Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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Moksh is not Frightening!

By H H Maa Purnananda

“Mokshdwarey Dwaarpaalaashchatvaarah Parikeertitah; Shamo Vichaarah Santoshashchturthah Saadhusangamah." (Mahaupanishad – 6/71)

On the auspicious day of Mokshda Ekaadashi, falling this year on 14th December 2021, we have to rethink on this frightening word “Moksh”. The fear of this simple Sanskrit word is so deeply ingrained in the minds of most of the people, that due to it, they keep away from even reading the Scriptures or even from the visits to any Ashram or a Spiritual Guru! As though, by merely seeing a Sadhu or reading the Holy-books of wisdom, they would leave the worldly associations and would take up the journey towards Liberation! If only Liberation or Moksh was so easily attainable!

In the given couplet, the Rishi has beautifully expressed the four essential factors that are required to get entry into the gateway of liberation which leads to the glorious path of Self-realization. It clearly indicates that without having permission from those four gate-keepers, the great gateway to liberation would not be opened for the seeker. Let us deal with each one of them one by one.

The first Dwaarpaal (gate-keeper) is Shama (mastering the mind). Unless the seeker has good control over his own mind, will it ever be possible for him to pursue his chosen field of activity? Suppose a young man wishes to become a doctor, but his mind is not under his control. So he will be unable to focus upon the studies sufficiently and in spite of his wish to become a doctor, he will utterly fail. He will give more time to entertain his mind with its wants and desires, and will be left with very little time to engage in the worthwhile studies. With a disintegrated mind and having crunch of time, will it be possible for him to fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor? Merely dreaming to achieve something in life is not sufficient. To achieve success, one has to be sincere, focussed and willing to give sufficient time to the chosen activity. Therefore, the first requirement is to cultivate the mastery over the mind, Shama the gate-keeper, who is that strength in the seeker which will keep him focussed and determined to achieve the target.

The second gate-keeper is Vichaar (thoughtful reasoning). When the seeker comes to know that if he desires to pursue the path of Self-realization, then he first needs to liberate himself from the shackles of worldly attachments and aversions. The only way to come out of it, the Vedant Guru-s tell us, is to drop the false notion of the world to be real. How can an individual, who is constantly experiencing the tangible world around him in his day-to-day life, even consider it to be ‘unreal’? Therefore, the seeker of liberation fist has to get convinced by himself that the world is not ‘Absolute Reality’; and that it is ‘relative reality’. for this, he needs to think rationally. By the intellectual strength of Vichaar, the second gate-keeper, having developed under the guidance of Vedant philosophy, he will be able to overcome his false notion which will enable him to stump his mind-intellect equipment steadily in the understanding of the great statement - “Brahm Stayam Jaganmithya”. Henceforth, he will steadily progress towards his conviction, that in fact, the world is not even ‘relatively real’; but it is ‘unreal’. To realize the Absolute Reality, his True Self, he has to liberate himself from the unreal falsehood. H H Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda says – “Moksh or liberation is the transcendence of the individual beyond the frontiers of sorrow.” His saying endorses the fact that to attribute reality to falsehood is to invite sorrow; and therefore, Moksh or liberation from falsehood cannot be sorrowful. So why then be afraid of pursuing the path of liberation?

Once thus absolutely convinced and convicted, the third gate-keeper Santosh (contentment) has to be met with by the seeker. At this stage of his Saadhna, this should be difficult! What is there to be dissatisfied for, in this false world? Anyway it is false, so no point cribbing for anything in this false world. Due to the perfect understanding, the seeker has to be content in every way; all the time, under any circumstance and in every situation, be it pleasant or unpleasant! When due to proper and steady intellectual understanding, mind is constantly dispassionate towards the falsehood of the world and is well focussed on the Absolute Reality; then Santosh, the third gate-keeper which is the strength of his inner contentment, will certainly open-up the gate to liberation!

Lastly, it is Saadhusangam (association with the Noble or the Divine), the fourth gate-keeper at the gateway to liberation. How come it is the last one? This makes it very clear that until the seeker prepares himself with the previous three essential factors on the Sacred Path, he would not be blessed with association with the Noble one in true sense! I may think that I am associated with such and such Guru, or, am an ardent devotee of such and such Guru; but, my character, the state of my mind and my conduct will indicate indeed, whether I am truly associated with the Divine or the Guru, or is it just a pretence! Let the seeker not be a hypocrite. The seeker of the Ultimate Truth has to genuinely and constantly associate with the higher values, the greater standards of character, a noble behaviour and has to be a true devotee of the Guru; which means, he has cultivated Shama, Vichaar and Santosh before he approaches the Holy-feet of the Guru seeking Saadhusangam, that is, refuge of the Guru for His invaluable guidance to tread the Sacred Path of Self-realization.

Of course, the seeker has to always be under the able guidance of the Guru even as he wants to develop those three virtues, but the gateway to liberation will open-up for him only when he would have successfully cultivated the aforesaid three virtues and would have been blessed by the Guru to come under His Compassionate Wings of Wisdom.

On the glorious path of liberation, neither the practices involved, nor the end result are frightening at all! Then even if it seems to be tough, why not strive for it?

Join us at SISS for Sree Vishnu Sahastranaam Homam to welcome the New Year 2022 by invoking the grace of The Divine Sustainer Sree Maha Vishnu on 1st January 2022 at 11.00am.