst sooner or later. He has transcended the level of reality that his children were experiencing. It does not mean that the man thinks that the balloon is unreal. He knows that the balloon is there. However, having understood the nature of balloons, he has developed non-attachment to the level of reality that the children were experiencing. The man consoles his children explaining to them the nature of balloons. After that, the man picks up the weekend newspaper and  goes inside. He is engrossed in the paper going from section to section. Eventually, he gets to the “Money Matters” section and realizes that the largest holding in his portfolio was decimated because of a scandal. The man was horrified and  slumped in his chair. He had developed detachment and  transcended the nature of balloons but not the nature of investments.”

Photo: Praveen Tomy. Flickr Creative commons. Click image for source

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5 thoughts on “Relativity of detachment

  1. Chinmoy

    So this could mean one can ultimately get true detachment only after undergoing billions and billions of such experiences at gross physical and subtle level.It seems to be a never-ending quest.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      No, you don’t need billions of such experiences. That is the whole point of practicing yoga. If you advance in yoga, the detachment becomes automatic because the mind falls silent and the vital becomes tranquil. You attain a solid peace which cannot be breached by external events.

      But once the hidden doors are flung apart
      Then the veiled king steps out in Nature’s front;
      A Light comes down into the Ignorance,
      Its heavy painful knot loosens its grasp:
      The mind becomes a mastered instrument
      And life a hue and figure of the soul.
      All happily grows towards knowledge and towards bliss.
      A divine Puissance then takes Nature’s place
      And pushes the movements of our body and mind;
      Possessor of our passionate hopes and dreams,
      The beloved despot of our thoughts and acts,
      She streams into us with her unbound force,
      Into mortal limbs the Immortal’s rapture and power.
      An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;
      Our words become the natural speech of Truth,
      Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.
      Then sin and virtue leave the cosmic lists;
      They struggle no more in our delivered hearts:
      Our acts chime with God’s simple natural good
      Or serve the rule of a supernal Right.
      All moods unlovely, evil and untrue
      Forsake their stations in fierce disarray
      And hide their shame in the subconscient’s dusk.

      (Savitri, Book VII, canto V)

  2. Sankhdip

    Easy to understand but tough in practice. However, we could remember this story at the time of disaster to know this will too pass.

  3. Pingback: Sravana Manana and Nidhidhyasana | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

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