Is practice alone enough? Patanjali says “No”. There are two oxen, which pull a cart. The two wheels of this cart are abhyasa (practice) on one side and vairagya (dispassion) on the other.
What is vairagya?
Drishtanu shravikavishaya vitrush’asya vashikara sanjna vairagyam meaning “dispassion is that state of supremacy of consciousness in the one free from the thirst of the perceptible and celestial enjoyment”.
The mind gallops towards the world of passion. You just keep quiet, close your eyes or open your eyes or do anything. Where does your mind go? It travels towards the sense of sight. You want to see something somewhere.
Or the mind runs towards he sense of smell, taste, sound and touch. Do you see that? Or it gallops towards something it has heard. It has never seen but it has read some thoughts. This craving for any of these experiences in the mind can stop you from being in the present moment.
Vairagya is that, when, for a few moments, however beautiful a scenery is, you say: “I am not interested at looking at it right now”. However good the food is, you say, “This is not the time. I am not interested in it”.
Even a few moments of retrieving our senses, the craving or thirst for objects and going back to the source is vairagya. Are you getting this? This is another basic requirement for meditation. Whenever you want to meditate, your mind should be in dispassion. Without dispassion your meditation is no good and cannot provide you the rest that you are longing for.
Your mind is tired and bogged down by galloping through desires. It is so tired. Just turn back and see all the desires you have had. Have they given you rest? No. They have only created a few more desires and the few more desires, which come, have they given you rest? No. They have given you more, for you to achieve more and have another trip on the merry-go-round. You are not just here, you just go round. You know, the merry-go-round has horses, which do not go anywhere. They just go round in the same place.
Stuck in this illusion, you travel miles and miles but go nowhere. This is what desire does to you.
There are two types of arguments even in this. “The sage has said that you should not have desires;
so I will not desire anything” is one argument. Now, saying “I do not want any desire” becomes another desire. Some people do this and that is beating around the bush. Some people are on a trip to destroy their desires.
Vitrushnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam. The mind that gallops is an obstruction. An expectation in meditation is an obstruction. You have heard somebody’s experience of light coming and somebody coming from heaven and taking them by hand and you see it with your eyes close. All these ideas are the construction of fiction.
Your desire for pleasure or happiness makes you unhappy. You examine whenever you are unhappy or miserable. Behind that is your wanting to be happy. You got it? Craving for happiness brings misery. If you do not even crave for happiness, then you are happy. You crave for happiness and you invite misery. When you do not care for happiness, you are liberated and when you do not even care for liberation, you attain love. The first step is when you do not care for happiness. The second step is param vairagya or supreme dispassion when you do not even care for liberation. Then you are free. You are liberated.
Happiness is just a mere idea in the mind. You think that if you have this you are happy. If you have whatever you wanted, then are you happy? Vairagya is putting a stop to craving for happiness. That does not mean you must be miserable. It is not that. It does not mean you should not enjoy yourself, but the craving for joy, only when you retrieve your mind from it, only then can you meditate. Then yoga happens.
Your dreams and fantasies, just shatter them. All your dreams and fantasies, offer them to the fire. Burn them. What great happiness do you want to have? How long can you have it? You are going to be finished. It is all going to end. Before this earth eats you up, become free.
Free yourself from this feverishness that is gripping your mind.
Free yourself from this craving for happiness.
Look into every craving you have closely and remember you are going to die. Your craving for sweets, sugar, food. Ask yourself if you want to keep eating them. Ok, eat for as long as you like. See consciously, what can they do? Nothing. What else do you crave for? Beautiful views? Keep on looking at the view. How long you can go on looking?
Sex. How much sex can you have? Then you will see that there is nothing in it. How long? Few moments later, the body looks like styrofoam, that which was so attractive before.
What other thing? All these substances you see have limitations, but your mind is not ready for limitations. It wants unlimited pleasure, which the five senses cannot give you. It is impossible. You simply get burnt down, over and over again.
Skillfully handling the objects of senses and bringing it to the self is dispassion or vairagya.