Self-knowledge and Liberation
The synonyms of liberation are emancipation, release, freedom, Mukti that means true independence. It is a state where there are no bondages, no fears, no doubts and no sufferings. It is freedom from the body, freedom from the senses and freedom from the ego and intellect. It means freedom from nature. It transcends every thing. There is neither any rival nor any competitor, neither any friend nor any foe. In other words every thing is self and self is every thing. Self gets established in Self. Self gets merged with Self. That means the false ego that was projecting as the self so far is buried. There is no second nor there are many. It is a state of complete transformation or transcendence. Nothing remains other than self. Not even Mukti or liberation. It is a state of awareness only when one is seeing nothing else hearing nothing else, tasting nothing else, smelling nothing else, and touching nothing else. There is no play of senses or mind. Intellect gets transformed. Thought process ceases. There is no body awareness, no thought and not even self-awareness. There remains only existence that is consciousness. This absolute existence is known as Sat-chit-Anand. This is a mysterious state for the ordinary men who normally think that after death one will get Mukti automatically from sufferings or any other dualities.
Mukti is a supreme state of consciousness where the reactions of the mind get lost. There is no questioning, there is no answer too. Only divine bliss remains. All problems are solved. Hence there is no question of any sufferings. Where there is no solution, there remain fears, doubts, anxieties and sufferings. To free oneself from all these is Mukti.
There is no rebirth. He becomes all-pervasive, i.e. one with the being. Where is the need for him to take birth? Even if he takes birth, it is by his will and not due to the result of any of his past actions. All past actions are burnt by the fire of knowledge.
Until man knows Brahman, the unitary existence, from where he had begun his journey, there is no final solution. As long as he remains in dualism he has to confront with frights, doubts, anxieties and agony. In other words, realisation of Brahman is a precondition to Mukti. Jiva feelings remain as long as dualism exists. To free oneself from jiva feelings is Mukti. Further to free oneself from all thoughts is Mukti. Mukti is therefore the highest state of Bhava. By merely making some offerings to God, this state cannot be attained.
Worshipping God in any manner is an auxiliary requirement .It purifies the heart but Mukti is a state of Bhava. This state can not be explained to a non-realiser because he cannot comprehend this. He can get only some hints on Mukti. Mukti is a state of thought, which words fail to express. It is not even a particular state. It is all-comprehensive, embracing all, embracing none but the Self; a situation of all in all, all in one, one in all, and one in one, i.e. Only self existence.
Sadguru Sri Sri Arjun says, "Try to know him if you want to free yourself from the bondage of samsar or dualism. The greater the inquisitiveness, the quicker one can liberate oneself after acquiring the knowledge of Brahman. This is the real spiritual practice."
By inquisitiveness we acquire knowledge. Knowledge is knowing the truth. Knowing truth one by one amounts to cutting the knots of Maya (illusion), which is due to ignorance. Thus, by the process of knowing more and more truth, one can destroy all the knots of ignorance and get at the supreme Truth. That is the equilibrium point, the all-pervasive central point that is the essence of all.
Nothing more can be said about Mukti. The scriptures have remained silent. The sages conclude by saying 'neti neti'. By neti neti, one should not think that solution is achieved. Rather it instructs to go ahead with more and more enquiries till realisation. Brahman is omni-potent, inexhaustible and unlimited. All powers are in Him. All the qualities are created from Him. He is qualified. But as he is not attached to any particular quality, he is unqualified (nirguna) In other words, Brahman has two aspects, namely, qualified and unqualified.
He, being possessed of all powers and qualities, by which particular name or epithet can He be identified! He is the Creator of both the qualified and unqualified. He is beyond both.
Neti neti means not this, not this, not like this.
Each and every thing in this creation is His particular form. By seeing any thing, which is only particular, His true self cannot be comprehended, as he is the indivisible whole. Because of his greatness and grace only, we are able to know a particular state. To explain him, no language or example is befitting. Hence neti, neti. This only points out his existence. This also indicates his inexpressible or indescribable powers. By seeing this creation, we get the indication of the greatness of the creator. But He is not limited by the limitation of any particular object or subject. He is not bounded by any boundary. That means, He is the invisible power, who is regulating and organizing this Great Creation. He cannot be brought under the purview of any particular or relative knowledge since he is the Knowledge Absolute. Knowledge means explaining and understanding through dualities. He is beyond every thing.
Where is He! Wherever his greatness is observed, He is there but no particular spot can be pointed out as He is all-pervasive. What ever shines out in this creation are his manifestations. He manifests himself as the sentient and insentient, movable and immovable. He is the regulator of the Law of eternity by which this great cycle becomes operative. In other words, every one shall end, where he had begun from. Knowing this Law of Eternity is true knowledge and observing the same is Dharma. To realize the divine, one has to necessarily acquire knowledge and possess divine qualities. Self knowledge is the highest knowledge by attaining which every thing becomes known and therefore no other knowledge is required.