'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]
Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. The chanting for the oncoming posts was given last week - use the TattvabodaH label to access all posts relevant to this text. We are currently studying the text on the shamaadhi-shatka sampatti. You may wish also to review the chanting of this section, which you will find here.
The last of the saadhana chatushtaya is now our study.
मुमुक्षुत्वं किम् मोक्षो मे भूयाद् इति इच्छा। /mumukshutvaM kim? moksho me bhuuyaad iti icChaa. "What is mumukshutvam? 'Let me attain liberation!'...this intense desire is mumukshatvam."
This is not a condition which can be ordered of you. It must rise from within, following all due spiritual enquiry. It is not a product of cultivation as such, it a springing forth of such strong desire if the flame of a lamp. Candle is always a candle, but it is not at all serving as such until it is lit!!!
Mumukshutvam, then, is not a 'practice' per se. It is a sense of purpose which can be best served by the practice of all which has been discussed thus far. However, not all who practice viveka etc fervently necessarily have true mumukshatvam. Some say it is a birthright of those who have exercised spiritual advancement in previous births and that this comes as 'grace of God' - a fructification of karma, if you will.
Just as the candle requires to have its wick lit, so it is that the truly-seeking saadhak requires to have that inner desire for spiritual freedom set alight by one who has gone before and who can relate the necessary items to guide that student. The Guru. Sitting with the wise ( सत्संग / satsanga) is surely one of the best ways to kindle that fire. There are levels of mumukshatva. तीव्र /Tiivra, super-strong in resolve, only liberation will satisfy the desire; मध्यम /madhyama, middling, keen but still prone to distraction from time to time; मन्द /manda, rather dull and somewhat indifferent to the spiritual pull, postpones practice as life is rather more appealing; अतिमन्द /atimanda, no interest whatsoever in the spiritual goal, even though still happy to associate with those who do. Mumukshatvam is the 'engine' behind the saadhak but only the one with tiivra will truly attain high levels of spiritual satisfaction. This is not to say the others must give up the chase! Not at all. Every attempt along the spiritual road will be to the positive, thus do not become disheartened!
There is a phrase; "complacency is the enemy of progress; a happy slave is the worst enemy of freedom." If we are coasting along in life, never questioning, just continually thinking that the status quo will do, how will we ever rise above our current circumstances? If we think that we are happy in our current condition, how will we ever know that there is something better to strive for? So many of us do not even realise we are bound in the wreaths of Maya!
This is the nature of mumukshatvam. It makes us question the sense of bondage we have in life in such a way that answers will come and they will help us to raise ourselves to ever greater heights. We will easily find that we can surrender all in order to gain the kind of knowledge which will truly liberate our spirit. Surrender what? पुत्र /putra - children, वितेषणा /viteshanaa - wealth, लोकेशन /lokeshana - name/fame. This seems harsh if we are happily in household life; however at the level of tiivra, even that is no longer desirable. Fret not. This is not a signal to run from marriage or responsibility. These things can still be maintained and spiritual practice maintained in parallel. The surrender of the three things mentioned is not necessarily at the physical level, but within ourselves, by cutting away the desires for children, welath and name, supplanting with the desire for spiritual betterment. Occasionally, one who is touched by the grace, who has tiivra, will find the call unavoidable. Generally, in such cases, the way is smoothed simply by that same 'grace'.
So how to assess mumukshatvam?
Hetu - concept of moksha (liberation) must be present and this comes from satsanga; it is the 'primer' for mumuksha, for it in such gatherings with the elders and sages that we can discover the goal of life and have our smouldering tinder truly kindled alight.
Svaroopa - fullness of desire is lit
Kaarya - guru upasadhana - sitting at the teacher's feet and serving as advised
Avadhi - the release of pointless and worthless pursuits. Dedication to spirit.
Know that mumukshatvam is dormant in all; those who at all find a need to associate with spiritual life, at whatever 'strength level' are answering the call of that desire.
एतत् साधनचतुष्टयम्। ततस्तत्त्वविवेकस्याधिकारिणो भवन्ति। /etat saadhana-catuShTayam. Tatas-tattva-vivekasya-adhikaariNo bhavanti. This is the four-fold qualification. Thereafter, they become fit for the enquiry into the Truth.
Here we round off the section on the saadhana chatushtaya. We have been shown the basics of what they are, what is involved in their practice and what we might expect as a result of our dedication to such practice. No matter how much study of higher texts we may undertake, unless we are applying them and their 'experiments' to our life and monitoring them through these paramaters, we can make no gain. We must come to the need to enquire only within ourselves. It cannot be at all forced upon us. The chatushtaya serve as the gardening tools of our inner garden. The help in preparation of the mind. If the mind is unprepared, the even if one hears and read this Knowledge, it is likely all to seem theoretical and abstract. Even if appreciative of the concepts, until such time as efforts are made to 'own' this Knowledge, it will fall fallow.
Okay. What is the 'Knowledge' we are talking about here? What is this 'Truth' and how to research it?... We shall pick this up from next week.