Our attachments are like a rented house that we don’t usually leave unless we are evicted

Our attachments are our mental home – that’s where our thoughts go by default when we have nothing to think about, just as we physically go to our home when we have nowhere else to go.

But our attachments are like a rented house; the objects we are usually attached to aren’t going to stay with us forever. When we lose them, we suffer – and that pain is often worse than the pain of being evicted from a house. Even after losing those objects, we may still stay attached to them and stay stuck in suffering. Only after realizing painfully that we aren’t going to get those objects back do we slowly limp on. 

Instead of being evicted, if we learn to voluntarily vacate our various temporary mental homes, we can avoid much pain. Suppose we know that the place we are staying in is only on short-term rent to us; we won’t let ourselves get too attached to it. Similarly, if we remind ourselves regularly of the temporary nature of worldly things, that knowledge can help us become detached (Bhagavad-gita 13.10).

To help us cultivate such detachment, Gita wisdom explains that our lasting mental home is the ultimate reality, the all-attractive supreme person, Krishna. And he pervades and sustains all of existence, as the power of everything powerful, the attractiveness of everything attractive, the essence of everything essential. With this vision, we understand that it is he who is sheltering us through the various things we tend to get attached to. 

By practicing bhakti-yoga, we can redirect our attachment from those things to him (07.01). Then, even if we are engaged with those things, we won’t get entangled in them; instead, we will evolve through them toward increasing absorption in Krishna.

Think it over:

  • How are our attachments like a rented house?
  • How can knowledge foster detachment?
  • How can bhakti wisdom help us to cultivate detachment?

***

07.01 The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Now hear, O son of Pritha, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.

 

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