Episode # 350 – Three different categories of “Atman” – Our path to “Moksha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an extended discussion on why our physical body (Shareera) is very important for us to maintain properly, as well as not to get too much attached to beautifying it. Of course, our “Shareera” is nothing but the vehicle given by Bhagawan to all of us to carry out our spiritual pursuit, for which we’ve taken birth in this world. Hence, our Shareera should be well-maintained with all required aspects of our personal hygiene and cleanliness. We should follow all the procedures that are elucidated in various Sanaatana Dharma texts as to how should we take care of our Shareera and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, having said that, if we’re going to focus on more than what is required, it simply means that we’re getting too much “attached” to this “Shareera”. This is where, Bhagawan Krishna is repeatedly advising us to draw the thin line of difference between taking care of our physical health and beautifying our body. Of course, we should have a presentable appearance wherever we go, according to the requirement and situation. But, giving more importance to appearance than required, is something we should take care of and try to avoid as much as possible.

With this accord, we have come to the end of this important discussion between the “Avadhoota” Sanyasin and King Yadu, which is part of Bhagawan Krishna’s important advice of “detachment” to Uddhava. Through this entire accord, the Sanyasin is conveying the important message that he is extremely happy and peaceful because he has understood all these important lessons from these twenty-five different items in this world. He advises King Yadu that he too should understand these lessons, and if he does, he can also be extremely happy and peaceful for the rest of his lifetime.

Now moving on to the next important “Charitra” – As mentioned before, Bhagawan Krishna is continuing with His important pieces of advice to Uddhava. He’s now taking few excerpts from His conversation with Bhagawan Brahma. Let us start this discussion today. He is going to explain what is “Karma” and what is “Bhakti” and how does the “Atman” involve itself into the “Saadhu-Samaagama” (Company with good and spiritually advanced people). Apart from this, He is going to explain what is “Saathvika Bhakti”, “Raajasic Bhakti” and “Taamasa Bhakti”. He is also going to talk about which amongst these are the best, and which amongst these should we avoid. Apart from these, there are many more aspects that we’re going to witness in this section.

“Baddho mukta ithi vyaakyaa gunato me na vastuthaha!

Gunasya maayaa moolatvaath name mokshona bandhanam!!”

As we move into this important “Charitra”, we’ve to understand one point here – We can categorize “Atman” into three types. “Baddhan”, “Muktan” and “Nityan”. People who are falling into this first category of “Baddhan” would be engulfed into the “Karma” cycle, perform more and more “Karma” and would keep experiencing the results of all the “Karma” that they perform. Hence, these people are caught into the cycle of “Karma” endlessly without any opportunity to come out of it. The second category of people falling under “Muktan” are those who are able to gain relief from the entire “Karma” cycle by neutralizing all their good and bad “Karma” and finally attain the highest “Moksha” or “Vaikunta”. It should be understood here that if we use terms such as “Moksha”, “Mukti”, “Paramapada” or “Vaikunta” interchangeably, it all means the same. The “Shabdha” called “Moksha” in Sanskrit means “Freedom”. IF we’re getting freedom from someone or something, where do we go?

For instance, if we’re imprisoned for some wrong doing and after few years we get released from the jail – Where do we go? We would automatically go back to our dwelling home isn’t it? Similarly, all of us are imprisoned inside the jail called “Karma”. This entire world is a prison. If we’re spiritually progressing day by day and year by year by using the opportunity that Bhagawan has given us in this birth, we would definitely get the freedom from this world (“Moksha”). Ultimately, when we get that freedom, where do we go? This is the place called “Paramapada”. “Pada” means “Place” and “Paramam” means “Last”. If we’ve to understand the meaning of the phrase “Paramapada”, it simply means that there is no better place in this entire universe to go to, apart from this! Moreover, once we reach the “Paramapada”, we would never come back to this world again. This is exactly what is “Shri Vaikuntam” as well – The dwelling place of Bhagawan Vishnu. This is also the same as what we refer to as “Attaining Moksha” or “Mukti” or “Salvation”. Thus, all the people who attain the ultimate “Moksha” are catergorized under “Muktan”.

Thus, we should also understand that all of us are going to attain this state tomorrow or very soon in the future. We’ve been reading through the “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” text all these days and months meticulously. By reading all of this, we’ve also by now, mended our ways a lot and we’re starting to witness lot of change in our spiritual progress. Hence, all of us can be confident that we’re walking the path to attain the highest “Moksha”. But as we attain “Moksha”, we would lose this present “Shareera” that we have right now. We would assume a different physical form when we go there. As we depart from this world, we all know that our physical body is burnt to ashes. However, our “Atman” takes a subtle form and travels towards the “Archidaardi Maarga”. Within the wink of an eye, our Atman would cross a river called “Viraja”. Once the Atman takes a dip into that holy “Viraja” river, we would get a brand new “Shareera” which is shining and glowing in all aspects. It is with this divine “Shareera” will we be able to live in “Vaikunta”.

We might be wondering what difference would exist between the existing “Shareera” of ours that we have today and the “Divine Shareera” that we would take after we take the holy dip at the “Viraja” River. Let us wait till the next episode to find out the difference and to move on further with this important discussion! Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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