Perfection of detachment

Radha Gopinath

“The nature of the soul is to be detached from all selfish, egoistic material desires. On the path of Bhakti, the perfection of detachment is complete attachment.”- Radhanath Swami.

Simple detachment from the selfish urges of the mind and senses can bring shanti, or peace. But the soul is thirsting for something more than these. The soul is thirsting for love, or prema. And that prema manifests, when we become completely attached to Krishna. Attachment to Krishna means attachment to serving Krishna, to pleasing Krishna.

atah pumbhir dvija-sreshtha

varnasrama – vibhagasah

svanushthitasya dharmasya

samsiddhir hari-toshanam

That the perfection of all of our dharmas, our occupations, of all religions is to please Krishna.

Radhanath Swami elaborates on real detachment 

“Durvasa Muni was detached from the material existence, but that was it. But Ambarish was attached to Krishna. Even though he was engaged in so many anxieties of the affairs of this world, he was attached to Krishna.”- Radhanath Swami

Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of Durvasa. He was such a powerful mystic yogi. And Ambarisha was a simple householder with a family. Ambarisha was just trying to do good. He had only good intentions. But Durvasa Muni, he interpreted it as an offense. So, he took a hair from his head. He threw it on the ground. The hair became a fiery monster. And that monster went to kill Ambrisha.

Durvasa-and-Maharaja-AmbarisaBut Lord Vishnu killed the monster with His Sudarshan. And the Sudarshan chased after Durvasa. Durvasa went to Brahma. He went to Shiva. Ultimately, he went to Vishnu and surrendered to Vishnu – “Please save me!” Such a difference! Because when this monster, this fiery demon, was approaching Ambarisha, he didn’t say, “Krishna, save me”. He was just offering his life to Krishna – “You can do whatever you like with me, I am yours”. That’s detachment.

Ambarisha is living in a palace. He has a beautiful wife. He has children. He is managing all sorts of government affairs. And when there is a fiery entity coming to kill him, to devour him, roaring at him, he is fearlessly – “Krishna, I am yours. You can kill me. You can protect me. I am yours.” He was totally attached to Krishna.

Radhanath Swami on ‘Who is a real sadhu?’
Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of Durvasa. He was such a powerful mystic yogi. He lives in caves. He lives under trees. He just wears kaupins. He doesn’t have any possessions. He doesn’t have any children. He doesn’t have any family. He never had a job in his life. He is a real sadhu as far as renunciation. And when a fiery entity came toward him, he ran away in total fear. He ran and ran and ran. He was begging so many people for protection.

So, externally it seems that Durvasa Muni was very detached. But actually in this story, we find that Ambarish was really detached. Durvasa Muni was detached from the material existence, but that was it. But Ambarish was attached to Krishna. Even though he was engaged in so many anxieties of the affairs of this world, he was attached to Krishna. Ultimately, Lord Vishnu told Durvasa Muni that, “There is nothing I can do for you, because you offended my devotee. Ambarish is a sadhu. He is truly a sadhusadhavo hridayam mahyam. A sadhu keeps me in his heart. And therefore, I keep a sadhu in my heart. My devotee knows no one but me. And I know no one but my devotee.”

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