What is Detachment?

Detachment is a common term used in Indian culture and philosophy.

Often people who start on the spiritual path misunderstand detachment as the way to achieve higher goals on the spiritual path.

If you have to detach yourself, then you have to detach yourself from any goal or association with samsara(the phenomenal world we live in), so spiritual path and detachment cannot be looked at with the same lens.

Let’s take Bhagavad-Gita as a baseline, as it is considered one of the ultimate refinements of philosophy.

The conversation happened between Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield.

Why cannot Krishna give the sermon to Arjuna at any other time?

Arjuna contemplated it, and after listening to the Bhagavad-Gita, he went on to fight in the war.

So what is the moral of the story?

“Do not run from your responsibilities.”

Again then we hear and read about detachment from various spiritual books and teachers.

Tricky scenario right?

Detachment in practice is meant to come out of the attachments as quickly as possible as you experience them.

Any emotional attachment which is strongly influencing you and you are aware that continuous experience of the specific emotion beyond a threshold is wasteful and can lead to negative thoughts and experiences.

Alternatively, develop a mindset to look at the experiences from a higher plane of glass.

The bottom line is detachment cannot be a sudden process, it is a gradual process like trial and error learning.

Now the final question is what are the benefits of practicing detachment?

You will achieve emotional balance, which is the most important step in the spiritual path.

Additional reference

When to get into the Spiritual path

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Dxyuan, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons