The world is as unreal as a shadow, bubble or froth. Why do you run after the toys of name and fame? How uncertain is sensual life in this illusory world! How transitory is sensual pleasure ! Mark how many thousands of people were carried away in the recent earthquake! How many houses were destroyed ! Yet people want to build seaside cottages and attain immortality there. How foolish they are ! Self-deluded souls ! Pitiable is their lot ! I pray for them. They are earthworms only, as they revel in filth. May God bestow on them vairagya (dispassion). viveka (wisdom) and bhakti (devotion).
The vairagya that comes momentarily after such incidents as the loss of some dearly beloved relative, or wealth, is known as karana vairagya. It will not help much in one’s spiritual progress. The mind will be simply waiting to catch hold of the sensual objects when an opportunity comes.
Vairagya, born of discrimination is the premonitory symptom of spiritual development. It will help the aspirant in his spiritual upliftment. If you develop vairagya, if you subdue your indriyas and shun the enjoyments and pleasures of this world – as dung, as poison, as they are mixed with pain, sin, fear, craving, miseries, disease, old age and death – nothing can tempt you in this world. You will have eternal peace and infinite bliss. You will have no attraction for women and other earthly objects. Lust cannot take hold of you.
The body is the source of great miseries. It is full of impurities. It brings disrespect, censure, etc. It is subject to diseases, decay and old age. It passes away without a moment’s notice.
Give up moha (attachment) for the body. Think of the atman (self) which is eternal, pure and all-pervading. The things that used to afford you delight before, give you displeasure now. That is the sign of vairagya. The shadow of clouds, the friendship with a fool, the beauty of youth, wealth – all last only for a short time. Vairagya (dispassion, indifference, non-attachment) is of two kinds. Karar:a vairagya on account of some miseries and viveka purvak vairagya on account of discrimination between real and unreal. The mind of the former type of man is simply waiting for the opportunity to get back the things that were given up. But the other man who gave up the objects on account of viveka will have spiritual advancement. He will not have a downfall.