Of fruits and attachments…

Is attachment good?

By attachment, I mean attachment to anything – people, joys, pleasures, money, materialism, even attachment to spirituality…

Well, the rest you may understand, but isn’t attachment to spirituality a good thing?

Indian philosophy believes in renunciation as a path to liberation. Moksha is the goal, not heaven. Freeing oneself of the bondage of the fruits of one’s right action is the objective. And good deeds are as much a bondage as bad ones – they just create an illusion of happiness, and the more they do that, the more we cling on to them.

Likewise with attachment to spirituality. Which actually manifests itself as an attachment to one doctrine, one way of thinking, and rejection of everything else. Of being attached to the idea of being spiritual, without actually being spiritual.

यो न हृष्यति न द्वेष्टि न शोचति न काङ् क्षति |
शुभाशुभपरित्यागी भक्तिमान्य: स मे प्रिय: ||

yo na hṛiṣhyati na dveṣhṭi na śhochati na kāṅkṣhati
śhubhāśhubha-parityāgī bhaktimān yaḥ sa me priyaḥ

Those who neither rejoice in mundane pleasures nor despair in worldly sorrows, who neither lament for any loss nor hanker for any gain, who renounce both good and evil deeds, such persons who are full of devotion are very dear to Me.

Srimad Bhagvad Gita 12.17

Attachment ties you to the result – and the result brings joy or sorrow, both of which are illusions, temporary and largely in your own head, based on your expectations. A person who expects 95% in exams feels sad when he gets 90%, and a person who expects 80 and gets 90 feels elated. So the feeling is relative, given that the marks are the same.

Let’s learn instead to give everything our best, perform to the best of your ability, and do not attach yourself to the fruits of your actions. That is the message of Nishkam Karma Yoga in the Gita.

See you tomorrow!