Radhanath Swami: What It Means To Be Detatched
Question: I am married and have a family with certain responsibilities. Recently I took up the spiritual practice of Bhakti-yoga and heard about ‘detachment’ as one of the principles. With so many responsibilities how can I practice this principle?
Radhanath Swami: We have to understand from Bhagavad-Gita, what it means to be detached. To be detached means that you are attached to the service but you are detached from the results of the service for your personal enjoyment. Arjuna was a warrior and his duty was to fight. Lord Krishna told him, “You must fight. You must fight better than anyone else. You must fight with care, with conviction, and with all your intelligence, strength and energy; but fight for me. Do not fight according to your own will, but according to my directions. This is the responsibility that I am giving you.” It is detachment that Krishna is herein teaching Arjuna.
For instance, if you have a child, that means God is giving you that child. You are the secondary father but God is the primary father and he has the ultimate proprietorship. You are only a father on his behalf but he is the father. Therefore, you have a great responsibility to be a father on behalf of God and to raise that child according to His will and not according to your whims. If you neglect your duty and your responsibility, you are not on the path of God consciousness.