Principles and practice of yoga – Vairagya

Dispassion – Vairagya – is said to be discrimination between the real and unreal.
From ‘How to get Vairagya’ by Sri Swami Sivananda

In my life dispassion is useful for observing my own actions. Without dispassion in the matter of observing my own behavior,  in particular the behaviors that do not adhere to the yamas and niyamas, but also the virtuous deeds that are done with some reward in mind,  it would be easy to say there is no point in going further,  this impoverished soul of mine has lost its path on the way to redemption. Dispassion allows me to see that I too am human,  neither devil nor saint,  but both in one, and yet I do not have to become paralyzed or demoralized by my own ignorance and misdeeds, or super-inflated by my good ones.

As I understand it in my life, dispassion is not an excuse, but an acceptance of what is. It is not a judgment or lack thereof,  but a discrimination,  that sees neither ‘good’ nor ‘evil’ but what is there. What is there in every human (my guess, and true for me) is a great capacity for good and evil,  for ignorance and enlightenment, for stormy emotions and calm acceptance. Developing discrimination, or dispassion, allows me acceptance of the totality, the oneness, that would have profound evil exist in me, side by side with profound goodness. Without dispassion I would give in to the lazy side of my spirit, become hopeless, and accept my lower self as if that is all that has been given in this life. In doing so at times, I have seen that this is a dishonor of the perfection of life,  the balance of life,  my own goodness, and a dishonor to the spiritual heights that are possible for a soul with a sincere intent and willing faith.

With the practice of dispassion, I can continue on my path, noting my behaviors, reflecting on their source,  and still choose to tread on the path of enlightenment.

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