The Essence of the Gita
Extract from the book Baghavad Gita of Swami Sivananda
The Gita again and again emphasises that one should cultivate an attitude of non-attachment or detachment. It urges repeatedly that an individual should live in the world like water on a lotus leaf.
“He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water”
Bhagavad Gita Ch.V V.10.
Attachment is due to infatuation. It is the offspring of the quality (guna) of Rajas*. Detachment is born of Sattva. The former is a demoniacal attribute, the latter a divine one. Attachment is born of ignorance, selfishness and passion and brings with it death; detachment is wisdom and brings with it freedom. The practice of detachment is a rigorous discipline. You may stumble like a baby who is just learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a cheerful heart. Failures are not stumbling-blocks but steppingstones to success.
Try to dwell always in your own Self. Abide in your centre. Think of the Self constantly. Then all attachments will die automatically. Attachment to the Lord is a potent antidote to annihilate all worldly attachments. He who has no attachments can really love others, for his love is pure and divine.
“Therefore, without attachment do thou always perform action which should be done; for, by performing action without attachment man reaches the Supreme”
Bhagavad Gita Ch.III V.19.