Friday, February 18, 2011

Moksha - the Final Purushartha

Moksha is not merely liberation from Samsara, but is the highest goal ever achievable - way beyond what Bill Gates, Warren Buffets, US Presidents, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkings, and the other so called "successful people" have achieved during their mortal time-frame on earth.  While Moksha is defined as the "final achievable goal" for us human-beings, the philosophy of the Tengalai Sri Vaishnava  religious sect is that it is actually a "purushottamartham" - the goal to be achieved by the Supreme Lord!

While Moksha liberates the aatma from prakirti sambandam and samsara, it also bestows on the aatma numerous unimaginable benefits.  Firstly, upon death, when the aatma get rid of the visible and invisible bodies, it  travels via the Archiradi marga all the way to Viraja River outside the Lord's abode called Sri Vaikuntha.  Vaikuntha means - land of no dimishment.  Everything in this world is made of "shudda Sattva" - including chit and achit.  Here after taking bath in the Viraja River, the Aatma acquires a "diva-mangala vigraham" - call it if you will, an unimaginable, spectaculor, splendid body made of shudda-sattva material.  By nature of acquiring this shudda-sattva body, the aatma becomes all-knowing.  It acquired omniscience, on par with the lord.  Not only that, it acquires satya-kamatva, and satya-samkalpatvam - the desire to do sattvic things at all times.  It acquires extra-ordinary abilities beyond what once can describe here on earth - instantly you come to know the past, present, and future - you can know all your previous lifes and how you reached the final destination, you can know the future of man-kind and where it is headed, you understand everything about creation on earth and whether there is life on other planets.  You get the ability to take on any form or shape at will.  However, this description is only tip of the iceberg - the most important quality you acquire upon achieving moksha is "happiness" (Ananda).

What is special about this happiness?  The quality of happiness we have on earth is mixed and therefore shortlived.  However, the quality of the happiness is very limited.  Compared to this, the happiness of the Devas is much higher.  Compared to Devas, the quality of the happiness of four-headed Brahma is much higher.  It is said, from Brahma's happiness, even if you establish a ladder the size of this universe, you cannot reach the Supreme-Lord Narayana's happiness.  The liberated aatma, feels for the first time, the same quality of unbridled happiness as the Supreme Lord.  This is called "Samyapatti" - or equanimity.

So why do Srivaishnavas consider Moksha as something the lord has to achieve as opposed to the individual aatma?  It is because, they, through prappatti shastra, surrender to the Lord and make Moksha His Responsibility as opposed to the individual aatma's responsibility.

Therefore, Moksha is the most important goal for every human being - nay the ultimate and the only goal a human being should have in life - because the achievement of the goal is the most elusive, most difficult, but once you have achieved it, the benefits are immense.  Isn't it then something every human being should be striving for?  The world however, mixed with three-gunas of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, has forgotten this final goal, and wastefully spending its time in pursuit of various stupid things!