Arthapañcakam — Sva-svarūpa

1. Sva-svarūpa — Nature of real-Self (The understanding of the nature of oneself) The real-self is called Āтма̄ which is indestructible-self (Akshara) different from gross and subtle bodies, very form of consciousness, unborn, eternal, ever-existing i.e. beginningless, primeval, and fragment (Aṁśa) of Paramātmā.

It must be read carefully again and again focusing on the quoted verses, as It deals with the essence of all Vedānta, therefore difficult to be understood. One may need even years to understand these quoted verses.


Jiva-Āтма̄s can be classified in five groups —


(1) Nitya — the ever-Free from material-bondage (Eternally released souls)

The Nitya-Jivas are immortal, ever free from the material-bondage, omniscient, very benign, of Adbhut-Aishvarya (amazing power), and always immersed in the supreme bliss of serving (Kaiṅkaryam of) Śrī Sītā and Śrī Rām and seeing their divine-leelā in the spiritual world Sāket.

They have transcendental body, and never suffered in birth and death in the material-world. They take Avatāra (incarnation) by their own will to serve Bhagavān Śrī SītāRām.

Parijan-Parikar-Parichar (Sakhi-Sakhā-Sevak) like Hanumān, Kirīṭādi (personal ornaments of Bhagavān), etc in Sāketa are ever freed, Nitya-Mukta souls.


(2) Mukta — the Freed souls (Released souls) from material-bondage

“Having examined the worlds gained by Karma (that all those will be certainly destroyed/lost one day), the Jiva who becomes dispassionate from the world, for uncreated Supreme-Being can't be attained by Karma, surrenders to a learned spiritual-preceptor (Guru) adhered to Brahm” [~ Muṇḍakōpaniṣad 1.2.12] and does either Bhakti or Prapatti, becomes freed (liberated) from the grace of Bhagavān.

A Jiva goes to Param-Dhāma (the supreme-abode) Sāketa through Shukla Archirādi Path (Devayān Path), and attains Bhagavān Śrī SītāRām there, and thus becomes liberated (Mukta).

आब्रह्मभुवनाल्ल‍ोकाः पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन ।
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते ॥ गीता १५.६॥

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ’rjuna ।
mām upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate ॥ Gītā 8.16॥

“All the worlds, from the realm of Lord Brahmā and downwards (in the cosmic sphere), are subject to return, However after attaining me [Bhagavān, Brahm-darshan in the spiritual world] there is no rebirth again (in the Saṁsāra). (~ Gītā 8.16)”

Jiva have to return one day in the Saṁsāra of birth and death even from the realm of Lord Brahmā, the top-most realm present in the material-world. It means there is some spiritual-world beyond the material world, where Bhagavān resides in his personal form, from which there is no return again in the Saṁsāra.

There in the supreme world Sāket (Golok, Vaikuṇth), Mukta Jivas after liberation attain the supreme similarity with Bhagavān, however that supreme similarity (equality) is in Ānanda (bliss) only (भोग-मात्र-साम्य / bhōga-mātra-sāmya ~brahma-sūtra 4.4.21) and to some degree with Adbhut-Aishvarya of Bhagavān. Same is accepted by Bhagavān in Gītā, Mukta-Jiva have attained 'the similarity with my nature' (मम साधर्म्यमागताः / mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ ~ Gītā 14.2).

Mukta-Jivas are omniscient.

Do Jivas limited in their size become universal and all-pervading like Brahm after liberation? Think.

There are two types of Muktas which are told in Śrī-Vaishṇav-Matābja-Bhāskar by Bhagavad Śrī Rāmānand: — (i) Bhāgavata - they take supreme bliss in serving Bhagavān ŚrīŚrī SītāRām and their Kaiṅkarya-yukt-Bhakti continues after liberation too. (such Mukta-Bhāgavats are also called Sāyujya-Muktas). (ii) Kevala - they take bliss of just Ātmānubhuti.


(3) Baddha — the Bound (Souls bound in Saṁsāra)

Jivas trapped in the Saṁsāra of repeated birth and death are called Baddha-Jiva (the bound-soul), they are of very contracted Jñāna (knowledge) and Aishvarya (power) due to being enveloped with primordial-ignorance.

The bondage of Saṁsāra is due to Avidyā (ignorance, opposite of right-knowledge) which has enveloped the knowledge (अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं ~ Gītā 5.15). Due to Avidyā, the Jiva-Ātmās in the Jiva-loka (material-world) keeps drawing [karṣati] five senses and sixth Mind [Mana] resting in Prakriti (मन:षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति / manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati ~ Gītā 15.7), from one body to another, to enjoy the corresponding objects of senses (विषयानुपसेवते viṣayān upasevate ~Gītā 15.9), thus becomes a bound-soul. It is like Ātmā is holding the instruments of senses (subtle-body) to enjoy the sense-objects. Two beautiful examples are explained in Śrī Rāmacaritamānas - for why Jiva is bound in the Saṁsāra?


(4) Kevala — the Isolate or the Aloof-Souls (free from material-bondage, which is beyond Saṁsāra, in the state called Kaivalya-moksha in the spiritual world, however in the outer-circle of Param-Padam divine Ayodhyā)

'Kaivalya' Moksha is described in Adhyātmik scriptures like Upanisad, Bhagavad-Gītā, Śrī Rāmacharitamānas, etc.

The Jiva who sees sorrow and suffering in the world as well as in even (the efforts and end results of) worldly-pleasures, cuts the world-tree with weapon of detachment, removes the senses from their corresponding objects of enjoyments, strives for the liberation from the bondage of Saṁsāra (in form of repeated birth, [growth, decay] and death), and for seeking the state from where there is no return again in Saṁsāra, puts their mind inwards, and surrenders to supreme, and through Yoga attains 'that supreme-light [Ātmā-Jyoti which is verily the Jyoti of Brahm] and become immersed in the bliss of the soul [Ātmānanda].

Jivas who think the objective of Jñāna is in attaining the bliss of Ātmā i.e. Ātmānand, 'Ātmā is Brahm' with such determination, they do Abheda-Bhakti with Brahm (Paramātmā, Bhagavān), and think "Aham-Brahmāsmi ~ I am Brahm [the pure self]", "So'ham ~ That [pure-self Brahm] is me".

Thus, through Yoga, they attain the Ātma-Jyoti which is verily the Jyoti of Brahm (ममैवांशो mamaivāṁśo ~ Gītā 15.7).

न तद्भ‍ासयते सूर्यो न शशाङ्को न पावकः ।
यद्ग‍त्वा न निवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम ॥ गीता १५.६॥

na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ ।
yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama ॥ Gītā 15.6 ॥

“That Supreme-light i.e. Ātma-Jyoti [Param - supreme + Dhāma - light (Jyoti) and Abode, both] is not illumined by sun, nor moon, nor fire. That Ātma-Jyoti [Ātmā, the supreme-light], after attaining which one doesn't return back (in the material-world), is my glory (belongs to me).” (~ Gītā 15.6)

Here, It is confirmed that Kailvalya-Moksha is present in a part of Supreme-Abode.

Kaivalya-Moksha is told in Gītā 7.29, Gītā 8.21, Gītā 15.6, etc.

जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये ।
ते ब्रह्म तद्विदु: कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम् ॥ गीता ७.२९ ॥

jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya mām āśritya yatanti ye ।
te brahma tad viduḥ kṛtsnam adhyātmaṁ karma cākhilam ॥ Gītā 7.29 ॥

“Those who make Me (Bhagavān) their refuge, and strive for liberation [mokṣa] from the decay (old-age) [jarā] and Death [maraṇa], they realise that Brahm, which is their own real pure-Self, and in which all action finds its consummation.”

Here in Gītā 7.29, the word 'Brahm' is not for the supreme-soul, but for pure individual-self, It is indicative of Jivātmā experiencing/realizing its 'pure individual-self unbounded with Jñāna' which can be called Brahm, - as explained previously on the subject 'Brahm and Jiva'.

How Jivātmā gets (i) the Ātma-darshan & Kaivalya-Moksha, and (ii) Bhagavad-Darshan & Sāyujya with beloved-Lord — are further told by Bhagavān in brief in the chapter 8 of Gītā.

The last chapter of Bhāgavatam says — the Prayojan [objective, goal] of Bhāgavatam is to attain the Kaivalya-Moksha in which Jiv-Ātmā (individual soul) experiences Ātmā is non-different from Brahm.

सर्ववेदान्तसारं यद ब्रह्मात्मैकत्वलक्षणम्।
वस्त्वद्वितीयं तन्निष्ठं कैवल्यैकप्रयोजनम् ॥ (श्रीमद्भागवतम् १२.१३.१२)

sarva-vedānta-sāraṁ yad *brahm-ātma-ekatva-lakṣaṇam*।
vastv advitīyaṁ tan-niṣṭhaṁ *kaivalya-eka-prayojanam*॥ (Bhāgavatam 12.13.12)

“The essence of all Vedānta (Upanishads) this is — Brahm is (non-different from) Ātmā [the self within], this is characterized [said] as the One Reality without a second. The sole-purpose of this literature (Bhāgavatam) is (for the attainment of) the Kaivalya[-Moksha].” (~ Bhāgavatam 12.13.12)

“The path of Jñāna is too difficult, like walking on the blade (edge) of Sword. (Therefore) The supreme Kaivalya-Moksha is most difficult to attain, so declare the saints as well as the Purāṇas, Vedas and Āgamas. By worshipping Śrī Rāma, the same final beatitude comes unsolicited even against our will. (अति दुर्लभ कैवल्य परम पद। संत पुरान निगम आगम बद॥ राम भजत सोइ मुकुति गोसाईं। अनइच्छित आवइ बरिआईं॥ ~ Śrī Rāmacaritamānas 7.119.2)”

Why even such rarest Kaivalya-Moksha full of Ātmānanda (bliss of Ātmā) is not desired by the wise devotees of Bhagavān?

In Kaivalya-Moksha, Jiva is immersed in (remains satisfied in experiencing) the bliss of self (Ātmā) only. This state of Jiva is like a wife satisfied in herself without her husband; However with her husband, wife feels the utter bliss. Therefore, devotees of Śrī Rām think 'I am one of the rays of my sun Śrī Rām, I am Śēṣa of (part belonging to) my Śēṣī Śrī Rām, I am Dāsa (Sevak, servant) of Śrī Rām, and by serving (from Kaiṅkaryam of) the divine couple in Param-Padam divine Ayodhyā, Bhāgavatas derive the supreme bliss and happiness in the happiness of their beloved Śrī SītāRām. “Therefore, the wise devotees of Śrī Hari spurn the desire of liberation, and remain enamoured in the devotion (love and Kaiṅkaryam) of Bhagavān. (अस बिचारि हरि भगत सयाने। मुक्ति निरादर भगति लुभाने॥ ~ Śrī Rāmacaritamānas 7.119.4)”

Thus, Muktas have two-types (i) Bhāgavata-s who become Aprākrit Prem-ānand-svarupa (endowed with Parā-Bhakti) and do Kaiṅkaryam (devotional-serving) of the divine couple Śrī Śrī SītāRām in divine Ayodhyā. They are also called Sāyujya-Muktas, and (ii) Kevala-Muktas. .

Kaivalya-Moksha is said to be in the fifth outer-circle of Vishṇoh Paramam-Padam divine-Ayodhyā.


(5) Mumukshu — the Would-be Free (Souls that desire liberation)

Having examined the world with the discrimination (understanding i.e. Viveka) of Eternal-&-temporary thing (Nitya-Anitya-Vastu-Vivek), Vairagya (dispassion from the world) arises, then leaving the false-prestige and ego, one submissively surrenders to a learned spiritual-preceptor (Guru), with the desire (Mumuksha) to know and attain the Supreme-Being. This desire to become free from the bondage of Samsāra /and attaining the Supreme-Being is called Mumuksha, and such souls are called Mumukshu.

Therefore, Jiva should go with the curiosity to know and attain Parātpar Paripurntam Parabrahm Śrī Rām, in the refuge of Guru, and receive the Deekshā of Tārak-Mantra, to attain the Nitya-Kaiṅkaryam (devotional-service) of the divine couple in spiritual world.

He is attained by them who he chooses, after seeing their inner-heart free from the ego of self-efforts. Even though Bhagavān is knower of all hearts and most compassionate, still he doesn't give liberation to Jivas, or accepts them in his Kaiṅkaryam who doesn't have desire for it.

Mumukshu-Jivas can be classified into two —
1) SvaKarma-Vijñāna-Bhakti-Sādhana-Nishthaḥ : They who take Sva-Karma (Karma-Yoga with Varnāshram-dharma) or Jñāna or Bhakti (Bhakti-Yoga) as the means to attain the Brahm.
2) Prapanna (surrendered souls) - surrendered souls for whom Bhagavān himself or the Āchārya himself is the means.
These two can be further classified in sub-groups.

Thus five types of Jiva-Āтма̄s are explained in brief.

 

 

॥ श्रीसीतारामचन्द्रार्पणमस्तु ॥