[Advaita-l] Freedom from desire and mOkSha

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 21:46:10 CDT 2007

namo nArAyaNAya!
dear SrI siddhArtha,

On 9/13/07, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> praNAm all,
>        I had a question on doctrine. Does freedom from desire coincide
> with mOkSha (in advaita vEdAnta) or is it a preliminary step towards
> attaining it? Could someone point out good sources (preferably in
> English) that deal with this issue. Thanks.

while it is true that j~nAnIs have no desire whatsoever, it is NOT in
general sufficient for a jij~nAsu to be content with nityAnitya-viveka
and dRDha-vairAgya if he wants to gain Atmaj~nAna. in addition to
these two, uparati and mumukshutva play a very important role. i'll
quote verbatim from svAmi rAmAnanda sarasvatI's translation of advaita
bodha dIpikA, a text highly recommended by ramaNa bhagavAn.

\\ begin quote (D: disciple, M: master)

54-56. D.: Will discernment together with dispassion meet
the end?
M.: No. In the absence of cessation of activities, these two
are not enough for a successful pursuit of enquiry. In its absence
there will be no desire to enquire into the Self. How can we
speak of success in it?
D.: What will a man with dispassion do if he does not take
to enquiry into the Self?
M.: Activities not ceasing, there is no tranquillity; being
desireless he dislikes all enjoyments and cannot find pleasure in
home, wealth, arts, etc.; so he renounces them, retires into
solitary forests and engages in severe but fruitless austerities.
The case of King Sikhidhvaja is an example of this.
57-59. D.: Then will discernment together with desirelessness
and cessation of activities achieve the end?
M.: Not without the desire to be liberated. If this desire is
wanting, there will be no incentive to enquire into the Self.
D.: What will the man be doing then?
M.: Being desireless and peaceful, he will not make any
effort but remain indifferent.
D.: Have there been men with these three qualities who
did not take to enquiry into the Self?
M.: Yes. Dispassion is implied in all austerities; the mind
too remains one pointed for tapasvis; yet they cannot enquire
into the Self.
D.: What do they do then?
M.: Averse to external pursuits, with their minds concentrated,
they will always remain austere in animated suspense
like that of deep sleep, but not enquire into the Self. As an
instance in point, the Ramayana says of Sarabhanga rishi that
after all his tapasya he went to heaven.
D.: Does not heaven form part of the fruits of enquiry?
M.: No. Enquiry must end in Liberation, and this is
freedom from repeated births and deaths which does not
admit of transit from one region to another. Sarabhanga's
case indicates that he could not and did not enquire into the
Self. Therefore all the four qualifications are essential for

//end quote

thus, all the four factors - viveka, vairAgya, uparati and mumukshA -
need to be present for Atmaj~nAna to arise.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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