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Detachment leads to Self-Realization

Once you are free of attachment to the sense objects, then the sense organs will no longer be able to bind your mind. A mind unencumbered by the senses becomes pure and transparent. It no longer imposes its covering influence over the atma. When the veil of the mind dissolves, your true self becomes aware of itself. Then you are immersed in the unity of all existence and enjoy the bliss which is your true nature. The Gita has taught that non-attachment is crucial for realizing your true self. That true self is the one supreme self.

Detachment or non-attachment has also been emphasized in the yoga classic of Patanjali, a great seer of ancient India. He taught that detachment is the natural property of a mind which remains unswayed by the sense organs and the objects which attract them. Such a mind, being free from the slavery of the sense organs and sense objects, is pure and unaffected by delusion. You gain a pure mind when you see all the objects of this world as transient and changing. The ancient wisdom teachings have declared that from the lowest creature in the phenomenal world to the highest, right up to the heavenly beings, everything is ephemeral and undergoing change. Knowing this, you should relinquish all attachments to sense objects. Any attachment will gradually but steadily lead to bondage.

Just as removing the firewood from the fire automatically extinguished the flame, removing the sense objects from the senses automatically renders them impotent. The wisdom teachings have stressed in a most forceful way that only that person who does not care for anything less than full realization of the supreme self, is a person of true renunciation. Neither objects of the world nor even the heavenly abode of the Lord could sway him from his one-pointed focus.

There is a story related in one of the ancient wisdom teachings about a very wise young boy, who, because of an oath made by his father, found himself in the realm of death. The god of death tried to win over the boy. He said to him, "I will give you complete mastery and lordship over all the wealth and all the power of the world, and I will give you all the pleasures of the heavenly world." But the boy replied, "This world and all the worlds beyond are but transient; they will not last. I do not want anything to do with that which comes and goes. I only want to have the vision of the supreme self. I want to realize the ultimate truth, that which never changes. The world with its bondage and all the sorrow that goes with it is for the person who is swayed by the objects of the senses. They do not interest me in the least."