A (Ted): Moksha literally means, “liberation.” It indicates freedom from dependence on objects (i.e., anything perceivable, conceivable, or in any way experienceable) for happiness, contentment, or a sense of wholeness and completeness. And since it is our vain pursuit of permanent fulfillment through impermanent objects that is the cause of suffering, moksha also implies freedom from all suffering.
Moksha is the essential purushartha (i.e. goal or end) that we are seeking, though in most cases not consciously, through our pursuit of artha (security), kama (pleasure), and dharma (virtue). If we analyze the objects we chase in any of these categories, we invariably find that it is not actually the object itself that we want, but rather the sense of peace and/or happiness that it seemingly provides us. Admittedly, the objects we seek to obtain in these areas are either necessary for our survival or enhance our enjoyment of life, but all are limited. And no limited object can provide limitless fulfillment. Thus, if we depend on these objects for our happiness, we doom ourselves to inevitable disappointment and certain suffering.Continue reading →
Q: At the end of the day, what does knowledge of self give us ?
It does not help answer the burning question of why the appearance/dream/mAyA that we are experiencing as humans or animals exists.
(I am not clear on this one but..) It appears that even though one attains knowledge of self in one janma, he/she can actually become a cockroach in the next due to karmic effect, i.e. we are not really liberated from the birth-death cycle.
The only benefit I do see in a janma where one attains knowledge of self is that such a person might lead a life devoid of misery in the mind as they sail through good and bad times (although they may still experience physical pain).
A (Sitara): In Advaita Vedanta we ask the question “who or what is the true Self” because we trust (in the scriptures and/or statements of those who claim to have answered this question for themselves) that the true Self is one without a second, meaning the true Self is all there is. So knowledge of the true Self, i.e. Self-realization, equals the realization that the perceived world is nothing but the Self alone. As to why it is perceived as world and not as the Self there are many answers within Advaita Vedanta and in Sri Atmanandaji’s Direct Path. I cannot sum them up in a few sentences, as they belong to an extended teaching methodology. I recommend, for a taste, to watch an interview with Greg Goode.)Continue reading →
Almost every one of us mostly live our lives mechanically. Having been born, we go through the mill of studies, higher studies, romance, marriage, kids, money, power, old age, disease and death. People who are in positions of power, rich people, and erudite people are looked up to by the society, regardless of how they achieved their ends or by what values they lead their lives. The paradox is that it appears both the classes of people, the ones who lookup and the ones who are looked up to, are satisfied with this pathetic state of affairs.
For some, the immediate unfolding future becomes the purpose; for some others, money and power becomes the driving force. Only a very few, stop to think about what is real purpose of this life? Why was I born? In a particular family? Into a given status? Endowed with a given intellect? Why did our lives take a certain turn?