If you look at things closely, everything troublesome to a human being can be zeroed down to his or her attachments.
Imagine the life of a prisoner. Imagine waking up to the boundaries of a jail, eating only when allowed by the authorities, moving only when permitted by the authorities, bound within the limits set by authorities. Doesn't feel good does it? Attachment does the same to our thoughts.
From the moment we are born, to the moment we depart from this world, we are adding people, things, places, pets to our list of attachments. We feel as though attachments form the basis of our living and this notion has encompassed our social thought process. If attachments are so important to our being, why then innumerable saints, scriptures, teachings have asked us to break free from all sorts of attachments? Conversely, if people know deep within that attachments are hazardous, why then do they still stay attached to so many things and people?
The answers to these questions lie in the understanding that human beings are social and compassionate creatures, but what often goes unnoticed is that they can still have societal traits and compassion even if they are not attached. You can love someone but still set them free. All the wives and girlfriends around the globe could live without constantly nagging around their partners. You can have a big goal or dream in life and still not think of it as the be-all and end-all in life. Who would be better than lord Shri Krishna explaining this to his disciple Arjun in Bhagwad Gita? He said and I quote, “You only have the right to perform your prescribed duties but you should never attach yourself to the fruits of your actions.” You can have enormous material possessions in life, yet not be attached to them. Steve Jobs, one of the richest people this planet had, was known for owning just the minimal set of utilitarian furnitures despite having a lot of money. He did not believe in being attached to trivial issues or possessions in life. While the morality of Jobs’ personal life is still debatable, we can look at the other side of the coin and appreciate his non-attachment to many things most people fail getting detached from. You can live your entire life having fulfilling relationships, being compassionate, achieving great success and yet not be attached to anything a lot.
Attachments restrict our thoughts, lifestyles, social circle, and sometimes even contentment from life. Attachments also give rise to lust, greed, jealousy, anger, despair, and many other evils in life. In fact, if you look at things closely, everything troublesome to a human being can be zeroed down to his or her attachments. You need to stay away from attachments in order to achieve greatness. In order to break the limitations of who you are every day, you definitely need to let go of them. On a lot of instances, attachment also makes us a control freak, someone who is willing to go to any extent to prove his or her control over his or her own life and also over those of others. In the role of partners, parents, siblings, teachers, friends, most people are willing to keep going about everyday trying to control their better-halves, children, students because they have become attached to them. Attachment leads us to us needing to show a lot of control, forgetting in the process, that most of the things in our lives our beyond our control. So we, especially the youth of the nation who have an entire life in front of them, waiting for them, a society looking upto them for help must break free from the shackles of attachments and gain all the wisdom out there.
Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” What are you willing to remove?
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