DharmaB wrote:sudarshan wrote:[*]A noble principle is good, it uplifts you towards moksha, but at some point, you will have to drop your attachment to the principle itself - it becomes a desire (axiom 2.) which impedes your moksha
[*]It also prevents you from being fully disinterested in the material - prevents you from attaining Godhead (God being disinterested)
This is the catch 22 of the entire post...
It is being said that, one has to drop even the desire for Moksha to attain Moksha. Because "desire" means binding. Moksha means liberation. They are opposites. As long as there is desire, there is no moksha.
But the big question is how can one live without desire? Desire is the greatest motivating factor for the humans to pursue their goals and perform various actions in order to reach them...
This is why the concept of moksha is appalling to most of the people.
For us mortals heavenly pleasures are more attractive than moksha
Yep, this is the big appeal of the Abrahamic paths, eternal heaven. Whereas Moksha is frightening to contemplate.
If you notice in the Dharmic faiths -
SD does not try to enforce that everybody should strive for Moksha. Only the select few, who are truly disgusted with material life, give it all up and yearn for true liberation. Whereas for the rest, SD prescribes morality, with the aim of greater enjoyment, which is of course enabled by the favorable consequences of past actions. Even the Mahabharata ends, not with the Pandavas attaining Moksha, but with their going to heaven. Even Bhishma was seen in heaven by the Pandavas, not shown as having attained Moksha.
In the BG, the lord keeps telling Arjuna how to attain Brahmanirvana, but in the end, the visualization is of Arjuna attaining the enjoyments of heaven. There's something reassuring about continuing the quest for materialization of ones' desires, rather than giving it all up.
Now look at Buddhism and Jainism. The Buddha preached the middle way, and that was promptly adopted as the standard for everybody, commoners, kings, queens, everybody alike. If you look at east Asia, the ideal is to enroll everybody in a monastery at an early age. Regardless of whether they actually want Moksha or not. Jains regard even favorable karmaphala as undesirable, the aim of their life is true Moksha within one lifetime, and all the austerities are geared towards that.
Whereas SD permits and even celebrates enjoyment - Hato va prapsyasi swargam, jitva va bhokshyase mahim, tasmat uttishta Kaunteya, yuddhaya krita nischaya. (If you are killed, you attain heaven, if you win, you get to enjoy the earth, so get up, Kaunteya (Arjuna), and fight with determination).
Listen to the phala-srutis (enumeration of benefits) of any stotras or slokas, or even of the MB itself, and most of it is geared towards material enjoyment (dhana-dhaanyam, sons and grandsons, ending of disease, etc.).
Now for what exactly is Moksha, why is it so frightening? Exactly for the reason you said -
"how can one live without desire, it is the greatest motivating factor."
(In fact, this is the second axiom!)
So how does one make the concept of Moksha appealing? Moksha has been described by some seers as an "endless spiritual orgasm." Material pleasures are fleeting, they only last for a brief while, and that too after you put in the effort to materialize them. If you find an attractive partner and have ***, it feels great, it feels grand! But a day later, maybe even an hour later, you are left with the yearning again. You become the first person ever to get a perfect 10 in gymnastics in the Olympics (Nadia Komaneci, the Romanian athlete) before you even turn twenty! Imagine the height of achievement, the heady, euphoric feeling! And then - what next? Living it down for the rest of your life - are you ever going to top that high again? (The poor girl actually had a pretty bad life after that).
Moksha is that high, euphoric, orgasmic feeling - not "all the time," because it is beyond time itself - but unending, with no beginning, and most importantly, with no cause. I.e., you don't have to put in any effort to materialize it - it just IS. It is a simultaneous (for want of a better word) unending celebration of all your spiritual potential and capabilities - whereas the euphoria of *** is just the materialization of that one single aspect of your personality; attaining a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the Olympics at age 18 is just the materialization of one single aspect of your personality, etc. Imagine having the euphoria of achievement of every single aspect of your personality, in a simultaneous (again - no better word here) and unending sense! THAT IS MOKSHA (per my understanding).
So what I'm saying is - the sannyasis, great men like Adi Sankara, the Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda - they gave up earthly enjoyment, not because of some lofty principle of giving up enjoyment, but because they were dissatisfied with the fleeting, causal nature of earthly enjoyment; rather, they wanted it all, unending, eternal, causeless, they wanted the never-ending spiritual orgasm, the intensely alive feeling which we material beings only get to enjoy for a few moments, once in a lifetime, if at all.
But - that Moksha is postulated as the default and inevitable state for all of us, we were the ones who let it go to pursue materialization of our spiritual potential. So then, why did we give that up and come to the material world, chasing materialization of our desires? That is what I want to show through the axioms.
So, SriKumar's query of
is extremely pertinent here, it is the crux of the matter in fact. This is what I want to trace to the axioms (and I feel that there is a reasonable explanation which is fully traceable to the axioms) - but - the "disinterested God" is again a vital aspect of this trace.SriKumar wrote:why don't we remember past lives, if we did, our memories and actions would rapidly converge to Moksha
Let me write it up, I have some ideas on how to make it an interesting and engaging read. It might not come in my next post, I still have some "matching observations to axioms" to do, but it will come soon, and I'm looking forward to presenting it.