'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]
Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Think again on the meaning. Seek to focus on the subject.
We saw last week that a key component of advancing spiritually is to develop viveka. What is it that can be the कारण/kaarana - the causative agent - for viveka? To develop full skill of viveka, we need to develop चित्त-शुद्धि/chitta-shuddhi (purity of mind/intellect) and चित्त-एकाग्रत/chitta-ekaagrata (single-pointedness of mind/intellect). (Note these terms - they will appear here and there!) Immediately you may think, but how do these get sparked? This relates to पुण्य/punya, the fructification of merits within karma as part of प्रारब्ध/praarabdha ('destiny'). Much later we will investigate this more. Know that, at this moment, the very fact that you are reading this and are now aware of chitta-shuddhi or ekaagrata means that somewhere in your history you have done sufficient 'good' to 'earn' this level of learning.
It is not that we automatically have the purity and focus. It is that something, built up by long experience, we come to understand that there is a need to develop these things. Each act of hearing about God/Brahman /Allah/Manitou… even the passing words of a television interpretation (!)… lays the seeds of our spiritual growth and we develop more interest and reach a little higher (or inner). Through viveka we find that we develop the next part of the saadhana chatushtaya.
"What is dispassion?
The absence of the desire for the enjoyments
(of the fruits of one's actions)
In this world and in heaven."
Continuing the text, there now comes one paada (sentence) on vairaagya. [Note that for this line, chanting is not provided. Listen back to last week's chants and note the rhythm; same now applies this paada.]
This is a word which some folk distrust; even misinterpret. Dispassion does not mean sacrificing enjoyment or taking an ever-harshly critical stance. Neither is it to be uninterested or to lack 'verve'. The vairaagya of vedanta is about understanding our proper relationship with the world of objects. Objects/people/situations are the source of much enjoyment but also of sorrow (either at not having them or at their loss). Lost in craving, we allow these things to be our focus. When one has corrected the 'view', understanding the utility of these things, we can continue to appreciate them, but no longer do they take a toll on our soul. Knowing the Truth of freedom in spirit and that all else is fleeting, we adjust our relationship with the world and in this sense develop 'lack of passion'.
Dispassion, then, is the strength to give up desire for the impermanent, knowing the prize of the permanent is before us. It is the absence of 'like or dislike' for this or that. We may find that in becoming disinterested in personal joy, we do now build a desire to bring joy or relief to others. Such measured interaction arises from viveka. That ability to move about the world with the constant thought "this is not Real, that is false" builds discernment to the level whereby we can release any personal 'investment' we may have in the object/person/situation.
All actions of the true vairagi are now dedicated with ease to the Greater Spirit. Universal Love will flow through such a person, with no pettyness or expectation of return. The vairagi is without fear and depends on nothing external for his or her joy. There is a peaceable and cheerful turn to their countenance whether they have much or little.
The passionate one lives for their own pleasure. The dispassionate one alone can truly love all.
Viveka and Vairaagya are the wings of spiritual seeker.