Friday, August 19, 2016

Samsara and Moksha - Karma is the Basis

Lila Vibhuti and Nitya Vibhiti - Life, aka Jivatma, is eternal. Based on its Balance of Karma (BOK) it can be traced to be living in Lila Vibhuti (Samsara or the Plane of Mortal Existence (PME)) or Nithya Vibhuti (The Plane of Immortal Existence (PIE)). Change is the differentiating factor between the two planes of existence. "Constant change over a period of time factor" is the defining character of the PME. "No Change over a period of time factor" is the defining character of the PIE.

Nitya, Mukta, Baddha - There are three categories of living beings aka Jivatmas. Jivatmas having any outstanding balance in their BOK keep circulating in different forms of lifes in the Samsara or PME. Jivatmas having Zero balance in their BOK move to and live eternally in the PIE. Such Jivatma, when living in PME are known as Baddha Jivatma. When they move to PIE, they are known as Mukta Jivatma. There are also Jivatmas that have lived eternally in the PIE. They are called Nityasuri. That is, two out of the three categories live in PIE (Nitya and Mukta). Only one category lives in PME (Baddha).

Outstanding Balance in BOK - Baddha Jivatmas presently living in PME have lived here for ever owing to the outstanding balance in their BOK. Baddha Jivatmas keep circulating within PME eternally for only one purpose - that is to exhaust this outstanding balance. The outstanding balance may be exhausted by one of the following means:
1. Experiencing pleasure or pain during any birth form in PME.
2. Doing counter actions known as "Prayaschitta"
3. Seeking Divine Intervention.

The outstanding balance determines the life form one takes during a life time. Based on the balance, the Jivatma combines with Nature to take on a "Mortal Body". At the end of the life term, the Jivatma casts the mortal body aside and takes on a Yatana Shariram (Invisible Travel Body (ITB)).

  1. If it has any outstanding balance, it travels in the ITB through Dark Highway. The Dark Highway goes to yamaloka, and subsequently to the various narakas, and then to svarga and then back to Bhuloka, based on the outstanding balance after the experience of pleasure or pain in the other lokas. While a Jivatma may experience pleasure or pain based on its deeds and outstanding balance in the other lokas, the Bhuloka is the only loka known as Karma Bhumi - one in which the final remaining balance can be exhausted. When born again in Bhuloka, it is called rebirth or reincarnation because it is the same Jivatma that has now acquired another life form in another body. It is not necessary that a human being is reborn as a human being. A human Jivatma, based on its outstanding balance at the time of birth may take on any body - of a unicellular organism, a plant, an insect, a bird, an animal, or a human.  
  2. Once the outstanding balance has been brought to zero, the Jivatma will not remain in PME even for a second. It will cast the Mortal Body aside, take on the ITB and travel via the Bright Highway to the PIE. At the PIE, there is a river called Viraja. It takes bath in river Viraja to get rid of its ITB and take on a "Divine Body". In the Divine Body, it lives eternally in the PIE.   

Avatara: The Nitya Jivatma that has been living in PIE eternally may take avatar and come down to Samsara for fulfilling the Lord's commandments. That type of birth is not due to outstanding balance. Birth which is not owing to outstanding balance in BOK is called Avatara. Contrast this with the Rebirth of Baddha Jivatma, which is always due to its outstanding balance in BOK.

Composition of BOK: There are two types of outstanding balances in the BOK,  The Positives (Punya) and the Negatives (Papa or Sin). A Jivatma has to exhaust both in order to bring its BOK to zero. When one experiences pleasure or happiness, the Positives are getting exhausted. When one experiences pain or sadness the Negatives are getting exhausted.

Acquisition of Karma: Though the purpose of birth is for the Jivatma to exhaust its outstanding balance, being in Karma Bhumi - it can acquire additional karmic balance as well. Good deeds earn it Punya while bad deeds earn it Papa. What determines whether a deed a good or bad? The shastras do. As stated by the Lord in Bhagavad Gita,

Shloka 16-24, "Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understand the scriptural injunctions and teachings, and then perform your actions in this world accordingly."

The scriptures here mainly includes the shruti's, smriti's, itihasa, and purana,  They are replete with commandments and suggestions - like - do this, refrain from this etc. Doing what it commands one to do - is NOT Punya. But, Not Doing as per a commandment is Papa. For instance, one of the simple commandments of the scriptures is "Snaatva Bhunjeeta" - ie Eat only after taking bath. Without knowing this commandment, if one insists on eating something before taking bath, that Jivatma acquires papa karma to its BOK. These commandments have been codified by our learned ancestors into a daily/period routine - which is why we call Hinduism is a way of life - than a religion. However, in the modern days, a lot of these practices have been abandoned in the name of orthodoxy or superstition. It does not mean, there are no superstitions in Hinduism. One needs to study scriptures, analyze whether a disciplined practice advised or followed by elders in the family is a scriptural injunction or a superstition, and perform actions accordingly.

Nevertheless, it is said that within the blink of an eyelid, we humans are capable of acquiring as much karma in our BOK that cannot be exhausted even if one were to live a period of  Three  Trillion years (One Kalpa).

The hell hole or Black Hole?: While we are here to exhaust our karma, our rate of acquisition is apparently far higher than the rate of exhausting. How will we ever be able to bring it to Zero? Isn't there a way to get out of this black hole or hell hole called Samsara?  Ture, we cannot get out of it through our own effort. But there is help! He, the Lord, is ever willing to help us out of this hell hole. All that he needs, is our permission. He is extending his long arm asking us to hold on to it. We are the one that is refusing to take his help, because of our ignorance and arrogance, thinking we can get out of it by ourselves! Again, as stated by the Lord in Bhagavad Gita,

Shloka 7-14, "My divine energy Maya, consisting of the three modes of nature (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas), is very difficult to overcome. But those who surrender unto me cross over it easily.

Divine Intervention is the only answer: True, there is the option of doing counter actions called Prayaschitta. But even that is a self driven effort - one needs to know the scriptures completely and thoroughly before determining what is a prayaschitta! one should know to perform it flawlessly - because, flaws committed in prayaschitta can lead to additional balance in the BOK!  The comparatively superior and yet the simplest strategy of all, is to surrender to the Lord and allow him the permission to take care of us and lead us to the PIE.

Well, What more do we need, when after sensing Arjuna's helplessness, the Lord himself, without Arjuna asking Him, voluntarily revealed this ultimate strategy:

Shloka 18-66
सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: || 66||
Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions and lead you to Moksha; do not fear.

Knowing now, that Krishna, is the one that has offered this advice, is there use in seeking refuge of anyone else?

Has any one other Krishna offered such a clear strategy? Yes, Rama and Varaha have offered similar statements. They are all one and the same  God, the supreme creator, in whom the world rests now, and during the time of mass destruction (Pralaya), i.e Sriman Narayana - the Lord of the PME and PIE, and the one that created the Administrator of Creation - the four faced Brahma. It is He and only He that can lead us out of this hell-hole called Samsara,

Does he need to shed his blood in order to save us? No! Neither has he ever shed blood for anybody's sin. Why should he? Blood is a mere mortal substance! Once we have become strong in our conviction that He alone is the savior, the next step is to surrender to Him.

How to surrender? Is he taking applications now? Yes, he is taking applications always - but he expects us to apply through the proper channel. He is in our own heart watching our every move. He wants us to demonstrate that conviction by approaching one of his avataras (yes, there are right here amidst us!) and taking refuge at their feet. They are called Acharyas. At any time, if we demonstrate our ego and arrogance to even think of an Acharya as a mere mortal human, that conviction in Him as the only savior is lost - we could be back to square one.  Acharyas are none other than Sriman Narayana himself! With that thought deeply embedded in mind, approach an Acharya without delay to acquire your passport to PIE!!!

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