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Detachment leads to liberation!

Updated on August 24, 2015

Buddha taught about detachment!

A child sees a toy in a showroom. Immediately, it pesters its mother to fetch it for her. This is natural tendency for children. But, what about the youth and elders? It is the same scenery there also. This is termed as ‘attachment’. We all miserably attach to many things in the world and also we are attached to certain persons more than others. In Sanskrit language, this is termed as “Moha” which is nothing but attachment. This attachment causes us grief in the long run!

For instance, if you are deeply attached to your child, you will feel pain when the child cries! If the child suffers from pain or fever, you are prompted to take it to the Doctor! You want assurance from the Doctor that nothing is wrong with the child and it is only common cold or fever and a little medication will make it alright. Why people suffer anguish and grief when some close members of the family dies? It is definitely due to attachment to the particular person. For instance, if some one else in the neighborhood dies, we may not care that much. The reason is that the man is not related to us and hence there is no attachment to that person!

We might have come across such terms as “Moksha” or Nirvana or Self-realization elsewhere. All the above terms indicate release from this miserable human existence. Is there anyone in the globe who enjoys his life on earth? Even if there are few, it is only a temporary phenomenon. Yes, human life is full of misery and grief and what we construe as joy or pleasure is a fleeting experience not worth venerating. Hence the sages of the yore have exhorted the common people to shed their attachment to things and persons. This is the vital teaching of Buddha. He said, “Everything is grief and everything is fleeting here! He realized this great truth after years of penance and meditation. He sustained himself by begging his food and wandering to different places.

Many of us are aware of the story of Buddha. He was a prince, enjoyed the luxuries of palace from childhood. He was pampered by all in the palace. He was never aware of the existence of old age, diseases and death!. Once he sleeked out of the palace without anybody noticing him. What we watched outside the palace changed the entire course of his fate and life. He has married and he was a father of a child. The king was guarding “Siddhartha” from going out. Once he has sleeked out, he saw an old descript man, another afflicted with some incurable disease and third a procession of people carrying the mortal remains of a person to the burning ghat. He had no idea what he witnessed. He enquired some in the vicinity and realized that everyone in the world had to undergo old age, disease and death! This event prompted him to introspect. Buddha decided that the cozy palace is not the place to do the introspection! He left his young wife and child and left the palace in the dark of the night!

After wandering to several places, meeting several saints and sages, he understood that he has to solve the riddle himself. “What for we are taking birth on earth and what is the ultimate aim? After a long search in his own self, he realized that the human life is full of grief and pain and it never lasts beyond certain period. This made him to search for more clues. Finally he obtained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Gaya in India. After guiding many disciples on truths about human life and misery, he exhorted his disciples to do penance, beg their food and lead a disciplined life.

If we read the life biographies of great people, we can understand that they detached themselves from the temporary attachments of the world, shed their ego and became selfless. They loved all in equal measures and revealed the truths to everyone. It is sad that even after the advent of many great saints, prophets and incarnations of God, man is steeped in stark materialism, worships wealth as God and consider women and wealth as the foremost aims of life. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and other great saints warned the humanity about the pitfalls of the sensory life. Senses enslave man and destroy him completely. Hence we should be aware of the aim of human life, develop compassion towards the poor illiterate people and help them in as many ways as possible selflessly. God is really pleased when a man serves his brethren without any selfish motive!

Disciples under Bodhi tree!

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