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Vair?gya (?) is a Sanskrit term used in Hindu as well as Jain philosophy that roughly translates as dispassion, detachment, or renunciation, in particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the temporary material world. The Hindu philosophers who advocated vair?gya told their followers that it is a means to achieve moksha.

True vair?gya refers to an internal state of mind rather than to external lifestyle and can be practiced equally well by one engaged in family life and career as it can be by a renunciate. Vair?gya does not mean suppression of or developing repulsion for material objects. By the application of vivek (spiritual discrimination or discernment) to life experience, the aspirant gradually develops a strong attraction for the inner spiritual source of fulfillment and happiness and limited attachments fall away naturally. Balance is maintained between the inner spiritual state and one's external life through the practice of seeing all limited entities as expressions of the one Cosmic Consciousness or Brahman.


Vair?gya is an abstract noun derived from the word vir?ga (joining vi meaning "without" + r?ga meaning "passion, feeling, emotion, interest"). This gives vair?gya a general meaning of "ascetic disinterest" in things that would cause attachment in most people. It is a "dis-passionate" stance on life. An ascetic who has subdued all passions and desires is called a vair?gika.[1] Further etymological definition indicates the root ra?j, referring to colour: Vi - ra?j + ghai? = virága. The state of virága is vaerágya. Virága means "to go beyond colour" or "to be uncoloured". To remain completely engaged in the world yet uncoloured by the world is called vaerágya.

A practitioner of vairagya is called a vairagi.


The concept of Vair?gya is found in the Yoga S?tras of Patañjali, where it, along with practice (abhy?sa), is the key to restraint of the modifications of the mind (YS 1.12, "abhy?sa-vair?gyabhy tannirodha?"). The term vair?gya appears three times in the Bhagavad Gita (6.35, 13.8, 18.52) where it is recommended as a key means for bringing control to the restless mind. It is also the main topic of Mok?op?ya or Yoga-V?siha.

Another important text on renunciation is Vair?gya ?ataka or "100 verses of Renunciation", a part of the ?atakatraya collection by Bhart?hari.


Vair?gya (?, "detachment") according to the 2nd-century Tattv?rthas?tra 7.12.--What is meant by detachment (vair?gya)? To develop disinterest towards the subjects of the sensual and physical pleasures is detachment.[2]

Aversion leading to renunciation; The non-attachment to sense pleasures[3]

See also


  • The Vairagya-Satakam Or The Hundred Verses On Renunciation. Advaita Ashrama. 1916.


  1. ^ Apte, A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, p. 891.
  2. ^ (6 January 2015). "Vairagya, Vair?gya: 7 definitions". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Vairagya - ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JAINISM". Retrieved 2019.

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