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Read more about Detachment from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What is Detachment?

Detachment means standing back with part of the consciousness and observing what is being done without being involved in it. It is to have the soul free from craving and attachment. It is to be rid of "I-ness" and "my-ness" so as to live in the one Self and act in the one Self. [1] [2]

Why Practice Detachment?

Detachment is the beginning of mastery, but for complete mastery there should be no reactions at all. When there is something within undisturbed by the reactions that means the inner being is free and master of itself. [3]

Through detachment, one becomes a spectator of one’s actions. One does not flow with the emotions and reactions but stays above it. For example, if one you identifies oneself with a movement of anger and one’s whole being becomes one angry vibration, blind and precipitate, oblivious of everything else. It is only when one can stand back, remain detached in the midst of the passionate turmoil that one is able to see the process with a knowing eye. [4]

The pratice of detachment will make one live in a consciousness above above pain and pleasure, suffering and happiness, enthusiasm and depression. Hence one tastes the delight of the divine consciousness. [5]

Detachment allows to reach a level of perfection, where nothing interferes with the freedom of the soul or draws it away from its urge towards the Self or its poise in the Self. [6]

How to Practice Detachment?

To be able to organise and carry out everything with utmost care and attention and yet remain free from all desire and attachment. [7]

Simply this attitude: when a thing comes to you, to take it, use it; when for one reason or another it goes away, to let it go and not regret it. Not to refuse it when it comes, to know how to adapt yourself and not to regret it when it goes. [8]

A moment comes when one must absolutely separate oneself from all this [darkness and stupidity and wrong movements], because only when one has separated oneself and become quite conscious that one is there that one is THAT, only then can one come down again to change it all. Not to forsake it, but to be its master. [9]

When one wants to detach oneself from something, from a certain movement or activity or state of consciousness, this is the most effective method; one steps back a little, watches the thing like that, as one would watch a scene in a play, and one doesn't intervene. And a moment later, the thing doesn't concern you any longer, it is something which takes place outside you. [10]

Witness means an observer, someone who looks on and does not act himself. So, when the mind is very quiet, one can withdraw a little in this way from circumstances and look at things as though he were a witness, a spectator, and not participating in the action himself. This gives you a great detachment, a great quietude, and also a very precise see of the value of things, because it cuts the attachment to action. [11]

One can get rid of all attachments by realising that we are so little in the eternity of things. What we give so much importance to is not even a second in eternity. We must move out of the “I-ness” and “My-ness” and widen ourselves. [12]

Detachment in Daily Life

For so long as we work with attachment to the result, the sacrifice is offered not to the Divine, but to our ego. [13]

But for one who follows the path of action, to create in himself this complete detachment from the fruit of action, to act because this is what must be done, to do it in the best possible way, and not to be anxious about the consequences, to leave the consequences to a Will higher than his own. [14]

To become indifferent to the attraction of outer objects. This non-attachment liberates the inner being into peace and the true consciousness. It is only when one sees the Divine in all things that objects get a value for the Yoga, but even then not for their own sake or as objects of desire, but for the sake of the Divine within and as a means of the divine work and manifestation. [15]

It is not by abstaining from food that you can make a spiritual progress. It is by being free, not only from all attachment and all desire and preoccupation with food, but even from all need for it; by being in the state in which all these things are so foreign to your consciousness that they have no place there. [16]

One must arrive at a complete separation of one’s consciousness from these feelings of the body and its acceptance of illness and from that separated consciousness act upon the body. It is only so that these things can be got rid of or at least neutralised. [17]

Read more about Detachment from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.