From Sacred Journey
By Swami Rama
Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
ATTACHMENT IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO REALIZATION
The greatest obstacle in the path of realization is attachment to the
body and to the objects of the world. This attachment makes us
slaves. It is because of our attachments that we experience fear of
death and loss. The more body-conscious and body-attached a person
is, the greater the fear of dying.
The same principle applies to people who are attached to the things
of the world, to their houses, property, clothing, jewelry, and
money. They fear losing those things because they somehow offer
meaning, identity, and worth. People also become very attached to
other people. The emotion they feel for others gives them an identity
and they fear giving up that identity in death. They fear the deaths
of those to whom they are attached for similar reasons. If one's
identity is somehow defined by attachment to others, the death of
others then affects that identity.
The solution is to do away with these attachments to the body,
property, possessions, and other people. This point cannot be made
often enough. Reducing and finally eliminating attachments does not
mean to escape life, to deny the enjoyment of life, or in any way to
diminish life's value. Just the opposite occurs. Life is enhanced,
enriched and expanded by reducing attachments. The person learns to
love and give and open up to others and to the events of the world.
Attachment means to grip, clasp, grasp, and hold on tightly. When
death comes all that was being clutched and grasped is wrenched away.
The tighter something is held, the greater will be the wrenching
away, the deeper will be the pain. If life has been led with open
hands, with no attachments, then death comes but there is nothing to
be wrenched away.
We cannot all of a sudden wake one moment and let go of all
attachments. It is a lifetime's work to undo the habit of forming
attachments and requires attention every day, because the attractions
and temptations of the world constantly work to strengthen