APARIGRAHA – the meaning of having and having more

So what’s the difference between having and having more? There’s no difference and it’s simply meaningless by “having more”.

Aparigraha is the last of the five yamas in the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga/Raja Yoga and it often translates to ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’, and ‘non-attachment’. So why do we always want to have more? The idea of having more is driven by greed and greed is driven by the fear of losing somebody or something.

Aparigraha has taught me the meaning of letting go. As someone who becomes emotionally attached easily, I’ve always found it difficult to let go and to practise non-attachment. And I admit that my high sense of attachment arises from the fear of losing. I hate the idea of people leaving me. This fear prompted me that I need to have more time and more attachment with the people I love so even if I lose them, I won’t feel regretful or painful. NO, I am so wrong. In the end, I ended up getting more hurt and feeling more painful than I should because of the greed to wanting and having more.

Aparigraha will offer us so much freedom – the freedom to love without the fear of losing and be in the present moment without seeking to possess. When we practise aparigraha, we would begin to realise we could actually stop being concerned with what might happen and merely enjoy what is happening at the present moment.

I have always CHOSEN to worry about something which might happen, and not enjoying and being grateful for what I have now. I used the word “chosen” because it is our choice to let go of the greed, the possessiveness and the attachment. It is a choice to be made, a choice which will offer liberation. When we choose to be grateful, this gratitude will turn what we have into enough, and that is when we realise it is indeed meaningless to have more.

As we try to practise aparigraha, we must learn how to let go. The constant wants and thoughts of possessiveness will drain our energy (physically and emotionally). By letting go of things/people and stop comparing ourselves to others, we can live more fully in the present. We also learn to depend on ourselves. The feeling of attachment develops when we have distrust in ourselves. Learning how to trust ourselves will make us feel more independent and stronger, so that we can let go of the emotional attachment and allow people we love to be who they need to be. In the process of learning how to let go, we learn how to forgive. Forgiveness is when we let go of painful memories from our past and be grateful to ourselves and those who have left us or hurt us. We thank them for coming into our lives and making us stronger today. Even when on the mat, sometimes we try hard to be perfect in the asanas etc. and forgot the essence of practice. As we practise aparigraha, we remember to let go physically, mentally and emotionally and keep in mind that this is a learning journey.

Sharing a quote below before I end:
“Non-attachment allows for full participation in life. It does not mean indifference or carelessness, but rather you should do your best and not worry about the results.”

Namaste.

With love,
Stella