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Bondage And Liberation

Bondage And Liberation

The earthly life is full of three kinds of pain. The first kind, called adhyatmika, is due to intra-organic psychophysical causes and includes all mental and bodily sufferings.

The second, adhibhautika, is due to extra-organic natural causes like men, beasts, birds, thorns etc. The third, adhidaivika, is due to supernatural causes like the planets, elemental agencies, ghosts, demons etc. Wherever there are gunas there are pains. Even the so-called pleasures lead to pain. Even the life in heaven is subject to the gunas. The end of man is to get rid of these three kinds of pain and sufferings. Liberation means complete cessation of all sufferings which is the summum bonum, the highest end of life (Apavarga or Purusartha).

                    Purusa is free and pure consciousness. It is inactive, indifferent and possesses no attributes. Really speaking, it is above time and space, merit and demerit, bondage and liberation. It is only when it mistakes its reflection in the buddhi for itself and identifies itself wrongly with the internal organ— the intellect, the ego and the mind, that it is said to be bound. It is the ego, and not the Purusa, which is bound. When the Purusa realizes its own pure nature, it gets liberated which in fact it always was. Hence bondage is due to ignorance or non-discrimination between the self and the not-self and liberation is due to right knowledge or discrimination between the self and the not-self. Liberation cannot be obtained by means of actions. Karma, good or bad or indifferent, is the function of the gunas and leads to bondage and not to liberation. Good actions may lead to heaven and bad actions to hell but heaven and hell but heaven and hell Alike , like this worldly life, are subject to pain. It is only knowledge which leads to liberation because bondage is due to and ignorance can be removed only by knowledge. The Jiva has to realize itself as the pure Purusa through discrimination between Purusa and Prakrti. Actions and fruits, merits and demerits, pleasure and pain all belong to the not-self. The knowledge that ‘I am not (the not-self)’ that ‘nothing is mine’, that ‘ego is unreal’, when constantly meditated upon, becomes pure, incontrovertible and absolute and leads to liberation. Sankhya admits both jivanmukti and videhamukti. The moment right knowledge dawns, the person becomes liberated here and now, even though he may be embodied due to prarabdha karma. On account of the momentum of past deeds, the body continues to exist for some time, just as the wheel of a potter goes on revolving for some time due to previous momentum even though the potter has withdrawn his hand from it. As the liberated saint, though embodied, feels no association with the body, no new karma gets accumulated as all karma loses causal energy. The final and the absolute emancipation, the complete disembodied isolation automatically results after death. Sankhya liberation is a state of complete isolation, freedom from all pain, a return of the Purusa to its pure nature as consciousness. There is no pleasure or happiness or bliss here, for pleasure presupposes pain and is relative to it. Pleasure is the result of sattva guna and liberation transcends all gunas.

                    Sankhya believes that bondage and liberation alike are only phenomenal. The bondage of the Purusa is a fiction. It is only the ego, the product of Prakrti, which is bound. And consequently it is only the ego which is liberated. Purusa, in its complete isolation, is untouched by bondage and liberation. If Purusa were really bound, it could not have obtained liberation even after hundred births, for real bondage can never be destroyed. It is Prakrti which is bound and Prakrti which is liberated. Ishvarakrsna frankly says: Purusa, therefore, is really neither bound nor is it liberated nor does it transmigrate; bondage, liberation and transmigration belong to Prakrti in its manifold forms. Prakrti binds itself with its seven forms. There is nothing finer and subtler than Prakrti; she is so shy that she never reappears before that Purusa who has once ‘seen’ her in her true colours. Just as a dancing girl retires from the stage after entertaining the audience, similarly Prakrti also retires after exhibiting herself to the Purusa.