Question: In the human vocabulary, there are two words, attachment and detachment. But when the disciple aspires in the spiritual way and begins his unfoldment, does the meaning of attachment change? Can you explain it in the human sense and also in the spiritual sense? If he is well-grounded in the spiritual path, then that attachment won’t disturb him, will it?

Sri Chinmoy: No matter how well-grounded you are in the spiritual life, you will see that in attachment there is only frustration. In attachment, if your desires are not fulfilled, immediately frustration comes in. As soon as we take to the spiritual life, we must end all attachments. To be freed from attachment does not mean that you have to be cold, aloof and distant towards everyone. Attachment should be transformed into proper understanding and oneness. Attachment is not real oneness. Attachment exists often just for the moment; then out of sight, out of mind. Real oneness with human beings is most important. In oneness we are never frustrated because oneness implies the strongest inner understanding. And this inner understanding is illumination.

Who illumines us? God; and this illumination comes only through aspiration. Through aspiration we are going to the Beyond; the far, farther, farthest Beyond. Attachment and desire go together. They constantly bind us. In all of us, attachment is there. From our love for humanity, we come down to our love for our nation; then from the nation, we come to a particular city; then we come to a particular village; then we come to our family. Then from loving the whole family, we find, if there are five members in the family, that we are more attached to one member. This is how desire is limiting and binding us. From attachment to our country, we finally limit and attach ourselves to one person. But if we start with aspiration, then all the time we will be transcending and transcending. From the husband or the children, from the family, we will go to the city, to the province, to the country, to the earth. Finally, we shall become universal. We have to know that detachment liberates, while attachment only binds.

How can we have detachment? It is through aspiration. Detachment does not mean completely cutting off all relationships. Detachment is the proper understanding of the truth at its own level. And in detachment, we will see that we are one with humanity on the strength of our inner life. We misunderstand and fear the word detachment, because we feel that we are breaking something. No, we are not breaking. We are actually connecting ourselves properly in the inner world to other people with our illumining and fulfilling souls. This we do with aspiration. The more we aspire, the larger becomes our vision. And this vision is our real reality.

When we start our journey in life, we limit, limit, limit and finally we come down to our gross body-consciousness. Even in the body we have more attachment to a particular limb or to a particular beautiful portion or feature. See how attachment manifests. This is my body, but I pay all attention to a particular limb or a particularly good feature. Attachment manifests itself in every insignificant way. But, fortunately, with our aspiration we are transforming the tiniest attachment into the mightiest oneness in the great unity of God’s creation.

Sri Chinmoy, Earth's cry meets Heaven's smile, part 2.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 138th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Earth's cry meets Heaven's smile, part 2, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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