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Home » Blog » Vairagya: Hindu Art of Detachment

Almost everything is laced with philosophy. We all have philosophies that guide our motivations and how we spend our days. Everyone has their own personal philosophy of life, and every organisation has one as well. There is a philosophy for a president, another for a company leader, but for the most part, our ideologies are unexamined, unconscious, and primitive.

Philosophy has always been the practise of testing intuition’ automatic justifications and asking, “Is this wise?” Is the search for the meaning of existence worthwhile, or is it just a futile effort, like why do we have to be born in the first place? Is this all logical?

Philosophy, as enigmatic as it may appear, refers to everyday life and is not limited to existential issues. The importance of philosophies in life can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, ranging from our everyday understanding to ethical dilemmas and even the entire social system.

Many coaching notions are derived from and firmly anchored in previous beliefs. Vairagya: Hindu Art of Detachment is one of them, which we shall go over in depth today.

Before we go further this is the question we want you to follow while reading the article: do you know yourself well enough to know your basic principles, coaching tactics, and personal beliefs?

What is Vairagya?

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached. ”

― Simone Weil

In today’s hectic and over-connected world, “Vairagya,” an ancient Indian discipline of Detachment, is quite interesting and valuable.

The Sanskrit word vairagya means “detachment.” It’s a state of being unattached to the tangible world. It can also be characterised as a mental state of mind in which all attachments to the materialistic world are released. Vairagya is also related to letting go of feelings like pride, ego, aversion, inferiority and superiority complexes, false identities, and fear.

Detachment (vairagya) is very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Detachment refers to a lack of physical or mental attachment to the objects of the world, as well as to your own mind and body, as well as to your accomplishments, traits, renown, name, and status.

Attachment to stuff obstructs your thoughts and causes you to miss crucial life facts. When you become connected, you lose your equilibrium and seek for things that can injure you physically and spiritually, as well as obstruct your success and advancement. Every habit you develop is nothing more than an intense type of connection. Anything you care about, whether it’s a person, a profession, a church, a state, or a situation, is an attachment. Collectively they bind you to this world and make your life a great struggle as you cannot easily let go of things and move on. 

The Relevance of Vairagya for Mental Health

Many people who are engrossed in worldly pursuits are unaware that they are enslaved by attachments. They don’t view it as an issue because liking or disliking things in the world seems so normal to them. Those who are only faintly aware of it may believe it is nothing to be concerned about. Detachment conjures up ideas of sadhus and sanyasis who have rejected the world and live an ascetic life for many people. It never occurs to them that practising detachment can provide them with wings to fly freely in this troubled world.

“Attachment hurts you, detachment heals you back. At the end of the cycle, you are no longer the same person. This entire cyclic process is love. It evolves you. Attachment alone is not love.”

― Shunya

Detachment is, indeed, the cornerstone for spiritual existence. You won’t get very far on the path to emancipation until you cultivate it. You can create sameness toward both pleasant and negative elements of life and avoid unneeded tension by practising detachment. You have no control over what occurs to you, but you do have control over how you respond to it. Detachment can play a key part in making that choice.

You can use detachment to moderate your expectations and insulate yourself from the emotional effects of setbacks and failures in both your personal and professional lives. It will also assist you in thinking clearly and making better judgments by removing worry and anxiety from your mind. You can also increase your chances of success by concentrating on your own performance rather than the results. Most importantly, detachment allows you to keep an open mind and learn swiftly from your mistakes.

As a result, if you want to be at ease, learn to let go of things. Do not cling to your relationships or over-involve yourself in them. In your relationships, it’s always advisable to preserve a little distance and offer people some breathing room. Do everything necessary to achieve your objectives, regardless of what may or may not occur. Concentrate on your tasks, what has to be done and how it can be accomplished, and give it your all, leaving the outcome to God, the Supreme Self. Taking things lightly, not taking life too seriously, and letting go are three crucial beginner’s steps that can help you maintain control over your emotions, life, and relationships.

Meaning of Detachment in a Coach’s Vocabulary

The ultimate contradiction of life is revealed by detachment: in order to get anything, you must lose your attachment to it. You can more readily detach when you know that the only true source of security is living as your authentic self. But, when we talk of detachment as a coach or in a coaching setting, what precisely do we mean?

Because there is no attachment to the outcome, true detachment allows for genuine involvement. You can feel that an object, a goal, a desire, or another person has become a part of your identity when you are attached to it.

This creates feelings including:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Fear
  3. Anger
  4. Jealousy
  5. Hopelessness
  6. Sadness
  7. Disconnection
  8. Pride
  9. Vanity

As a coach, you are in an unusually liberated position. You have the luxury of being concerned about the client’s final outcome and yet not be attached to it. It makes no difference. You want the client to get a conclusion that will make a positive difference in their life, whether it’s more clarity or a practical solution, but you’re not committed to any one path.

For the benefit of both the client and the coach, compassionate detachment should be practised.

“Compassionate detachment is respecting our client’s power enough to not rescue them while extending loving compassion to them in the present moment. Simultaneously compassionate detachment is also respecting ourselves enough to not take the client’s challenges as our own and realizing that to do so serves good purpose for no one.” 

-Michael Arloski

Giving ourselves permission to defend ourselves is also part of compassionate detachment. It’s difficult to be in close contact to other people’s suffering. This has led to speculations regarding why dentists have such high suicide rates. Compassionate detachment also entails being unconcerned about the outcome. We want the best for our clients and will work hard to achieve that goal, but in the course of achieving a better life, we relinquish control over where and how they travel. Their judgment is their choice, not ours.

Compassionate detachment does not imply a separation from our client. It’s not about intellectually, emotionally, or physically numbing oneself. It’s not about treating our customers in a cold, indifferent manner. That’s just detachment on its own, and it’s more of a sign of burnout than of a successful job as a coach, therapist, or other human assistance.

Compassion is only possible because of intimacy. We will stay back when we are afraid of being too close. Because we are afraid of connecting with our own feelings, we will have less empathy. Being centred enough in ourselves, at ease enough in our own hearts, to be profoundly present with our clients in their suffering and joy is what compassionate detachment entails.

The coach must become emotionally attached to the client by listening to him and empathising with him. Detach yourself from your emotional state and be in a condition of regulated emotions with a stable mind, listening to not just what the client says but also what he or she implies. The coach can only move forward with the client if he or she is in this state. This is the empowering process.

The power is in the transformation which will take place at the end.

If you want more blogs centring philosophy and real-life relevance, write to us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of Vairagya?

Vairagya is a Sanskrit word that signifies “detachment.” It’s a state of being disconnected from the physical world. It is a mental condition in which all attachments to the materialistic world are removed.

What is the meaning of detachment?

A lack of physical or mental attachment to the objects of the world, as well as to your own mind and body, accomplishments, qualities, reputation, name, and status, is referred to as detachment.

What is the relevance of Vairagya in Mental Health?

In both your personal and professional lives, detachment may help you manage your expectations and protect yourself from the emotional impacts of setbacks and failures. It will also help you think more clearly and make better decisions by reducing fear and worry from your thoughts.

What does coaching with detachment mean?

As a coach, you have an uncommon amount of freedom. You have the luxury of caring about the client’s final result while being detached from it. It doesn’t make any difference. You want the client to attain a result that will improve their life, whether it’s more clarity or a practical solution, but you’re not wedded to one road over another.

Does Compassionate detachment imply a separation from the client?

Compassionate detachment does not indicate that we are no longer in contact with our customers. It’s not about numbing oneself intellectually, emotionally, or physically. It’s not about being cold and uncaring to our customers.