Question: How can we develop detachment?Sri Chinmoy: There is a great difference between detachment and negligence. Negligence means that many things are happening, but you don't pay any attention to them. Negligence is nothing short of carelessness. Detachment means that you are not affected by what happens. Whether you have succeeded or failed, whether people have extolled you to the skies or spoken ill of you, you are not affected. Sometimes when somebody appreciates and admires you, your ego comes to the fore and destroys you, or success comes and you lose your balance, and are lost. On the other hand, when people speak ill of you, you are doomed to disappointment, and here too your ego comes to the fore. That means that you are affected. But only when you are not affected have you achieved real detachment. Detachment in no way indicates indifference to the activities of others. It only means that you will not be affected. At the same time, you will not be involved in their activities with the idea that you have more knowledge or more wisdom than they have. If you feel that you have more light than others, then you will be miserable. Again, if they are really in difficulty, then naturally you will go and help them with a sincere heart. Detachment is not indifference; far from it. But often it happens that you feel that others need help from you when actually they don't need your help at all.
Sri Chinmoy, Perfection and transcendence, Agni Press, 1977