by Baba Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari

Sunflower_OM-TimesRecently I was asked this question:

How does one best practice both detachment and active compassion? Like with one’s friends and children? How do you know when to give guidance or advice and when to let them go, to make their own mistakes?

All human souls in this world are bound by the fetters of attachment. Your strongest emotional bonds are with the ones who have come closest to your heart in your relationships and those with whom you have lived for a longer time. Physical distance at times only enhances the pang of separation.

For example, parents are naturally attached to their children and most of the time they are either prayerful or worried about their children and their future. No mother or father can rise above this whether they live close to the child or at a distance. Parents always have the most unconditional love for their children. But it is sometimes hard to differentiate between unhealthy attachment and unconditional love.

Do you know what attachment is? Do you know what love is?

Attachment is unconsciousness. The ego acts like an octopus, clinging to anything it believes is needed for its survival and pleasure. Attachment is the manifestation of the ego, your false self, as it tries to confine life to its own concepts and desires. When you love someone with conditions and expectations, your love is limited, rooted in attachment, which is the root of all miseries. Love is not meant to bring miseries; it is meant to expand our life to infinite joy.

Ego gives birth to attachment. Attachment gives birth to clinging, which inevitably gives birth to pain and suffering. Love is the naturalness of your Spirit, eternally within you, living in the flow of Universe. Ego obstructs that flow with its created attachments.

Ego is the separator. It divides and separates us from the other. This is the root ignorance, our sense of separation. As a result we are separated from our own Being, our true Self, our family and friends, and also the rest of the Universe.

It is only when the realization dawns that ego is causing all the fears and frustrations that you also come to know that it is your attachments to various persons and what you think is best for them that causes lots of your frustrations. All pains in life are due to deep attachment, which again is born out of the ignorance of the true nature of love.

Love, at its essence, transforms the egoist instinct of attachment into a detached state of spiritual flowering.

Love, love, only love can open the gates to the world of divine light where lies the release of the mind from all its entanglements and attachments. The more your mind levitates toward the Higher Truth of Light and Love, the more you get detached as a natural consequence of this elevated wisdom.

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