Viveka is a discrimination in perception through the sense organs on thoughts that are related to the pursuit of superconsciousness and thoughts that dwell on the objects of the world with names, forms and qualities.
The student of Tattva Bodha asks the next question. What is vairagya? The teacher answers—vairagya means dispassion. Vigata Raga or a thought that is free of attachment. Our attachment is actually to enjoy particular results that ensure happiness in this world while living. There are many religious rites and austerities that people undertake to ensure that their life hereafter should also be happy. Vairagya is that state of mind that has given up all attachment to any particular result for actions initiated.
Being dispassionate about objects, people and situations does not mean that one is hateful. It is also not the disgust that the fox shows for the grapes it can’t reach and walks away saying they are sour. The joy that comes out of an experience of thoughts is an imaginary one.
While experiencing an object, the humanbeing superimposes three ideas on the object. The first superimposition is that the object is really existing as one sees it. For instance, there is a piece of cake. It is a combination of many things—like flour, cocoa, butter, egg yolk and white, among others—which in their natural state are inedible.
Coming together as a cake, it seems very enticing. Superimposition of reality on an object means not seeing the cake as a mixture of many things that will not give so much joy when consumed, but looking at it as a piece of cake as the only reality. The piece of cake is only the last stage in the transformation of many ingredients, before it is consumed. Holding on to that piece of cake alone as the reality is superimposition of existence to an object, other than what it really is.
Next, the mind likes to take anything only when it knows it is everlasting. Even children come close to people whom they know will be very stable and stay with them for ever. They will not be so friendly with strangers who just pay a fleeting visit. So, if the mind gets attached to any object, it is only because it superimposes the quality of eternity on that object.
The last superimposition is the quality that the object gives joy. Truly, no object can give joy. If a cake can give joy, then it should be the same experience of happiness for an ordinary person who is diabetic and does not like cakes.
If that is not the case, then it is not logical that there is an equal amount of happiness in objects. Vairagya is to know this truth and withdraw from the pursuit of sense pleasures.