Some More Words About Vairagya

It was the very same period the year before that I was in Varanasi and in this blog of mine I was blissfully and deliberately reflecting upon Vairagya as one of the fundamental methods of yoga. Yet the recent situation in my country [Ukraine, Dec.2013-March, 2014 – transl.note] not only encourages me to get back to this subject – this time in some other states – but it also gives an immense scope of new experience and food for thought.

As we might remember, in his sutra 1.15 Patanjaligives the following definition of vairagya:

1.15 the disengagement from emotions [related to] the seen and heard objects is the sign of mastery in vairagya.

I had to spend this last week in Germany from where I had access to both Russian TV channels and Ukrainian internet. The difference between the coverage of one and the same events made by different states is incredible!!! And the methods of involving people into one’s own point of view are extremely well considered and arranged. One can find here both moaning “old mothers”[1] as well as that very “girl with a kitten” (see “Wag the Dog”); the representatives of one and the same church within the scope of different ideas make their appeals to different presidents; they show some beatees, pin labels and so on. And for those people who erroneously reckon themselves among “intellectuals” there come the“research opinions” and “retrospective journeys” into the history, political analogies and so on. It is impossible for one to stay apathetic. Anyhow, subject to that many replications, this or that viewpoint will stir you – even if it does not come out as a strong desire to go the barricades yet in some “slight” revision of one’s affective evaluations, points of view or even one’s mood only. Shutting yourself off and pretending this to be not the concern of yours is impossible. Mere repression of the problem will simply result in emergence of new symptoms, additional anxiety or something else of the kind. And the whole of this informational foam made me think that it is not for nothing that Patanjali has put Abhyasa and Vairagya into line and it is for a reason that he has linked Vairagya with Samprajnya.  

Vairagya does not come as a once only achieved state of “indifference”. This is a continuous process, an exercise (abhyasa), an even more painstaking structuring of one’s psyche, is adaptation to yet more complex and sophisticated involving factors. One can escape his involvement into manipulation only in case of total awareness about the methods of this manipulation and subject to having rather well-developed chakras that can “digest“ corresponding energies.

For instance, metaphors and labels cease operating when you can easily operate with metaphors of the corresponding mythological level; the tricks related to Anahata no longer work in case you reject your own emotional stereotypes; the “Ajna-based” verifications come to naught when you see the defects of your own thinking that become the soft spots of your intellectual fortress. And here just the fact of understanding that you are manipulated does not change anything and does not protect you from anything [2]. It is only total Samprajnya, i.e. the exhaustive comprehension of the manipulation method and instrument, that gives the soundness. And from this point the situation now is understood as a truly training one that tempers the mind and enables making one’s intelligence even more sharp by means of practicing Vairagya. The method is very simple. If you are aware that after all you have been “got to” it means that you have some topical omission in respect of some chakra. And the only way to eliminate the vritti that you’ve been absorbed by is by finding and refining this aspect, and not by switching off the TV and trying to forget the things said.

We have been talking about manipulations in respect of the upper chakras, but the same refers to the lower ones. For instance, we have become scared least the war starts. The mass-media are good in playing up the topic. We wish it didn’t start. One may say “no, everything will be OK”. Or go pray for it (no smiles from me here – someone might think I thus offend their religious feelings). Or try to repress this fear. Yetthe fear will not go. It exists because you understand that you have not prepared for this scenario: inmaterial, emotional and intellectual aspects.

You have not decided how and where to you will run, how you will hide your valuables, you don’t keep stashes thatare valid in critical situations; you have no action plans, you don’t know how to maintain contacts with your relatives (without mobile connection); you are not able to survive without potable water and power supply and you don’t know how to give yourself first medical aid in case you are wounded or raped (yes, I mean this). Maybe you don’t even have a travelling passport so that you could leave abroad in a normal way (and in advance). Hence comes the anxiety. And the anxiety shall not leave until you do everything in order to prepare yourself to such a scenario. Because the ill-preparedness destroys one not only when the situation has already occurred. It is always destructive due to its being a point of tenderness that they can ground upon when eventually manipulating you. This refers to every chakra.

That is why I suggest that we use this situation forthe purpose that it has been actually given us for – forinner consolidation, for better understanding of one’s individual faults and omissions. So that the formation of comfortable (genuinely comfortable!!) existing in the occurred situation will show that the spiritual practice makes a good progress.


[1] For those who don’t know – this is a quotation from V. Pelevin’s “Hermit and Sixfinger”

[2] Even on the contrary – it sometimes compounds the matters, like it happens to different conspiracy theorists who “understand” that they are “managed” by someone but it gives them nothing but despair and paranoia.