Introduction – Para Vairagya
Para Vairagya is a term commonly used in yoga and spiritual circles, but many people are not familiar with its meaning. In essence, Para Vairagya is the highest level of renunciation and detachment that a human being can attain, and it is considered the ultimate goal of yoga and spiritual practice.
In this article, we will explore the concept of Para Vairagya in-depth, discussing its meaning, purpose, and significance in the context of yoga and spiritual growth. We will also explore some practical techniques for cultivating Para Vairagya in your life and answer some common questions about this fascinating and elusive concept.
Before discussing Para Vairagya, we must first understand the concept of Vairagya. Vairagya is a Sanskrit word that means “detachment” or “dispassion,” It refers to the state of being free from attachment to the material world and its pleasures and pains. Vairagya is considered an essential prerequisite for spiritual growth, as it allows us to transcend the ego and connect with our true selves.
The Meaning of Para Vairagya
Para Vairagya is the highest level of Vairagya, therefore, also called the supreme Vairagya. It refers to a state of complete detachment from all external objects and experiences, including those that are considered desirable or pleasurable. Para Vairagya is often described as a state of absolute freedom from all desires and bliss, in which the practitioner is completely absorbed in the inner self and drawn to the path of divine wisdom. He has no attachment to anything outside of it.
The Purpose of Para Vairagya
The purpose of Para Vairagya is to help us transcend the limitations of the ego and connect with our true nature, which is pure consciousness and bliss. By letting go of our attachments and desires, we can free ourselves from the cycle of suffering and experience the infinite peace and joy that lie within us.
The Significance of Para Vairagya in Yoga
Para Vairagya is considered the ultimate goal of yoga, as it represents the highest level of spiritual attainment. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Para Vairagya is one of the two paths to Samadhi, the state of complete absorption in the object of meditation. Without Para Vairagya, it is impossible to achieve Samadhi, as the mind will be constantly distracted by external objects and desires.
The Relationship Between Para Vairagya and Samadhi
Para Vairagya and Samadhi are intimately connected, as Para Vairagya is one of the prerequisites for achieving Samadhi. In the state of Samadhi, the mind is completely absorbed in the object of meditation, and all sense of individual identity and separation disappears. This state can only be attained by a mind that is free from all attachment and desire and completely focused on the present moment.
Cultivating Para Vairagya- Practical Techniques
Cultivating Para Vairagya is a gradual process that requires dedication, practice, and patience. Here are some practical techniques that can help you cultivate Para Vairagya in your life:
Letting Go of Attachments
The first step in cultivating Para Vairagya is to let go of attachments and desires. This means recognizing the impermanence and transience of all external objects and experiences and cultivating a sense of detachment from them. This does not mean rejecting the world or living an ascetic life but rather developing a healthy relationship with the external world and learning to appreciate it without becoming attached to it.
Another important aspect of cultivating Para Vairagya is embracing impermanence. All things in the external world are subject to change and decay, and accepting this fact can help us let go of our attachment to them. By recognizing the impermanence of all external objects and experiences, we can focus our attention on the inner self, which is eternal and unchanging.
Developing Witness Consciousness
Developing witness consciousness is another essential aspect of cultivating Para Vairagya. Witness consciousness refers to the ability to observe the contents of the mind without getting caught up in them. By developing witness consciousness, we can cultivate a sense of detachment from our thoughts, emotions, and desires and connect with the true nature of our being.
Focusing on the Inner Self
Focusing on the inner self is another important technique for cultivating Para Vairagya. This involves turning our attention inward and focusing on the eternal and unchanging aspect of our being. By cultivating a sense of connection with the inner self, we can let go of our attachment to external objects and experiences and experience the infinite peace and joy that lie within us.
The Role of Yoga in Cultivating Para Vairagya
Yoga is a powerful tool for cultivating Para Vairagya, as it provides us with a framework for developing detachment and connecting with the inner self. The physical postures, breath control, and meditation techniques of yoga can help us cultivate a sense of detachment from the external world and focus our attention on the present moment and the inner self.
Common Obstacles to Cultivating Para Vairagya
Cultivating Para Vairagya is not an easy task, and there are many obstacles that can arise along the way. Some of the common obstacles to cultivating Para Vairagya include fear, resistance, and attachment to familiar patterns of thinking and behaviour.
Overcoming Fear and Resistance
Fear and resistance can be major obstacles to cultivating Para Vairagya. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear of losing control can all prevent us from letting go of our attachments and embracing the unknown. To overcome these obstacles, it is important to cultivate a sense of courage and inner strength and to trust in the process of spiritual growth.
In conclusion, Para Vairagya is a state of detachment that is essential for spiritual growth and realization in Hinduism. It involves recognizing the temporary nature of material desires and attachments and transcending them to attain a higher state of consciousness.
The realization that the finite or the worldly pleasures can never satisfy the infinite within us and that the realization that the sakshatkara, or darshan of the purusha, will only come through perfect desirelessness; this is Para Vairagya.