Apara Vairagya

Definition - What does Apara Vairagya mean?

In Hinduism and yogic philosophy, apara vairagya a state of mind that is detached and dispassionate. This attitude is cultivated when the attachments of the material world are renounced. It is the opposite of attachment, or raga. When a yogi is practicing apara vairagya, he/she feels indifference to sensual pleasures and pain alike. Some spiritual teachers advocate this state as a way of achieving liberation, or moksha.

Apara vairagya is considered the first of two types of vairagya. It is a relative state that is achieved before moksha, but helps the yogi on their way to moksha. The second type of vairagya is para vairagya which is supreme non-attachment and only possible once the yogi has become Self-realized.

Yogapedia explains Apara Vairagya

From Sanskrit, apara means “relative” and vairagya means "without-passion" or "dispassionate" - the word itself implies an ascetic disinterest in the things that others would normally be attached to. The name, vairagika, is given to a yogi who has renounced all their worldly passions and desires for a state of vairagya.

Vairagya comes naturally through gradually developing a desire for inner fulfillment and spiritual practice in which attachments to worldly objects fall away. Thus, there is no need to suppress or become averse to desires for things in the material world.

The true state of apara vairagya is an inner state, rather than an external lifestyle. It can be practiced equally by those with families and careers, as well as those who have renounced the material world. Practicing apara vairagya helps concentration and fuels the desire for spiritual enlightenment.

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