Lesson 3 - Importance of practice and detachment

In Lesson 2 you learnt the classification of mind patterns. In this lesson you will understand the importance of Yogic practice or Sadhana and detachment in controlling the five fold mind patterns and attaining Samadhi.

The mind is always under the influence of three gunas and hence fluctuating at all the times. The mind can be made standstill by two core means:

  • Consistent Yoga practice or Sadhana
  • Detachment

It is very important for a Yoga student to understand that the state of Samadhi can not be achieved with few month's practice. One must continue practice for years or even lives together. Many people begin their Yoga practice with great enthusiasm. However, after a  while become inconsistent. They get occupied with inertia towards their practice. Their personal and professional life starts getting higher priority than Yoga. They start skipping the practice. Such inconsistent practice will yield you nothing. Sometimes after practicing Yoga for few years the practitioners feel that they are not getting any fruits of their practice and then they give up. Such attitude must be banished at once. You should be ready to practice until the final goal of Samadhi is not attained. Do not let anything else to stop you. Be regular and determined towards your practice.

Another important factor that helps to attain Samadhi is detachment. Detachment refers to becoming free from material pleasures and sense objects. All of us have tendency to cling to material world. Family, friends, money, luxuries, prestige, fame and what not. We often run behind one or the other material pleasure thinking that it will bring us happiness. However, pleasure without sorrow simply doesn't exists. For example if you are wearing a new diamond necklace then along with the pleasure of looking beautiful you also get a free gift of sorrow arising from the theft of the necklace. This exists for each and every material thing. Thus the only way to avoid sorrow is to remain detached from the concerned objects.

You might be wondering as to why to remain detached? The reason is that if you engage yourself in the constant play of pleasure and sorrow then you will never be able to concentrate on your practice. Each pleasure or sorrow will give birth to enormous amount of mind patterns. How can such mind be standstill? That's why you need to adopt detachment.

Many people wrongly interpret detachment as abandoning the normal life and going into forest. That's not true. In order to practice true detachment one must understand Karma Yoga. As per Karma Yoga we all have right to do karma or work but we do not have right to demand the fruits of our work. Let the God decide about the fruits. Once you adopt such attitude in whatever you do in your life then detachment comes naturally. Then you don't crave for material pleasures.

You will find that there are many people who read and study about Yoga but some make progress sooner whereas some don't seem to progress at all. Why such difference when all have studied the same principals? The answer to this question lies in the intensity with which one practices Yoga. Your progress is directly proportional to the intensity of your practice. The intensity can be categorized as mild, medium and strong. The stronger your desire for self-realization the quicker your progress will be.

Just to summarize this lesson:

  • Constant practice and detachment are essential for attaining the state of Samadhi
  • Yoga must be practiced regularly and persistently
  • Unless you detach yourself from the material objects you can not stop patterns arising in the mind
  • To detach yourself from the material world one must adopt Karma Yoga
  • Your progress is directly proportional to the intensity of your practice

May the Peace be with you.

Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant and trainer by profession specializing in Microsoft web development technologies. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he is also a yoga mentor, meditation teacher, and spiritual guide to his students. He is a prolific author and writes regularly about software development and yoga on his websites. He is programming, meditating, writing, and teaching for over 27 years. To read more about him go here. More details about his Kriya and Meditation online course are available here.

Posted On : 15 September 2006

Tags : Yoga Patanjali Raja Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Meditation Courses