Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Arthapanchakam - Purposes of Life - 3 - (Moksha)

In the earlier post we discussed the three "body/mind" level pursuits that are clearly mundane pursuits for all human beings.  Moksha is different in that it is a "spiritual pursuit".  Why do we need a spiritual pursuit? aren't mundane pursuits enough?

Here is where "swaroopa jnana" helps.  Swaroopa Jnana means understanding who we "really" are. So who are we (you and I)? If the answer to this question is "the body", then clearly there is no such purpose called "moksha" that can be attributed to it.  We have seen the several posting earlier that we are essentially this "jeevatma" the "owner of this human body".  The human body is transient - meaning, the Jeevatma takes on a human body, discards it after some time, takes on another body, discards it after some time, takes on another body etc.  When it is in the human body, it has certain needs and desires which we attributed to the first three purposes of the life - dharma, artha, and kama.  However, when we look at it as separate from the human body, that Jeevatma has a purpose to accomplish, and that is Moksha.

There are two types of Moksha - Atma Anubhavam and Bhagavad Anubhavam.  Atma anubhavam is considered inferior to Bhagavad Anubhavam.  Atma anubhavam is sometimes also referred to as "kaivalyam".  Srivaishnavas consider this inferior as the Atma goes on experiencing the bliss that it iself is.  However, in Bhagavad Anubhavam, the Jeevatma gets to spend time with the supreme Brahman offering itself to be at its service eternally.