So Karma-Yoga says, first destroy the tendency to project this tentacle of selfishness, and when you have the power of checking it, hold it in and do not allow the mind to get into the ways of selfishness. Then you may go out into the world and work as much as you can. Mix everywhere, go where you please; you will never be contaminated with evil. There is the lotus leaf in the water; the water cannot touch and adhere to it; so will you be in the world. This is called “Vairagya”, dispassion or non – attachment. I believe I have told you that without non – attachment there cannot be any kind of Yoga. Non – attachment is the basis of all the Yogas. The man who gives up living in houses, wearing fine clothes, and eating good food, and goes into the desert, may be a most attached person. His only possession, his own body, may become everything to him; and as he lives he will be simply struggling for the sake of his body.
Non – attachment does not mean anything that we may do in relation to our external body,it is all in the mind.The binding link of “I and mine” is in the mind. If we have not this link with the body and with the things of the senses, we are non – attached, wherever and whatever we may be. A man may be on a throne and perfectly non – attached; another man may be in rags and still very much attached. First, we have to attain this state of non – attachment and then to work incessantly. Karma-Yoga gives us the method that will help us in giving up all attachment, though it is indeed very hard.
Here are the two ways of giving up all attachment. The one is for those who do not believe in God, or in any outside help. They are left to their own devices; they have simply to work with their own will, with the powers of their mind and discrimination, saying, “I must be non – attached”.
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