Monday, March 17, 2008

steps to liberation


naiShkarmyasiddhi 1.52 describes the advaitic path:nityakarmAnuShThAnAt dharma utpattiHdharma utpatteH pApa hAniHtataH citta SuddhiHtatah saMsArayAthAtmi AvabodhaHtataH vairAgyaMtataH mumuxatvaMtataH tat upAya paryeShaNamtataH sarva karma tat sAdhana sannyAsaHtataH yogAbhyAsaHtataH cittasya pratyag pravaNatAtataH `tat tvam asi' Adi vAkyArtha parijnAnamtataH avidyA ucchedaHtataH cha svAtmani eva avasthAnam

The performance of nityakarma yields dharmadharma destroys pApa (sin)

then comes citta Suddhi

then the understanding of saMsAra

then vairAgya

then mumuxatvaM

then the search for the means (of liberation)

then the renunciation of karma through sannyAsa

then *yogAbhyAsa*

then concentration of the citta

then the understanding of statements like 'tat tvam asi'

then the destruction of avidyA

then being settled in the Self alone.

My questions:

why is mumukshatvam so far down the line (in this list)? I would havethought mumukshatvam is an essential requirement and only after acquiringthat intense desire for liberation does a sadhaka strive for purity in allaspects?


When we fulfil our wordly duties and desires, but in a manner that is keeping with dharma, a relative purityof mind ensues. Why? Because we are avoiding mental agitations of greed, guilt, etc that invariably accompany treading the path of adharma.

Once we are blessed with this relative quietitude and purity of mind, our minds acquire a capacity to beginto discern the ephemerality of the joys of the world. It begins to dawn on us that the so-called joys of theworld that we mortals hanker after such as wealth, progeny, power, position, fame, etc are non-lasting and in reality are sources of immense sorrow. Every oasis is a mirage. We are now able to see through Maya's game as it were! This capacity to discriminate is viveka. This is also what understanding of samsara means.

Only by true acquisition of viveka do our inner equipments develop in them vairagya or dispassion.

Vairagya is not the deliberate turning away from objects we think are or may be valuable, but a natural dispassion towards things we have no doubt have zero value. It is similair to an older childs attitude towards the toys he had as a three year old. These were the very same toys he had cried for, begged and cajoled for, pined for, derived some temporary wonderful joy from, but now is mature enough to nothave any taste for them whatsoever. This vairagya can and usually does take years to firmly develop.

Only when vairagya is firmly and lastingly entrenched in our minds is mumukshutvam truly possible. Because mumukshutvam represents an intense desire to be full, to end my seeking nature, to find an eternal peace, tofind my true nature, to know Ishwara.

Every other desire or even a trace of it that we might entertain will have to be swallowed up by adequate viveka and vairagya, else true mumukshutvam is not possible.

Hence it is that it comes lower on the list. Not that it is less important - you are right - it is the most essential ingredient for a seeker - but each one ofthe steps mentioned comes in a logical sequential order.

Really speaking everyone is a mumukshu - who does not want freedom from a sense of limitation? - only thing is only some people are blessed with recognizing it for what it is.

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