07.01 – The propellant of spirituality is not detachment but attachment
People often think of spirituality as centered on detachment – renunciation of pleasures, positions, possessions, even individuality and relationships.
Such a conception makes spirituality appear unappealing. The Bhagavad-gita seem to endorse this conception when it urges us repeatedly, as in Gita (02.38) to stay unaffected and detached amidst worldly gains and losses, pleasures and pains, victories and failures. However, detachment is preliminary to the takeoff stage of spirituality. The real takeoff stage is centered on attachment – increasing attachment to Krishna, the pinnacle of spiritual reality. The Gita (07.01) underscores that making the mind attached to Krishna is the purpose and perfection of spirituality.
Material attachments comprise the gravity pull that holds our consciousness down to the material level of reality. Just as a rocket needs to counter the gravity to be launched into outer space, we need to counter the gravity of material attachments to be launched into the spiritual sky. When a rocket is launched, it’s essential to break free from gravity, but that’s not the purpose – the purpose is to attain some lofty destination in space. Similarly, when we launch ourselves into spiritual life, it’s essential to break free from the gravity force of material attachments, but that’s not the purpose – the purpose is to attain the supremely lofty destination of Krishna’s personal abode.
The rocket needs to be propelled by appropriate and adequate fuel. The propellant that will fuel our spiritual journey and give us the necessary momentum to break free is appropriate and adequate devotional attachment to Krishna. This attachment comes by hearing about Krishna, as the same Gita verse (07.01 – tac shrnu) underscores in its conclusion. When we understand Krishna’s glory and majesty as well as his beauty and intimacy, devotional attachment arises and energizes us to break free.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Now hear, O son of Pritha, how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.