Many so-called spiritual teachings are given that essentially say, attachment is bad, so do not get attached to anything. These kinds of teachings and misunderstandings have come because of the pain people go through with attachment. Teachings of detachment and being desire-less come because of the fear of entanglement. Entanglement always creates pain and suffering within a person. So, somebody gave this foolish solution – be detached. According to them, the solution for life is to avoid life! If someone wants to avoid life, you have to choose death! It is very simple. Being alive but wanting to die and not dying is going to be torturous. If you want to live, you need involvement.
People think spirituality means dropping your wife, husband or family. But please see, this has nothing to do with spirituality. You will anyway want to drop them when it becomes inconvenient. You do not become spiritual by dropping someone. The biggest attachment you have is not your wife, child, bank balance or something else – it is your personality. This is what you need to throw. Your deepest sense of attachment is to your own thought and emotion. You may argue, “No, my wife, job and child are dear to me.” But when your wife, child or the situations around you really go against the way you think and feel, you will drop all of them. You will not drop your ways of thinking and feeling but you will drop the other person because the other person has stopped fitting into your life. They are in your life only because they have made the compromise to agree with whatever you think and feel.
So you do not have to really work on your attachments with people around you. You need to work with your attachment to your own body because it is only when you are deeply attached to your own body that you get attached to somebody. If you release yourself from this, you are free from everything. If you are not attached to your own body, you can be deeply involved but unattached. Teachings that say “Do not get attached” are not going to work unless it is experientially clearly within you that “this body is not me.”
There is a nice story about this. Once, Indra, the king of all Gods, came to earth seeking pleasure. He chose the form of a pig because generally, in terms of physical pleasure the form of a pig is considered best. He found himself a beautiful female pig, married her and produced dozens of piglets with her. Over time, he got very deeply involved and attached to them.
The Gods waited patiently in heaven thinking it was a short pleasure trip but when Indra did not return for a long time, they came down and saw this whole pig-business in progress. They tried to reason with him to give up the pig’s life and return to the heaven. But Indra was so deeply involved and attached to all this, he just grunted and left.
The gods then decided to kill one piglet hoping that the tragedy would make Indra realise his true nature and return. But, suppose you have five children, and you suddenly lose one, you will cling to the remaining four harder. That is the way. If you lose one more you cling to the remaining three even harder, isn’t it? For every piglet killed, Indra clung to the remaining ones harder. Eventually, the Gods killed all the piglets.
But Indra got busy producing more children. Then the Gods thought that Indra’s real attachment was his wife so they killed her. Now he was greatly distressed. Soon his pig friends and relatives suggested he take another wife. They always do this, isn’t it? And the whole pig-business started again.
The Gods were now completely at a loss with this when Narada, the wise sage, was passing by and happened to see all this. He said, “Why did you kill his wife and kids? His attachment is to his body. Destroy the body.” So, the gods cut his body into two halves and Indra came out and said, “What the hell am I doing here?” and returned to heaven.
The bondage with the body is deep. That is the source of all attachments. If you can truly get attached to another being, it is truly wonderful and fantastic but when you get attached to your own body, you become so limited. So, you do not have to go on searching for non-attachment somewhere else or distancing this and that in your life. You simply need to know how to distance yourself from your own body. Yoga is a complete science, a tool and technology to bring about this sense of separation and freedom from the accumulation of the body.
Whether you like it or not, in your breath, body and being, you are in an inseparable attachment with the whole. So, do not hesitate about attachment. Do not listen to all those teachings about detachment. Right now, with all these teachings that attachment is bad, you are hesitating to be involved. Freedom will not come because you make yourself exclusive. Freedom comes only by including everything as a part of yourself. If you include everything as a part of yourself, then you will have no identity left; that is yoga.
Yoga means attachment. When you get attached to the whole Existence, you are in yoga. Or when you realise how inseparably you are attached with the Existence, that is your Vishwaroopa – Universality. Let your attachment be indiscriminate. It will lead to bliss. It is selective, prejudiced attachment that causes pain.
The beauty and the grandeur of life is known only to one who is indiscriminately and absolutely involved with all that is. This will not only make you attached to everything, but also dissolve the small self that you have created.
- Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian award, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.