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ET Commentary.

No Attachments No Aversions by Lester Levenson | Feeling | Thought

ET Editorial. Speaking Tree. ET Citings. Opinion Poll. More Vedanta QnA. IDBI Bank. Market Watch. Pinterest Reddit. By Mukul Sharma. Aversion, which in its older sense meant the act of turning away from, as opposed to being attracted towards, is the exact opposite of attachment. And, not surprisingly, aversion is a great cause of suffering too because any fixed and intense dislike or repugnance — as the word has come to mean now — cannot function without a large degree of involvement with the object of hatred.

Film makers and authors know this all too well.

Nirvana (Buddhism)

They would at any time rather have critics love or hate their latest movies or books in long involved reviews than deadpan them in short indifferent ones. At the very least the former displays a greater degree of interest in the subject. The reason is because such things come to define the individual.

But what if Romeo could? The problem here again is that life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to hate permanently what we wish to since we ourselves and our hated ones will pass away one day. Thus, the reasons for suffering too remain the same: desire, passion and ardour, or in short, craving, clinging and interest.

No Attachments No Aversions The Autobiography of a Master

Through the discerning help Nantu had given, I also attained the minimum grade for success in all my other subjects. Father was pleased that I had kept my word and concluded my secondary school course.

No Attachments, No Aversions: The Autobiography of a Master

My gratitude sped to the Lord, whose sole guidance I perceived in my visit to Nantu and my walk by the unhabitual route of the debris-filled lot. Playfully He had given a dual expression to His timely design for my rescue. I came across the discarded book whose author had denied God precedence in the examination halls. I could not restrain a chuckle at my own silent comment:. In my new dignity, I was now openly planning to leave home.

Together with a young friend, Jitendra Mazumdar, 2 I decided to join a Mahamandal hermitage in Benares, and receive its spiritual discipline. A desolation fell over me one morning at thought of separation from my family. I rushed to my retreat, the little attic which had witnessed so many scenes in my turbulent sadhana. All attachment 4 disappeared; my resolution to seek God as the Friend of friends set like granite within me. I quickly completed my travel preparations.

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But even greater is my love for the Heavenly Father, who has given me the gift of a perfect father on earth. Let me go, that I someday return with a more divine understanding. With reluctant parental consent, I set out to join Jitendra, already in Benares at the hermitage. On my arrival the young head swami, Dyananda, greeted me cordially. Tall and thin, of thoughtful mien, he impressed me favorably.

His fair face had a Buddhalike composure. I was pleased that my new home possessed an attic, where I managed to spend the dawn and morning hours. The ashram members, knowing little of meditation practices, thought I should employ my whole time in organizational duties. They gave me praise for my afternoon work in their office. I went to Dyananda, busy in his small sanctum overlooking the Ganges. I am seeking direct perception of God.

Without Him, I cannot be satisfied with affiliation or creed or performance of good works. The orange-robed ecclesiastic gave me an affectionate pat. Staging a mock rebuke, he admonished a few near-by disciples.

He will learn our ways. I politely concealed my doubt.

Autobiography of a YOGI

The students left the room, not overly bent with their chastisement. Dyananda had further words for me. Please return it to him; you require none here. A second injunction for your discipline concerns food. Whether famishment gleamed in my eye, I knew not. That I was hungry, I knew only too well.


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The invariable hour for the first hermitage meal was twelve noon. The three-hour gap became daily more interminable. Gone were the Calcutta years when I could rebuke the cook for a ten-minute delay. Now I tried to control my appetite; one day I undertook a twenty-four hour fast. With double zest I awaited the following midday. As gesture of welcome to the swami, who had been absent for two weeks, many delicacies were in readiness.

An appetizing aroma filled the air. Divine Attention was elsewhere, however; the plodding clock covered the hours. Darkness was descending as our leader entered the door. My greeting was one of unfeigned joy. I was in near-collapse. My young stomach, new to deprivation, protested with gnawing vigor. Pictures I had seen of famine victims passed wraithlike before me. Ambrosial summons! Intense absorption yet permitted me to observe that Dyananda ate absent-mindedly.

He was apparently above my gross pleasures. I have spent the last four days without food or drink. I never eat on trains, filled with the heterogenous vibrations of worldly people. Strictly I observe the shastric 6 rules for monks of my particular order. Tonight at home I neglected my dinner. Shame spread within me like a suffocation. But the past day of my torture was not easily forgotten; I ventured a further remark. Following your instruction, suppose I never asked for food, and nobody gives me any. I should starve to death.


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Never admit that you live by the power of food and not by the power of God! He who has created every form of nourishment, He who has bestowed appetite, will certainly see that His devotee is sustained! Do not imagine that rice maintains you, or that money or men support you! Could they aid if the Lord withdraws your life-breath?