This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
               Title   -  Sadhak and Sathi
               Author  -  Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)

                              CHAPTER  12



      Detachment means true knowledge of the objects of the world
      through right vision.  This realistic knowledge brings the
      power to differentiate between the self and the non-self.  An
      aspirant (Sadhaka) who realizes such vision and discriminative
      power, experiences no attachment towards worldly objects and
      gradually attains to equanimity and complete detachment.

      Looking from one point of view, detachment is easy to
      accomplish, while from another point of view, it is difficult to
      acquire.  It is easy because one has to recognize one's own true
      self and nature as it really is and in this recognition, no
      other external agencies can possibly interfere; no one can hide
      it from one's true self, Atma.

      Now looking from the other angle, it is difficult to acquire
      because in the normal course, the desire for attaining truth and
      its preparation usually arise in later years of life.

      As the Sadhaka has remained acquainted throughout the early
      years of life with false and perverse beliefs and practices, it
      becomes difficult for him to accomplish and accommodate
      different beliefs and practices.  Just as it is difficult to
      prepare the background of any new activity, so is also the case
      in the practice (Sadhana) of detachment.

      However one has to face and get over the evil effects of the
      psychic influences of countless previous births and has to
      implant new psychic effects of "Sat" (truth) and "Atma" (soul)
      during the newly acquired mode of life.  This, indeed, is not

      Three stages of the success of detachment may be recognized
      from the aspirant's point of view.

           1. Detachment in the state of one striving for liberation.

           2. Detachment coupled with self realization.

           3. The detachment of the enlightened and seclusive


      Just as the Sadhaka who has acquired knowledge of the self,
      travels on the path of liberation, the same way one who desires
      detachment also travels on the path of liberation with the help
      from true saints.  He regularly propitiates right faith.

      He can accelerate his pace of progress on the path of liberation
      when he remains in association with an inspiring and highly
      enlightened preceptor.  In this association, he is induced to
      practice nonattachment, remains active, and is regular in
      devotion and self-study.  He subdues his miseries and enhances
      his divine love for gods, spiritual masters, and religion.  Such
      a Sadhaka spends more time in the company of the noble and the
      virtuous aspirants.  He spends less time at his job, business,
      family, and bodily requirements.

      Furthermore, by developing moderation, contentment, simplicity,
      impartiality, humility, the practice of equal regard for all
      life, love and acknowledgement of virtues, regular food-habits,
      and allied virtues in life, he contemplates deeply on sublime
      teachings and practices the discrimination of the self and the
      non-self and thus tries to practice self-repose and meditation.


      The Sadhaka in this category has one great achievement to his
      credit.  He has annihilated all ignorance and illusions, as also
      the self-obscuring Karma through direct self-realization.  The
      feeling, therefore, that "I am Atman - the pure knower and the
      seer," is not a matter only of faith but also of direct
      experience.  He is delighted, his doubt are dissipated, he is
      pious and fearless, and he has attained to the state of
      self-realization which is his ultimate goal and abode of

      Though he is rich in several sublime virtues which have helped
      him in self- realization, he still pursues with due enthusiasm
      the attainment of omniscience - the highest achievement in the
      universe.  Glimpses of inner divinity are reflected in every
      aspect of his life but to visualize them truly, a high state of
      dispassion or a true inner knowledge conferred by an enlightened
      preceptor is essential.  Such a soul firmly continues to enhance
      his detachment day-by-day by accomplishing increasing
      discrimination and dispassion.


      This stage represents the culmination of genuine practice
      (Sadhana) of detachment.  Now that all the attachments to the
      worldly objects, to the family and even to one's own body have
      been severed completely, the time is ripe for the Sadhaka to be
      merged in the practice of transcendental meditation (Nirvikalpa

      As an external, concurrent, and collaborative means to achieve
      this end, the Sadhaka should devote to and find more time for
      silence (Mauna), stay in seclusion and meditation (Dhyana), in
      deep study and contemplation of the subtle realities, and in
      adopt a very simple life.  All these constitute the various
      traits of the Sadhaka of this status.  Out of utter compassion,
      this great man occasionally imparts his sublime teachings in the
      form of discourses or initiates worth spiritual seekers in the
      path of self-control and righteousness.  Only these supreme
      Sadhakas, by their own noble and firm efforts, attain to the
      Supreme State of Self-realization (Omniscience) in due course of


      1. The Sadhaka whose infatuation and attachment have been
         considerably reduced or calmed down is an enlightened soul
         (Jnani).  One whose infatuation and attachment are completely
         annihilated, is a person of absolute knowledge (Purna-Jnani)
         known as God the Supreme (Paramatma).

      2. Real peace and tranquility either in this life or in the life
         hereafter, will not be accomplished without annihilation of
         the veil of ignorance and delusion.

      3. One who is not at all influenced by infatuation and
         attachment, one whose mind is well-established in firm
         detachment, and one who is completely engrossed in the
         pursuit of the self, is himself the temple, the God, and the
      4. During the process of annihilation of infatuation, true
         divine bliss (Sahajananda) grows richer and richer.  The
         Sadhaka who seeks this bliss of the self should become
         adventurous enough to destroy the army of infatuation with
         his great efforts.

      5. Countless virtues of the nature of Supreme Reality develop in
         the life of the great Sadhaka, whose infatuation is
         thoroughly annihilated.  These virtues are contentment,
         humility, forgiveness, austerity, detachment, celibacy, love
         of seclusion, and compassion towards all living beings in the

      6. In the first stage, one should cultivate virtues like
         detachment to worldly attractions, simplicity, obedience to
         the great saints, good thoughts, compassion and gentleness.
         In further stages of development, one should have control of
         the mind and various senses, with the inclination towards
         virtuous acts, evanescence of worldly pursuits, and supremacy
         of the divine self above everything else - all these should
         be accomplished.

      7. One should conquer infatuation through attainment of
         self-realization.  Such a one, who realizes that pure
         knowledge is the essence of self-Atman, is the real monk, and
         he alone has really conquered infatuation.



      Shree Ramatanu Lahiri, who lived during nineteenth century,  was
      a great learned man in the state of Bengal, India. His life
      was full of simplicity and contentment.  He remained thoroughly
      engrossed in truthfulness and regular meditation of soul.  Once
      in a week, on a fixed day, a religion discussion and the singing
      of devotional songs were held at his residence with other
      aspirants.  This is known as Satsanga.

      His eldest son was very bright and used to win scholarships and
      prizes every year.

      Unfortunately, he died in his early age, while he was in college
      studying for a graduate degree.  This was the day of Satsang for
      Panditji.  His son's dead body was still in the room and
      religious people arrived for the weekly program.  Just as one
      member was entering the room, Panditji said, "Today, Satsanga
      will be held in another room.  My son's dead body lies in this

      The members were simply aghast but Panditji said, "It is time
      for our program.  Let us commence the benediction."

      As the program ended, the last rites of the son were performed.
      No one who looked at the face of Panditji could guess that his
      son had just died.

      This is the reward of real Sadhana.  The less the attachments
      to the family, friends and worldly objects, the higher the
      success in the spiritual life (Sadhana).


      In the year 1952, a Jain monk known as Acharya Shantisagar
      Maharaj was at the city Dahingaum in the state of Maharashtra,
      India.  His leg was injured by a nail.  As his wound was being
      dressed, despite the pain the Acharya remained calm.  He
      used to say, "The body, the disease, and the spirit (soul or
      Atma) all perform their own functions independently."

      Discrimination was his all in all - the motto of his life.
      While the wound was being healed, he took the great vow of

      In Jainism, Sallekhana means to end the life voluntarily by
      giving up all attachments and aversions along with food and
      water and remain in meditation until death. This is one of
      the way a person attains divine-death (Samadhi-maran).

      During Sallekhana, Acharya-shri lived for thirty four days, but
      not even once he sigh from grief and distress!

      Such great men have developed non-attachment not only towards
      all worldly objects, but even their own body.  we learn this
      from such surprising events of their life.


      This is an event which is about 125 years old.

      One night there was a full-moon and near the bank of the river
      Ganges, a small boat was moving on the river.  There was only
      one passenger with the boatman.  The boatman was tired of work
      after a long day.  The passenger said, "Well friend, rest for a
      while.  We will proceed further after some time."  The boatman
      was tired agreed and rested for a while.

      The passenger strolled on the bank.  After some time he saw
      something lying on the ground.  He ran to the boat and said,
      "Move the boat on quickly!"

      "What are you afraid of?" asked the boatman.

      "Get the boat moving!  I shall explain later," replied the

      The boat moved away to some distance.  The boatman said, "Now
      tell me what were you afraid of.  What did you see?"

      The passenger explained, "As I was walking  on the bank I saw a
      bag full of money.  I observed it closely and my mind felt
      covetous.  I therefore ran away from it and approached you.  How
      can I, an ordinary man, subject myself to covetousness and grab
      anything not for my own?  I therefore ran away with firm

      The boatman simply stared at the passenger in all amazement.
      This passenger was Dindayal whose son Shree Naga lived his
      whole life as a pupil of Shree Ramkrishna Paramahansa, who was a
      great self realized person of the recent time. They lived near
      Calcutta in the state of Bengal.

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