Question: In the world-process I get tossed about by attachments and ambitions. What steps should I take to become free and great?
The basic fact of life which people do not realise is that everyone of us comes into the world alone without any possessions and totally unattached. This natural or inherent state we lose in the course of our living and playing a variety of roles in the drama of life. But when the curtain comes down and we have to quit the stage, we go out as we arrived alone and owning nothing whatsoever.
In the process of enacting the drama called life, we have certain needs and urges, for balancing which we are constrained to get into contact with persons and commodities. This business of contacting puts a value in our mind in relation to the objects of the world. You will see now that Attachment is nothing more than a self-induced quality that is not inherent in you. I have defined Attachment as the habit of lending non-existent permanence to what is entirely transient. Attachment is a figment of imagination and when Time pricks the bubble as it needs must, we grieve. Is this hereditary habit any way compatible with wisdom? Should we not, at some point of evolution, come to grips with reality and outgrow ignorance?
What I am asking people is not cultivation of Detachment which is a negative endeavour but the practising of Non-Attachment called பற்றின்மை in Tamil. In the course of the day you transact with the vegetable-vendor, bus-conductor, hotel-server, colleagues in the office and the likes, and you handle a variety of objects such as elevator, pens, currency and cup and saucer, but do you by any chance, get attached to any of them? What prevents you from extending the principle to other labels such as friends and relations? If you wantonly go and touch tar, is it not folly to cry later that your fingers are defiled?
This is not to preach indifference to the surroundings. You have a distinct duty in every act of contacting. You must discharge that duty well while retaining your native independence and without entertaining any expectation from the outside world. That way you would remain self-contained all the time.
In practical terms you must loosen the ties of Attachment with objects you have been clinging to. And as for future contacts with persons and objects you should be cautious and vigilant not to form Attachment to them, since now you know that it is a weakness that has become hardened due to long years of ignorance.
I have said at the outset that everyone of us comes into the world alone. So what is your Origin? Is it not the same as the Origin of the Universe which is all power and all glory. Is the spark in any way different from the fire it came from? And does it not reduce a heap of dry leaves into ashes? Is not every wave the vast expanse of ocean itself? So is your Real Self, but caged in form and name you have forgotten your Origin and convinced yourself that you are only a fraction, a null set, when you are actually nothing short of an integer. I have given the example of a poor mans little son whose ambition is to own a bicycle which his father cannot afford to purchase. The boy is most miserable. There is another boy of the same age whose father is the owner of a cycle manufacturing factory. Will this boy have any sorrow that he does not own a bicycle? Not one bit, because he knows for certain that the thousands of bicycles in the factory are verily his own and he can just walk in and ride away the latest model. Likewise your real Self is owner and Master of the entire Universe and how is it that you stand reduced to a slavish self-convicted fraction? Realise your potential and shed all weaknesses such as diffidence, defeatism and attachments.