“Happiness is within,” “What is Vairagya?” “Miseries of mundane existence,” “Body,”“Woman,” “World,” “Essence of Vairagya-Satakam” and “Inspiring stories.”

In “Happiness is within,” I have emphasized that happiness which is the driving motive ofall human endeavours is not in the perishable objects of the world, but is within one’s own self andthat even the very little momentary pleasure you get from sensual enjoyments is but a reflection ofthe Atman Bliss only. Real and lasting happiness can be had only from God, or the Atman, whichshines in the chambers of your heart.

In the chapter entitled “What is Vairagya,” I have pointblank stated that Vairagya does notconsist in running away in home, shirking the duties and responsibilities of life but that it is purelyan internal state and that a man while living in the world amidst various luxuries may be a perfectlydispassionate soul. The chapter is for the sake of convenience and ease divided into thirteenheadings, all useful and interesting. The need for renunciation of desire as a means to liberationfrom bondage, varieties of Vairagya, its various stages, how to develop it, the path of renunciation,what Vairagya is and what it is not¾these and many other allied topics have been nicely handled.

“Miseries of mundane existence” is the inspiring title of the third chapter. It should be bornein mind that ignorance is the real cause of all misery and hence it should by all means be done awaywith and Self-Knowledge attained, if these miseries of mundane life are to come to an end. One mayeasily renounce wife, son and property, but to renounce name and fame is an extraordinary feat ofthe highest spirituality. To attain knowledge of Self such a degree of renunciation is indispensablynecessary. I have condemned building of Ashrams and making disciples with a reservation clausebecause this to me seems to be the prime cause of failure to attain the goal of Yoga practice in thecase of many a good aspirant nowadays.

Chapter four deals with “Body.” Attachment to body is the cause of misery and bondage andthis attachment is of course due to ignorance of the Reality. When attachment for one’s own bodycomes, then desire for sensual enjoyments, lust, anger, greed, worry, anxiety and innumerable othermiseries also come in its train. If this is cut at the root by negating the body and identifying one’sself with the supreme Self, then all miseries and sorrows will come to an end. Hence thecondemnation of attachment to the purely carnal; it is not pure, unselfish love. Hencecondemnation of such love is justified.

“World” is the title of the sixth chapter. Due to ignorance man believes that the world inwhich he lives is a solid reality and that there is nothing beyond it. He therefore wants to indulge inall sorts of sensual pleasures with a view to get happiness from them. Had he known that the worldin which he lives is unreal and that there is something else which is an embodiment of Happiness,realizing which one enjoys highest bliss, he would not do so. With a view to get happiness fromobjects, he undergoes severe pain, tortures and tribulations and yet he does not get the leastsatisfaction from them. I have tried to convince the reader that this world of names and forms isunreal, transitory and fleeting, that God, or the Atman alone is real and full of bliss and that heshould try to realize the Atman and get the happiness he wants from it.

In the next chapter entitled “Essence of Vairagya-Satakam” I have given in a nutshell thesum and substance of Bhartrihari’s century of verses which will be found very useful to those whocannot afford to obtain each and every book pertaining to Yoga or Vedanta.In chapter eight, entitled “Inspiring Stories,” the reader gets half a dozen thrilling andinspiring stories of great saints and Yogis of ancient India, which are calculated to produce deep

Vairagya in him, and it is my firm belief that a book on Vairagya like the present one has never beenpresented to the public as yet.

Prasnottari of Sri Sankaracharya is appended at the end, which will be a source of stronginducement to lead a life of dispassion in the world.

Swami Sivananda.


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