2.39 The person anchored in freedom from cravings and appreciation of abundance (aparigraha) recognizes impermanence, clarifies life’s purpose, and gains insight into past and future.
When you were born, you arrived with no personal possessions. During your life you have probably seen times when you had access to fewer things as well as other times when you had access to more. If you were able to adapt and be content with more and with less, your adaptability has made it possible for you to find contentment in many situations and changing circumstances. If, on the other hand, you are constantly craving what you don’t have, you have probably found yourself frustrated and disempowered by feeling that you can’t be at peace with what you have. This sutra invites you to reflect on the role of material possessions in your life.
Do you see your life and yourself in terms of what you have acquired?
What will happen when some of those things you have are no longer satisfactory?
How much time, energy and resources do you allocate to maintaining what you own?
Traditionally, one interpretation of this verse suggests that a successful aparigraha practice will uncover the secrets of past and future lives. Another way of interpreting this same verse is that clarifying our relationship to the material world will give us insights into our own personal past – because our relationship to our possessions can have a strong influence on our beliefs, ideas, and actions. In addition, how we have connected to our cravings and possessions in the past has influenced our current life situation. Moreover, our attachment to what we have and what we want will also determine many of our choices. To what extent can you see this playing out in your life? You may use the following questions to guide your aparigraha practice:
Do you live in abundance, scarcity or craving?
How do you embody gratitude?
How much is enough?
Are you immersed in the game of winning and losing?
Do you derive your sense of self from your material possessions, appearance, and circumstances?
How do your actions align with your life purpose?
Furthermore, do not discount that there may be other forms of craving, like craving for acceptance or recognition.
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
2.39 aparigrahasthairye janmakathaṃtā saṃbodhaḥ
अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथंता संबोधः ॥३९॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast: