Give up’ ,’renounce’ , ‘let go’ or ‘detach’. So often are these instructions heard. The scriptures are never tired of repeating them. But how?

Firstly, you can give up only that which belongs to you. Truly, does anything belong to us? It was found here , and we shall leave it here. So it is just the mental attachment that we are asked to give up. Attachment to anything binds you to that object, person , place or even an idea or an emotion. You become a hapless shareholder in the destiny of whatever you are attached to.

Experts on the science of the mind tell us that attachment is the natural tendency of the mind. As long as you have a mind it will attach itself to something , you cannot fight that. Thoughts spread their octopus like tentacles around things and we are suffocatingly bound.

So, is there no way out? Swami Chinmayanandaji ‘s advice was simple : “Attach to Detach.” Go with the mind but let it associate with the higher and the nobler . Only when the mind is fascinated by a much greater and rarer joy will it drop the lower. A mountaineer has to first plant his foot firmly on a higher rock before he can ‘detach’ his lower foot.

Similarly the mind can not lift itself from the baser, the sensual, till it discovers the bliss of spiritual heights. The search for the higher brings about a dissatisfaction with the lower,only then the mind willingly gives up its love affair with the baser, to revel in the rarified divine bliss.

This great change, is not a revolution but an evolution. It happens over painstaking self effort to lift yourself by yourself. Slowly the mind loosens its grip on the sensuous to reach a higher level. Therefore the master trick is, to attach to detach.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi can be contacted at


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