Bhaagvat Puraan | Notes
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Abstinence from fondness from pleasures and worldly things. This term denotes renunciation of worldly possessions and the sources of sense pleasures. Many sects advocate Vairaagya as the prerequisite of reaching Bhagavaan, such as Shankaraachaarya sect, Buddhists, Jains. the members of these schools of thought have been very vocal and have spread this message in such strong terms that common Hindu have come to believe that this is the main preaching of the Hindu Dharm. It is necessary to remove this misinformation.
The Ved, which are the ultimate source of guidance to the Hindu, do not preach Vairaagya. The Upanishad and the Bhagvad Geetaa do not preach it. The Raamaayan and Bhaagvat do not preach it. The Dharm Shaastra do not preach it. Truly, therefore, the whole set of Hindu scriptures does not preach Vairaagya.
Vairaagya should not be confused with Sanyaas. They are not the same. A Sanyasee does not cease to be interested in the world. Instead of spending his time on earning the needs of his family, he spends all of his time serving the community. While Vairaagya makes a man disinterested in the world.
Another similar word of confusion is Tap. Tap, whether worldly or spiritual requires a concerted effort on the part of the undertaker. It involves hard work and may cause physical suffering too. Tap is undertaken in order to achieve a goal and in this sense, it is in direct opposition to the principle of Vairaagya.
[from "The Aangiras Dictionary of the Hindu Religion and Culture"]
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11