EID Mubarak

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

President, Heart Care Foundation of India

“Bakra Id” is celebrated by Muslim Community as a festival which teaches us all about detached attachment.

Attachment is the biggest obstacle to self-realization and inner happiness. If one is attached to the external world, one lives in the miseries of the past and the future.

Undue attachment creates desires, which if fulfilled leads to greed and if unfulfilled leads to anger. Anger leads to destruction of the intellect and resultant destruction of the body. This is well explained in Bhagvad Gita (2.62).

According to the Vedic philosophy, one should be attached to the actions but detached to its results. The gist of the “law of karma” is “detached attachment”, which is also the gist of acquiring inner happiness through karma yoga.

Detaching yourself from the worldly pleasures is the most difficult thing to practice as it requires devotion and a disciplined life.

One can learn a simple exercise which should be done everyday or at-least once in a week to practice this form of Yoga. The simplest detachment exercise involves doing something for others which you otherwise want to do for yourself e.g. if you like to eat ice cream, the exercise involves inviting and buying your colleague an ice cream, simultaneously making sure that you do not eat the same.

Pratyahara, or detachment is also an integral part of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which talks about eight limbs of yoga for acquiring inner happiness.

In Islam, observance of Bakra Id is an example of an advanced detachment exercise. The festival is a social celebration of happiness, full of sharing and giving and involves a sacrifice of a goat (bakra). In the sacrifice the person is not supposed to buy a goat from the market for sacrifice. The family members on the contrary are suppose to buy goat a couple of months in advance and nurture him or her with love to build affection for the goat. On the day of Bakra Id, the same goat is sacrificed and the meat distributed to friends and relatives.

This sacrifice is an extreme example of detached attachment or losing something for which you have already got an attachment. The other way of celebrating the same festival is to donate something which you like most on that particular day. It can be a house, a car, a material thing or a book. Detaching oneself with the undue attachment lead to a path of self-realization.

For those, who do not believe in Islam, can learn the basic message from them of doing a simple detachment exercise everyday or once a week.