He did not consider any such activity as ‘viragya’. What was the nature of his ‘viragya’? Man becomes slave to the pleasure of the desires for tasteful things, intoxicants, wealth and property, name and fame, sexual
indulgence, home and children. He becomes slave to passions of jealousy and vindictiveness. All such slavery causes man physical and mental suffering. Again, out of ignorance man grows so deep an attachment to persons and things which are so pleasurable to him that hew gets avoidable suffering by separation from them. Sometimes he suffers so terribly from such separation that on finding it unbearable he goes to the extent of committing suicide. For my Guru, ‘vairagya’ consisted in developing sufficient awakening to such slavery to get freedom from them. That is, one should become capable of developing the feeling of
‘vairagya’ which frees one from such slavery or bondage. For it is by developing sufficient aversion or ‘vairagya’ against such bondages that one can get freedom from them, not otherwise. When one develops this great feeling of ‘vairagya’ one can become a ‘vairagi’ inspite of being a house holder.
Bereft of this true feeling of ‘vairagya’, even when a person walks out of hearth and home, dressed in ochre coloured clothes with a ‘karmandal’ and a stick in hand and baptises himself as a ‘sadhu’ or ‘sannyasi’, he does not become a true ‘vairagi’. He remains in various ways attached to the world of things. *- Devatma -*
The kind of ‘vairagya’ or non-attachment that my Guru taught me and which he practised in his life, did not necessitate the giving up of the house-holder’s life or undergoing a physical discipline like fasting. My Guru was a householder. Besides his own wife and children, he had a big family of several relatives. He worked at a job and thus looked after the maintenance of all the members of his family. He thought it extremely contemptible to give up the householder’s life and beg and depend on others’ earnings, or to take to delicious foods and drinks, or to take to useless journeys to visit places of pilgrimage and to take bath there; to waste time at the cost of doing one’s duty to others; or to recite some mantras or hymns or read some book and call oneself ‘sadhu’ or ‘sannyasi’.