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Freedom of minimalism 

Freedom of minimalism 

In keeping with the same point of view, the Ishopanishad begins with the injunction that one is protected only by the detachment that all that exists in the world is pervaded by and belongs to a superior power.

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Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 20:18 IST
Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 20:18 IST
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Today, psychology is looking into minimalist living as a means of enhancing and improving the quality of life. A life of simplicity, reduction in material possessions and moderation may actually make one more aware of values, more sensitive to relationships as well as the environment.

Minimalist living is a desire to de-clutter. Restricting impulsive and compulsive buying in the material sphere and cutting down overthinking are perhaps the first steps in this direction. The underlying principle is that a clutter is not just visually disturbing but also impacts the mind. The clutter caused by overloading the mind is even more dangerous. This idea is embedded in the ancient philosophy of yoga. Patanjali’s  yogasutras list saucha or cleanliness as a niyama, a basic requirement for a practitioner. This process includes the mind and the environment around you. A cleaning up process invariably implies de-cluttering and eliminating that which is not required for well being. This process creates or opens up space. When physical and mental spaces are unclogged, there is a sense of lightness and freedom. The freedom enables one to go beyond oneself and what is considered useful. It mitigates, if not completely removes, the shackles and pressures placed by society.

The tenet of aparigraha or non-acquisitiveness liberates one from greed, envy, and lust. The desire to possess material and the desire to control the mind of another are perhaps the biggest sources of conflict, which manifest themselves as chaos and confusion. The entire code of conduct laid out in the yogasutras is minimalist. It is only through such practice that it is possible to attempt self realisation. In a de-cluttered and cleansed arena, the distractions move away, making way for deeper appreciation and awareness. There is a greater sense of order, clarity and awareness of values. Unburdening of stress and anxiety make positive and correct actions possible.

In keeping with the same point of view, the Ishopanishad begins with the injunction that one is protected only by the detachment that all that exists in the world is pervaded by and belongs to a superior power. This power owns it in perpetuity and for perpetuity. Non- covetousness protects not only the self but also the environment which sustains everything. One has to use it sparingly. The sheer beauty of all this is summed up by Khalil Gibran: “Through the hands of such as these God speaks and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.”

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