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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    The Art of attached detachment

    When all of us lead very complicated lives, we often tend to take solace in matters that are spiritual, or in matters that are philosophical as well. These range from the mundane tasks like visiting the temples at any point in time, or the churches or the mosques.

    However, deep philosophical words of wisdom, passed on to us, by those who have already experienced inner peace, by those who have maintained a superb balance between their stupendous success in their professional lives and their personal lives, can leave a lasting impression on us, and also lead us to paths that are really superb in terms of exploring our own selves in a new context of unlearning, as many would like to call it.

    One such thought is the concept of "attached detachment."

    What does this mean? Is it just another fad dished out by some philosopher?

    This concept was introduced to me, several years ago, by a follower of the great philosopher called Jiddu Krishnamurthy. I really do not know whether he understood this from his sayings, or sort of distilled it from some textbooks. He merely explained the concept, without ever giving me details of the books I needed to read or references to any article or whatever.

    In very simple terms, the concept of attached detachment, simply means living in the present, allowing a huge focus only on the current task, but being totally detached from any other thought, be that official or personal, even if that were so disturbing.

    Sometime ago, a lady newsreader on television was praised when she was announcing the death of her own husband. She knew that it was her husband who was dead, yet did not show it at all.
    She would have come very close to practicing the concept of attached detachment.

    The concept allows us to be in the present, in the "here and now" and, in that sense, makes us do what we need to do only at this particular moment, and forget about everything else. When I asked him about what I should do when I faced multiple thought patterns at any point in time, my learned friend merely explained that such a thought process is only detrimental to one's mental health.

    Let me explain, with a help of a superb example, which he used. In those days, that is, in the early eighties, Chennai city did not have so many bridges that have now eased traffic to a huge extent. He did mention about one railway gate that was a huge menace to traffic : the one near the famous Madras Christian College, near Tambaram at Chennai. (Today, there is a superb four way bridge that has made Tambaram a huge center of development and the Railways have already made it a third terminal).

    He asked me a very simple question : what if I were caught in one side, with a two-wheeler, with at least one hundred vehicles sandwiched in the small space? What if I were to listen to some verbal abuse between two other people, who would argue among themselves for the space that each would think, has been eaten away by the other person? What if I had three beggars pouncing on me to give them some money?

    My friend went on to suggest that except for the beggars who needed some help, if at all I thought they really needed some money, I should mentally put off any other thought. My only thought would be to reach my apartment, safely, as this was some six kilometers away, and I had to just think of the task on hand: safe travel to my place. Am attached only to that particular task, but detached to everything else. I should never show any anger ( which is but natural) towards anyone or the noisy situation, where so many vehicles would zip past in a very fast fashion, once the gate opened.

    It is a very natural thing to get angry or even try to broker peace between the two guys fighting. I might end up feeling very happy or miserable, depending on outcomes. But why should I get into it, if I do not know the outcome?

    The art of attached detachment, as explained above, is very difficult to practice. It is more so, when our mind is bombarded with some much of information through the internet and social media. Yet, the concept is so powerful and should be given a very serious try.

    I really do not know the source of this concept, for I have not come across the concept being explained in any book. However, that superb friend of mine, who was a multi-millionaire from the then undivided AP, was a superb human being who knew what it takes to be deeply philosophical, and also very level headed.

    That both of us studied in the same prestigious Loyola College, Chennai, at that point in time, is all that I remember. But every bit of what he said is still fresh in my mind, till this very minute.

    Members may please share any personal experience that resonates so well with the concept of attached detachment, as explained above.
  • #635077
    It is really great feeling when one goes through the attachment and detachment process. Only Yesterday I was going through a Whatsapp video in which a doctor mother who lost her son, immediately transplanted various organs of him to the various patients need them and thus could get the satisfaction of his son living with so many persons. When she was reading the heart beat by stethoscope, she laughs and that was innocent enough. That she gets the satisfaction of her son heart beats being listened through other person. This is the perfect example of attachment and detachment.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #635084
    When we are in n examination we all will think about the questions and our only thinking will be how fast and how apt we can answer all the questions within the timeframe. This is what exactly attached detachment. In our thoughts, nothing will come except the task on the hand. I will tell you another small example. When we go to a temple we should fully concentrate on having the darshan of God. We should not think anything else. Then only we will have the peace of mind.
    I was in my office. I received a news that my grand was expired. I have to go to that place immediately. Outside my factory, the two union people are about quarrel and verbal exchanges were going on. If it extends for some more time they may physically abuse each other. My first priority is to see that both the groups will disperse. At that time nothing was in my mind except separating them. Somehow I ventured into the mob threatened both the groups and explained the consequences if they continue the quarrel and it took me 30 minutes to see that they will disperse. Then I started thinking about my travel.
    After I come back from leave both the unions approached me separately and expressed their sorrow for the disturbance they have created on that day.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #635094
    A good thread, little long for the forum but with a good message. This reminds me of a thread I had raised a thread Do we often forget to see the larger picture?.

    The concept of the attached detachment would help us to tide over the various trivial issues and potential adverse situations if we just focus on what is the most relevant and let the other things blur out of our focus. At work, in the common places and at functions, we come across people who annoy us with their antics, behaviour and comments, instead of getting angry and starting an argument, if we just ignore and carry on with the task at hand, we would be at peace and in a happy frame of mind.

    At times, it is difficult to understand what great minds mean in their sayings and disclosures but in simple terms, attached detachment to me means to just mind our own business.

  • #635097
    "Attached detachment' is not a modern thought.
    It is already ingrained in Indian philosophy and guiding principles. Later on the principle was explained and elaborated by many saints and Gurus. Adi Sankaracharya said about it. His reference was to the detachment attained with taking the attachment of good people .("Satsnagatwe nissangatwam".
    In the Tamil "Thirukkural' it is given an importance in our life. it is said there as:

    "Patruka pttatraan patrinai
    Appattrinai patruka patruvidarka"
    ( Get attached to the one who is detached, get that attachment to get rid of attachment,i.e to get detachment).

    When I joined bank , my boss gave us a guiding talk. One of them was that , as bankers we would be seeing and handling a huge amount of cash every day. He then strongly advised us we should develop a total detachment to the cash handled by us and do our work with sincerity,integrity and honesty. That was a sort of attachment with detachment. Attachment to our money only but a detachment to all other money.


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