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Attachments To Worldly Things

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Hi All,

Hope you are well. I was born into a Sikh family and I have lately taken an interest into the Sikh philosophy. I have been reading and listening to Gurbani and find it so soothing. I wanted to ask how can you detach yourselves from family, children, friends etc as this is what is mentioned in Gurbani (in a nutshell).

I have a young baby and think to myself...this is too difficult. How can you manage that?


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It seems like you've misunderstood the meaning of detachment. Gurbani is not asking to stop loving. Gurbani is asking to stop loving selfishlessly. There is a diffference in love and attachment.

Attachment is the mother of all miseries. It is one of the 7 negative emotions of the mind. It arises when one has something and he becomes attached to it by identifying himself with it. Possessing anything is very dangerous because it creates attachment. There is nothing that is really yours. You become attached to things and people, and you think that they are yours, but they never belong to you.

There is a difference in attachment and love. Attachment is selfish; love is selfless. Attachment brings bondage; love gives freedom. Attachment contracts consciousness; love expands it. Attachment becomes a source of torment; love becomes source of liberation. A relationship built on expectation can only bring misery; these days most of the relationship are attachments and not love. When Spiritual people asks about getting rid of attachment, they are not asking not to love or not to care; actually they are asking for unselfish love. In reality, getting rid of attachment is true unselfish love.

e.g When my work is done, if I say that I am going to carry the table home with me, the organization will say, “Stop! This is not yours. What is wrong with you? I'm just supposed to use it. I am not supposed to own it.

e.g You don’t know how to use the things of the world and you start owning them, that’s a serious problem. You are not enjoying the house, beautiful house in which you live. But you possess it, “My house, my house, my house.” And then becoming proud, you get intoxicated and then you get attached.

Non-attachment is like a fire that can burn the binding power (germination power) of past samskaras.Non-attachment and love are one and the same. Learn to love all the things of the world, just as means but don’t get attached to them. This is the secret—the philosophy of non-attachment. If you really want to enjoy life and be happy, learn to practice and understand the philosophy of non-attachment. The greatest happiness in life comes from giving.

All the things of the world belong to Providence. Please use them. Don’t try to own them. That’s a serious mistake that you are committing; something wrong with your thinking, something wrong with your behavior, something wrong with your understanding. So, there is a formula: all the things of the world can be used by you but please do not get attached, because they are not yours, they are given to you.

"What you own today was not yours yesterday and will not be yours tomorrow. It does not and will not belong to anyone. You consider it your own and rejoice. This happiness of possession leads you to utter grief. Don't seek to possess things."

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