There are four stages in Vairagya:

(1) Yatamana: This is an attempt not to allow the mind to run into sensual grooves;

(2) Vyatireka: In this stage some objects are attracting you and you are endeavouring to cut off the attachment and attraction. Slowly Vairagya develops for these objects also. Then, the Vairagya matures. When some objects tempt and delude you, you should ruthlessly avoid them. You will have to develop Vairagya for these tempting objects and it must also mature. In this stage you are conscious of your degree of Vairagya towards different objects;

[Admin’s Note: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “avoid” as “shun”. In its explanatory notes, it says, “‘Avoid’ always involves an effort to keep away from what is considered to be a source of danger or difficulty.Shun’ refers to deliberately keeping clear of what is unwelcome or undesirable.]

(3) Ekendriya: The senses stand still and subdued, but the mind has either Raga or Dvesha for objects. Mind is, in other words, the only sense that functions independently;

(4) Vasirara: In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The senses are perfectly quiet. The mind also is free from likes and dislikes (Raga and Dvesha). Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your supremacy. Without Vairagya no spiritual progress is possible. 

Vairagya is of three kinds viz., dull (Manda), intense (Tivra) and very intense (Tivratara). Dull Vairagya cannot help you much in the attainment of your goal.

Vairagya is the opposite of Raga, or desire. It is dispassion or non-attachment. It is indifference to sensual objects herein and hereafter. Vairagya thins out the fatty sensual mind. It turns the mind inward (Antarmukh Vritti). This is the most important qualification for an aspirant. It is the one and the only means to enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

Vairagya that is born of discrimination is lasting and steady. If you seriously think of the various kinds of pain in this Samsara such as birth, death, worries, depression, suffering, disease, loss, hostility, disappointment, fear, etc., if you understand intelligently the defects of sensual life (Dosha Drishti), and the transitory and perishable nature of all objects of the world, Vairagya will immediately dawn.

(An excerpt from How to Get Vairagya)

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