Question: What is the difference between complacency and non-attachment?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are the son of a multimillionaire, everything is at your command because you have money-power. You are complacent, because the things that others will try for years to achieve, you will accomplish in a day. Only inner satisfaction will not be there.

Non-attachment is something totally different. There you fulfil God's Will and get joy while fulfilling His Will. You do not remain in the vital world, attached to the results. Let us say that it is God's Will that you submit an article to The New York Times. If they don't print it and you are attached, then you will get angry. If you are attached to the idea of success and not to God's Will, then you will curse the spiritual Master who asked you to submit it. "Why did he ask me to submit it? Now I have failed." But if you are not attached, then you will get the greatest joy whether you succeed or fail.

Non-attachment is not indifference. When you are indifferent, you don't look at a person. You are walking along the street and somebody is dying of thirst, but you will not look at him. If you are non-attached, your inner being will compel you to give him a glass of water. But if he doesn't drink it, you will not feel sad or angry. Your inner being may tell you to wait half an hour to see what he will do, but you will not curse him or curse yourself because he is so ungrateful and you have wasted your time. You are only an instrument, so you are not attached to the result.

Attachment comes when you are motivated by your vital. If your vital desires something, then you feel that you need that thing. When you need something, you want to get it in your own way. But non-attachment tells you that you are doing it for somebody else, for your real Self. If you surrender the unreal in you to the Real in you, then you will not be motivated by your individual will and you will not be attached in any way. Only you will be one with God's Will twenty-four hours a day. Do not mistake indifference for non-attachment. Do everything devotedly and unconditionally, and then place it at the Feet of the Supreme. Otherwise, if you take indifference as non-attachment, you will not do anything; you will only say that you are not attached.

Sri Chinmoy, The soul's evolution.First published by Agni Press in 1976.

This is the 345th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The soul's evolution, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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