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Achieving God’s State of Unattached Spectatorship


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Achieving God’s State of Unattached Spectatorship


[Nikhil expressed the difficulty in keeping one’s attention focused on God. It is common for a seeker to get distracted by the world and get attached to it.]



The case of Gopikas is that of the final stage of sadhana (spiritual effort). They were able to focus their attention on God and disregard the world. It is called siddhi (successful attainment). However, sadhakas (seekers) have to go through all the earlier stages, where they can get distracted by the world. When selfishness enters one’s mind, one falls from the state of pure (selfless) devotion. But, in spite of these failures, one must repeatedly practice turning to God again. The Gopikas were sages in their past birth. They too had gone through all these stages earlier. Turning to God means developing attachment to God. Attachment to God will automatically reduce the attachment to the world. It is not necessary to forcibly detach from the world. Such forcible detachment is worthless and it will never be permanent either. In fact, one should not try to do it. Forcible detachment is going on the path of becoming an Avadhuta. This is certainly not the goal. One should taste divine nectar (Amritam). The attachment to coffee or any other worldly drink will automatically vanish. There is no need to take any special effort to forcibly develop detachment from coffee. One should take efforts to develop attraction towards one’s studies; not forcibly abstain from watching the television. Thus, one’s effort should only be towards developing attachment to God. The weakening of the attachment to the world will be an automatic consequence. Attachment to God is called devotion. Prahlada never tried to detach from the world (Vairagya). He only developed devotion (Bhakti). His detachment towards the world was automatic. Thus, Vairagya is an automatic consequence of Bhakti.


Devotion is the product of knowledge. Without knowledge, there cannot be devotion. Jnana Yoga (path of knowledge) is the foundation of Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion). Therefore, Lord Krishna started preaching the Gita with the Sankhya Yoga (path of knowledge). Even Rukmini first got knowledge about Lord Krishna from sage Narada. That knowledge of the Lord automatically developed devotion for Him in her heart. Through knowledge, the devotion for God gradually increases in our heart. Proportionally, our attachment to the world also weakens. Bhakti or devotion automatically leads to practice (service). Service need not be considered as a separate step. It is the second part of devotion called as practical devotion. In fact, knowledge too is not different from devotion since it causes devotion. It can be said to be the causal factor or foundation for devotion. Thus, devotion encompasses all three knowledge, which is the foundation for devotion

devotion itself, which is the strong determination in the mind service, which is practical devotion or the proof of one’s devotion.



Thus, Jnana Yoga (knowledge) and Karma Yoga (service) are included in Bhakti Yoga (devotion). The three steps of knowledge, devotion and service can be reclassified in any way as per one’s convenience. In fact, they are only one. Hence, Lord Krishna says that the one, who sees knowledge and action as one, is the true seer (Ekam Sankyam cha yogam cha… Gita). Knowledge and action (service) can be seen to be one in the intermediate step called devotion. The two merge in devotion. Turning towards God or developing attachment towards God means all these three. Sadhana, thus includes knowledge, devotion and service.


No doubt the sadhaka will slip and fall on this path of sadhana. But, he has to rise again taking the support of the rope of knowledge. The knowledge will again generate devotion to God. That devotion will be tested in the sadhaka’s ability to do practical service for the contemporary human incarnation of God. Thus, he has to proceed persistently. The state of continuous entertainment through unattached spectatorship is Paripurna Advaita (full and complete oneness with God) and it can be attained by such persistent effort. This is the state of the human incarnation of God. This state is even higher than the state of the Gopikas. This status is given to that soul, who has attained the grace of God through his spiritual effort (sadhana). God enters such a soul and he becomes a human incarnation of God Himself. Then, He can enjoy the world as a cinema without getting affected by it. He can enjoy like God because He has become God. This is Paripurna Advaita.

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