Tattva Bodha defines Vyragyam as desirelessness for the pleasures of this world and the other upper worlds.
Put it in another way, it is discriminating the REAL from the UNREAL and renouncing the Unreal and adopting the Real .
In KATHOPANISHAD’S language, it is rejecting the “PREYAS” and electing the “SREYAS“
Bharthruhari, a great SAGE , compiled 100 mind boggling Sanskrit slokas , entitled “VYRAGYA SATHAKAM“. which makes any one, to take up SANYASA instantly.
In Chandogya Upanishad, Narada Maharshi approaches his guru, Sanath kumara and asks for higher knowledge. The guru asks him to enumerate all he has already learnt so he can instruct him on the rest. Narada, enlists his knowledge which includes astrology, astronomy, literature, music, art, dance, grammar, logic, all the material sciences, vedas, animal and snake knowledge etc. To this Sanath Kumara replied that what he learnt was mere NAMES and missed the entire essence and hence taught him the atma vidya.
Sankara Charya, in a simple treatise called “BHAJA GOVINDAM” brought out the same message .
Sasthras use a familiar theme called “PRATHI PAKSHA BHAVANA” (REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY) to explain away the spiritual facts.
This process involves, first presenting the world view of happiness , the traditional reality (VYAVAHARIKA SATHYAM) .Then analyzing and concluding the reverse to be the actual truth, the Absolute Reality (PARAMRTHIKA SATHYAM) and redirecting the individual towards the real truth.
It is important to note that Sasthras do not condemn attachment, (especially in the early stages of life) , towards the possessions and people.
What sasthras condemn is the addiction(THIRST) towards these material pursuits.
Ultimately ,of course one need absolute detachment to attain freedom.
It is like , to close the bank account, you need to pay off the debts or with draw the balance as applicable.
Similarly, to achieve total freedom, you need to clear both the papam and punyam balance and get a clearance certificate.
As long as you recognize your possessions and people are different from you( MAMA KARA) and they can leave you with out notice in accordance to their PRARABDHA KARMA , it is acceptable to love them. This is allowed attachment.
But when you convert your people and your possessions as part of your self (AHAM KARA) and cannot accept them to be separate from you and cannot tolerate their loss, this is called excessive attachment or addiction .
This addiction is what the Sasthras vehemently warn us to avoid.
This was the problem with Arjuna also , when he treated his grand father , Bhishma , as part of himself and could not separate him as another individual. So he did not want to fight with him.
In the very first stanza of BHAJA GOVINDHAM , Sankara denounces the acquisition of material sciences (APARA VIDHYA) all our lives.
Although they are important and needed in the initial period of life, we need to understand that they do not give us freedom .
Ultimately you need to acquire PARA VIDHYA which alone makes you free from samsara..
Next , Sankara takes up the issue of acquiring money. Money is very important and sasthras recognizes this fact and allows it as long as it is earned ethically, live modestly and share it with the needy. It is the excessive thirst for accumulating money that is condemned by sasthras.
Sankara boldly proclaims that too much money is an obstacle for peace of mind.and declares that It does not give even a trace of happiness .
Sankara asks us to remember this truth constantly.
He says that we need to fear even our own son when we are too rich.
When you are able to earn money, your dependents adore you. When your money dries up, they do not even say hello to you.
When you are alive, your relatives inquire your welfare. When the PRANA leaves the body, even the darling wife is afraid of touching your dead body.
This is the way of the world.
It is but natural to have attraction towards opposite sex and the attractive body parts. This excessive attraction towards the beauty is a delusion because on analysis we came to realize that they are mere ugly masses of flesh, fat and blood only.
Life is unstable like a water drop on a lotus leaf. As long as it stays on the leaf, it is unsteady and dancing all the time. But when it finally falls on the water under neath, it merges with water and retains stability.
In the same way, as long as we are in samsara, the life is very turbolant . The permanent peace is achieved only when one merges with BRAHMAN.
Who is your wife and who is your son, Sankarra wants us to inquire. When analyzed, your wife is the daughter of someone else and joined you only at some time in your life. She brought with her, her own PRARABHDHA and needed to exhaust it .You should treat both as travellers and should recognize that you need to depart when you reach your destinations as dictated by the KARMA.
The son also came through you, but he is a separate individual with his own prarabdha to experience and exhaust.
Realize that all the losable things, including your money, your youth, your relatives etc. will be gone at any time with out notice. They are all impermanent . BRAHMAN alone is permanent and hence try to attain Him.
Few other comments.
Monkey story. There was a monkey which was eating the peanuts of a farmer. He tried to chase it away but the monkey kept on coming and eating the peanuts.The farmer designed a plan to teach the monkey. He fixed a pot on the ground and filled the pot with peanuts.The pot has a narrow neck which enables the monkey to put his open hands in and out. but not the closed fist. The monkey grabbed the fist full of peanuts and tried to eat but could not do so because of the narrow neck.The farmer came and started beating the monkey.The monkey would not let the grip go and hence received the banging.If only he lets the grip go, he will be free.
In the same way as long as you hold on to the people and possessions, freedom is not possible. You need to learn to let go.
Napoleon the great, who conquered the whole world, instructed his people, to parade his coffin along the streets of the city with his empty hands up in the air , proving to every one that he is leaving this world empty handed.and none of his achievements travelling with him.
When one dies, all the wealth acquired is left behind at home.
The friends and relatives are left behind at the cremation ground.
Only the punyam and papam acquired in one’s life accompanies him .
Bharthruhari, in his “VYRAGYS SATHAKAM ” describes three possible destinations to the money you earned.
1.BHOGAM—(Enjoyment)— Enjoy the wealth you acquired for your personal comforts. Feel free to enjoy all the pleasures to the fullest.
2.DHANAM—-(Charity)-After fulfilling your comforts , donate freely to the needy and less fortunate.
(Do not leave too much money to the children. As Warren Buffett said, leave just enough so they still have incentive to work ,not too much so they stay idle and waste the money and also their life.)
3.NASAM—(Loss) Total waste of your hard earned money.
Sage BHARTHRUHARI , sympathizes with those unfortunate souls who neither enjoyed their wealth nor donated and helped the needy.
Their money goes to the third destination — which is total waste of all his efforts in accumulating all the wealth all through his life.
DEVARAJULU NAIDU KATTA.