What Is The Way To Reach Moksha By Continuing To Live The Worldly Life?
One of the most common understandings we have of the journey towards moksha (the ultimate liberation from cycle of birth and death), is that one must leave everything behind and live a life of renunciation. Well, such an understanding is not altogether wrong, and renunciation is an important, if not inevitable part of this great journey. But there are many ways of looking at renunciation, and it is indeed possible to reach moksha even while continuing to live the daily existence, including work and social relationships. Let us see what Akram Vignan has to say about this…
One of the most striking differences in the kramic (traditional step by step path) and akram (step-less, direct path to Self-Realisation) path of spiritual progress is the concept of renunciation. In the end, both the practices or paths arrive at the same understanding; but in the kramic path, an outward renunciation of all possessions and worldly identities precedes the inner renunciation of attachment to all but the Self.
In Akram however, it is the other way around. Here, an inner detachment precedes the outward renunciation, such that even while living a worldly life, one is continuously travelling towards moksha. The first step towards such an incredibly accessible and convenient path to moksha is the process of Self-Realisation, called Gnan Vidhi. In just two hours, one receives the knowledge of the Self, such that the Self becomes separate from the ego (all the worldly identities), and thus in belief, exists only as the Soul now. What remains then is to face all circumstances, internal and external, with equanimity.
What does it mean to maintain equanimity?
It means to remain in the understanding of ‘I am pure Soul’, and then whatever happens is seen as the settlement of previously charged karmic accounts. All pain and struggles are a settlement of old negative karma, while all favourable situations are settlement of old positive karma.
For example, let us say one gets into a dispute with a co-worker, and it escalates to the degree of severe insults, accusations and verbal violence. While before Self-Realization, one would see their co-worker’s mistake and sever relations with him / her, after Self-Realization, one is able to see the entire episode as unfolding of the karma, and hence can see the world as flawless.
Moreover, one firmly establishes himself in the awareness of the Self (the Pure Soul) and focuses on the attachment one has towards one’s own ego, one’s own viewpoint, one’s prominence in society, one’s urge to always have things their own way, one’s insistence that, ‘I am always right.’
In the light of the Soul, one observes a bewildering array of mistakes that have been committed by one’s ego so far. These mistakes, when seen in the awareness of the Self, dissipate and leave. And the ego too, on its part, washes off the hurt it caused to others on account of its mistakes, through a heart-felt repentance and a firm vow to not repeat the mistake.
Thus, after Self-Realization, as we begin to deal with all circumstances with equanimity, all our karmic accounts will be exhausted, and we will soon attain final liberation!
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