Preference for Solitude & Absence of Craving Social Interactions (140)


Lesson 140 is Value 17, 18. Preference for secluded place. Absence of craving for social interactions.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 10.


  • Value 15: nityam samacittatvam: Constant Equanimity.
    • Measured by how quickly mind backups up initial reaction (narrow view) with “bigger picture” (intellect).
    • WHAT: 4 types of “What!” reactions happen perceive being criticized / condemned / challenged:
      1. Anger:
        • Dharmic order (vyāvahārika):
          • EG: Someone is openly twisting dharma. Family is abused.
        • Personal (prātibhāsika):
          • Happens when they are not replying/behaving according to our standards. EG: Misbehaving child, parent quickly loses patience and starts shouting at them.
      2. Defensive: Stands up for oneself to save face.
      3. Hurt: Goes in personal shell.
      4. Denial: Blocks information. Coping mechanism. Can be initially useful if too much to take in. But for most (due to lack of psychology), it turns into habit. EG:
        • “Whatever! I don’t care.”
        • Protesters, without wearing masks, despite health officials recommendations.
        • “Denial is the most predictable of all human responses”. – Architect from Matrix.
    • SO WHAT:
      • Refusing to internalize it or take it personally. Knowing (1) this belongs to them (2) it’s just one mind out of billions. Not accounting 200K new jīvas born each day.
      • Attempt to see where they’re coming from. “What would this person have to believe, to think like this?”.
  • Value 16: ananya-bhakti: Unswerving devotion to Lord.
    • What is cause of LACK of devotion?
      • Denial:
        • Not ready to see things factually. Meaning still too invested in personal opinion.
        • Thus pratibhasika bigger then vyavaharika.
        • 3 Causes:
          • Lack of tapas (spiritual practices).
          • Too accustomed to appeasing likes/dislikes.
          • Habit orientation. Lived in a certain way, thus established a pattern of perception. Comfort zone.
        • Consequences of Denial (in respect to Spirituality) is coping mechanism. EG:
          • Projection onto guru’s. “They’re frauds!”.
          • Something is affecting us deeply, yet we reply, “I don’t care”.
    • Solution to reintroducing devotion:
      • Convert: pratibhasika > vyavaharika. Get to know the world. Science, Biology, Universe. While keeping in mind the Intelligence that’s holding it together at every level.
      • Meditate for sake of improving concentration.
        • EG: Dronacharya (archery teacher) asked young Arjuna, “What do you see in the tree?”. Arjuna replied, “I see only the right eye of the bird”.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 10:

mayi ca ananya-yogena bhaktiḥ avyabhicāriṇī ।
vivikta-deśa-sevitvam aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi ॥
…an unswerving devotion to me that is not connected to anything else, the disposition of repairing to a quiet place, no longing for the company of people…

Value 17: vivikta-deśa-sevitvam: Preference for Solitude

  • Common man generally settles for two modes for coping with a turbulent mind (unwilling/afraid to confront what surfaces).
    1. Togetherness:
      • Constantly involved with someone/something. EG:
        • Social media, person, pet.
        • Meditation becomes thinking “Who/what to get involved with next?”.
    2. Aloneness: Distracting by creating a private world.
  • What is vivikta-deśa-sevitvam?
    • Neither of above. It’s reserving strict time (not even with beloved), for sake of undoing old patterns.
    • Why should I, when it’s the relative-jīva bound by 5-fold limitations (V12)?
      • Because self-knowledge is only possible through a self-knowledge-friendly mind. Thus self-growth doesn’t contradict liberation, as long as, self-growth is for SAKE of liberation.
  • Once enough patterns are undone, mind becomes effortlessly still.
    • Benefits of a still mind?
      • Delights/pleasures are extended and increased because full experience is available to the antaḥkaraṇa (experiencing instrument).
        • EG: If mind is distracted by inner thoughts, then ānandamaya’s reflected joy is short-lived. Irony is, most want lasting joy, yet continue distracting the mind for more joy.
      • Cheerful/content with little/ordinary. EG: Attribute of nearly all prophets/sages.
      • Capable of guiding others, which incidentally, straightens your thinking further.
    • Vivikta-deśa is an accurate indicator of one’s commitment / seriousness to self-knowledge.
    • Within householder, it’s practiced without making beloved neglected. Involves verbalizing your intentions.
  • Finally, assuming one chooses to practice all values, what would that look like? One would go through 4 stages of growth…
    • STAGE 1:
      • We start out complaining, projecting onto world, because it’s giving dissatisfaction.
    • STAGE 2:
      • From complaining person, you begin to self-reflect in form of “What is my responsibility in THIS situation?”. Most people think spirituality ends here, that you've learned your lessons, and done what you could.
    • STAGE 3:
      • After self-reflection, one is able to go BACK to the world (which was before giving dissatisfaction), as satisfied human being, whose able to ENJOY the world.
    • STAGE 4:
      • You're so comfortable with world (owing to clarity), that one becomes source of inspiration for others.


Value 18: aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi: Absence of Craving for Social Interactions

* Starts at: 48:57

  • What are two extremes in reference to social relationships?
    1. Social friendships become source of self-expression / contentment.
      • EG:
        • Today this includes creating a YouTube channel, with exaggerated personality on camera. And getting subscribers.
        • Socializing via multi-player video games / Facebook IM / surfing the web / news / forums talking about others / sharing anonymous comments online.
      • This way, socialising becomes a source of escapism from one’s noisy mind. And makes it appear, as if, mind is focused/brilliant. But only because socialising temporarily subsides unresolved inner chatter.
    2. Discomfort in form of (anxiety/ fear) of meeting people.
      • Manifests because person doesn’t intimately know one’s relative-self (strengths/weaknesses). Hence uncomfortable towards one’s sense of smallness. Meaning unwilling to confront oneself.
      • Even if amidst people, still feels lonely inside, hence unable to have meaningful conversation.
      • Justifies one’s anxiety by projecting inaccurate notions onto “them”.
  • What is it “aratiḥ Jana-saṃsadi”?
    • Minimizing/avoiding exposure to company who don’t resonate with your core values, in reference to the highest pursuit in life.
      • Because at early stages (first 5-10 years), our knowledge is fragile. Vastly competing and convincing views can completely demolish one’s encouragement/faith.
        • Hence keep your spiritual pursuit to yourself. Freely mention you’re studying Vedanta, but stick to level of universal values (or vyavaharika).
        • Another is take a class in Philosophy which compares major notions.
  • If you are extroverted in nature, don’t need to become introvert. Instead make interactions more meaningful/deliberate. How? By discerning 4 communication models:
    1. Jalpa (chatter mode):
      • Both are killing-time. Unconscious of what’s being said.
    2. Vitaṇḍā (argument mode):
      • While listening/reading… background intention is how to refute it in accordance with your view. Other becomes source of inspiration, giving you keywords which you use to create further objections.
      • Person whose steadily identified with ahaṅkāra/buddhi. “I and my notions are, as if, one”.
    3. vāda (constructive speech):
      • Saying coherently and directly what you sincerely think. All the while, keeping in mind he/she too possesses experiences which you/I don’t possess.
      • After verbalizing, give other the freedom to verbalize their part. Catch yourself if interrupting. If they’re unable to articulate, then intercept if feel appropriate.
        • Extreme: After they share their stories of sadness, you share your stories of sadness, instead of giving perspective/reassurance.
          • EG: I’ve been feeling fatigued. Other replies “I’ve been fatigued and sick!”.
    4. Saṃvāda (informative discussion):
      • Learning from an objective specialist in their field. Capitalizing on another’s thorough research into a field.
        • Extreme: Portion of spiritual seekers ask Q’s about what they’ve ALREADY (seemingly) know. Instead of asking Q’s what the specialist is saying. Trying to fit their old model.
          • SOLUTION: As a specialist, resist being drowned in clients doubts/incoherent notions. EG: Some journalists ask biased-questions, which suck the interviewer into their framework.
  • SUMMARY of “aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi”:
    • Re-asses your reason for being around people. Do they make you doubt yourself, or challenges you in a constructive manner.
    • Sannyāsi (renunciate): Renounces social company because desire for knowing God is so overwhelming, that all efforts are consecrated to knowing thyself.



    • Value 1: amānitva: Absence of demanding validation/respect.
    • Value 2: adambhitva: Absence of pretense (making up stories).
    • Value 3: ahiṃsā: Deliberation of thought/word/action.
    • Value 4: kṣānti: Accommodation / Glad Acceptance of WHAT-IS.
    • Value 5: ārjava: Straightforwardness (Alignment of thought/word/action).
    • Value 6: ācāryopāsana: Service to teacher.
    • Value 7: śauca: Inner & outer cleanliness.
    • Value 8: sthairya: Steadfastness (Persistence).
    • Value 9: ātmavinigraha: Mastery/Management of the Mind.
    • Value 10: indriyārtheṣu vairāgya: Dispassion Through Objectivity.
    • Value 11: anahaṅkāra: Healthy “I-Sense”.
    • Value 12: anudarśana: Reflecting on 5-fold limitations.
    • Value 13: asaktiḥ: Absence of Sense of Ownership.
    • Value 14: anabhiṣvanga: Absence of Obsession over Wife, Son, House.
    • Value 15: nityam samacittatva: Constant Equanimity.
    • Value 16: ananya-bhakti: Unswerving Devotion to Lord.
    • Value 17: vivikta-deśa-sevitva: Preference for Solitude.
    • Value 18: aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi: Absence of Craving for Social Interactions.


Keywords: samvada, vada, vitanda


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 24 Aug, 2021


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