Definition: Sanskrit, from ‘a’ meaning non and ‘parigrah’ meaning amass, to seize. Combined it means the opposite of accumulation or clinging.
Sand is a symbol of impermanence; all things arise and pass away… even the rock that seemed impenetrable becomes sand in the hands of time. Letting go is the way we allow each thing to transform and become what it is meant to be, like the woman dancing under the open sky.
“Freedom is a non-clinging state – allowing life to become something else, continuously.”
— Wisdom Master Maticintin
2.39 aparigraha sthairye janma kathanta sambodhah
When one is steadfast in non-possessiveness or non-grasping with the senses (aparigraha), there arises knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations. — Patanjali
In the yoga sutras, Patanjali offers a profound psychological insight into the nature of clinging: what we grasp at indicates our karma from previous lives, the likelihood of future ones, and the repetitive cycles that will play out in this one. The positive implication of this is that you can change your past, present, and future by releasing your attachment to unwanted or limiting conditions and beliefs in your life.
Clinging to people, ideas, situations, and objects is responsible for most of the conflict we experience in life. It’s natural to want what we believe will bring us pleasure, security, or happiness, yet the endless pursuit to obtain and defend them distracts us from spiritual practice and compromises our principles if we become obsessed. While there’s no exhortation against owning things in yoga, the lesson is not to let things own us. When we are not possessive towards the people and things in our lives we can take care of them, and allow them to serve us, without developing unhealthy attachments.
Remember, we let go of what limits us so we can evolve and know greater freedom. You don’t have to wait to be reborn to reshape your life: just stop clinging to unwanted conditions and your life will become what you want it to be. There are countless inspiring examples of people who’ve changed their lives by letting go of limiting ideas and reinventing themselves to embrace new levels of authenticity and fulfillment. Why not you?