Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Moksha --- Vedantic view


Let us now try to analyze Moksha or liberation as per Vedanta. We all are familiar with the word MOKSHA which means liberation.

What is liberation?
Getting rid of bondages is liberation.

Thus liberation is valid as long as bondage is valid. If there is no bondage, then there is no liberation as well. Thus we have to first understand that moksha is there only for the seeker who considers himself as bonded.

Bondage is what leads a person to sorrows and sufferings. Once a person considers himself as bonded by time, he becomes limited by time. This limited feeling causes him to have sorrow. Thus bondage is limited-ness which causes sorrows and sufferings.

Liberation -> getting rid of bondage -> getting rid of limited-ness -> getting rid of sorrows and sufferings.

In Vedantic terminology, moksha -> poorna dukha nivritti.

Here we come to a subtle and controversial topic as to whether moksha is sukha praapthi or dukha nivritti. Many acharyas have answered for and against each of these.

We feel dukha all around and at all times. Thus moksha has to be dukha nivritti. But when this dukha is removed, there will be poorna sukha or aananda of the Self (bliss). Thus dukha nivritti in turn leads to sukha praapthi or aananda praapthi. Therefore moksha can be said to be dukha nivritti leading to aananda.

Moksha -> dukha nivritti leading to aananda anubhava.

Sukha even something which is newly attained will be temporary and hence sukha is permanent only if it is inherent and always present in the seeker. Dukha also similarly has to be illusory if it has to be removed. Since dukha nivritti is moksha, therefore dukha is mithyaa or unreal. Thus dukha nivritti is also only an illusion. This illusion is not really valid but it is valid as long as the seeker experiences dukha. Thus moksha is valid only for that person who is in bandha.

Mundaka Upanishad thus summarizes moksha

Sa yo ha vai tat paramam brahma veda brahmaiva bhavathi
tarathi shokam tarathi paapmaanam guhaagranthibhyo vimuktho amrito bhavathi

He who knows the ultimate reality of Brahman verily becomes Brahman. He overcomes sorrows, sins and having got rid of the three knots of the heart, he becomes immortal.


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