Non-attachment is Essential for Spiritual Progress
Just as the parent bird brings up its fledgling under the protection of its wings, the head of the family should extend loving protestion to all members of the family. Sure of such loving concern, a person would not mind his faults and shortcomings being pointed out to him.
A tonic will become actively invigorating when a patient is free from illness, fever or affliction, because the natural metabolism can then work unhindered. Similarly spiritual progress gains momentum when the heart is purified. Spiritual progress demands mental effort, because it involves countering the present habits and tendencies of the mind. Therefore, spirituality is purely a personal pursuit. A sadhaka will realise the benefits comparatively early if he maintains an unbroken awareness of God within the heart, and simultaneously controls and modifies, trains, the tendencies and reactions of the mind. He must ever be cautious lest sensuous desires spy a weak moment or spot and strike. Spirituality therefore needs unremitting vigil over oneself.
Prapancha is not, basically, a rival to spirituality; the two, indeed are as related to each other as the obverse and the reverse of a coin. To conduct prapancha without attachment, and joyfully as a duty, is spirituality. What obstructs spirituality is neither material well-being, nor relatives and friends, but a sense of involvement, of passion and of belonging. Non-attachment does not necessarily mean not having a particular thing, but freedom from mental involvement or sense of belonging. To live happily in the conviction that "whatever is has been given by God and is His, not mine," is real vairagya or true non-attachment. It is this feeling which is a precondition for spiritual advancement.
Knowledge comes by study, skill comes by practice. Today, we do not have constant remembrance of God for want of true devotion; also, devotion will only arise from constant remembrance maintained by purposeful practice. A wise man is he who brushes aside all doubts, at least for the time being, and commences to practise remembering Him. For One who disregards the senses and their desires and pleasures, there is no harm in remaining apparently in prapancha, provided one is always absorbed in Rama at heart.
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