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Moksha Gita

by Swami Sivananda

Fear not, my child. In reality there is no death for thee. There is a means for crossing this ocean of relative existence and attaining immortality or the supreme bliss. I shall teach thee now Brahma-vidya (knowledge of the absolute).

Salutation to Satchidananda Para (Supreme) Brahman, that glorious first preceptor, who is self-luminous, eternal, indivisible, pure, spotless, desireless, attributeless, timeless, spaceless, changeless, beginningless and endless.

That ultimate reality which is the support for this world, body, prana (life), mind and senses, which is the womb for the vedas, which is all-pervading and all-permeating, which is colourless, odourless, tasteless, nameless and formless-that something shines eternally.

Some indescribable supreme principle which is imperishable, unborn, undecaying, fearless, motionless, one without a second, ancient and infinite - that alone exists.

What is neither short nor long, neither that much nor this much, neither black nor white, neither stout nor thin, neither good nor bad-that should be understood as Brahman.

That which is neither subtle nor dense, which has neither caste nor name, which is immutable, immortal and bodiless, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech-that should be understood as Brahman.

Brahman is distinct from the gross, subtle and causal bodies. He is the soul of all. He is the inner ruler of all. He is eternally free. He is without action, and without motion.

Brahman cannot be defined. To define Brahman is to deny Brahman. The only adequate description of Brahman is a series of negatives. That is the reason why the Upanishads declare, "Neti-neti", "not this, not this".

Maya (illusion) is the upadhi (limiting adjunct) of Isvara (God). She is the illusory power of Brahman. She keeps the lila (creative play) of Isvara (God), through her three gunas (qualities), viz., satva (purity), rajas (passion) and tamas (darkness).

Maya is not non-existent because it appears, neither is it existent because it is destroyed by the dawn of knowledge. Maya-is 'not That'. It is an indescribable appearance.

Maya is neither sat (real) nor asat (unreal). Maya is anadi santam (beginningless) but has an end only for the sage who has realised the self). Maya-is suddha satva or pure satva.

He who gets knowledge of the self having overcome maya or the illusory power, will alone know what maya is, how it arises and is destroyed.

The five elements, the five tanmatras (subtle or root elements), and the various objects of the world are all products or modifications of maya.

Just as you can infer the existence of fire through smoke, so also you can infer the existence of maya through its various manifestations.

Maya is of the nature of mind. Maya generates different degrees of illusion. Maya pervades everywhere. If your mind is destroyed by discrimination and vicara (enquiry into the self), then maya will not afflict you.

This mind which ever hankers after sensual objects is the seed of maya. If the mind is annihilated maya will vanish. You will attain the state of quiescence. Brahma jnana (knowledge of the absolute) will dawn in you.

Avidya (ignorance) is malina satva (weakened purity). It is the upadhi (limiting adjunct) of jiva (individual soul). It is the karana sarira (causal body) of the individual soul. Avidya is anandamaya kosa. Avidya is a false perception by which the ignorant jiva takes the body and intellect as pure, permanent and a source of pleasure.

Just as a king acts the part of a beggar, out of his own free will on the stage in a drama, so also the Satchidananda Brahman acts the part of a jiva in the drama of the world out of his own free will for sport.

Just as men with a defective vision behold a white thing as yellow, so does one perceive the self as the body on account of avidya or ignorance.

When one gets knowledge of the self, this avidya vanishes. It is the destruction of avidya that is the Brahmic seat.

Just as the mirror is dimmed by dirt, so Brahman is veiled by avidya. Therefore human beings are deluded by this avidya. Mind, senses, egoism, intellect and body are the efforts of avidya. If the cause is destroyed, the effects are destroyed by themselves.

This universe of names and forms has its origin in ignorance. It is dissolved by knowledge of the self. The universe, being other than the self, is unreal and like a dream. It is like a mirage.

Just as a snake is superimposed on the rope, silver on the mother-of-pearl, a thief in the post, city in the clouds, mirage in the desert, blueness in the sky, so also this world is superimposed on Brahman.

Just as it is water alone that appears as waves, ripples, etc., gold alone as ear rings, bangles, etc., clay alone as pots, jars, etc., threads alone as cloth, towel, etc., so also does Brahman alone appear as many universes.

Children regard a wooden elephant as an elephant, but the grown-up persons treat it as wood. Even so the wise behold only Brahman everywhere but the ignorant perceive the non-self only. The whole universe is within Brahman. It appears as external to you, just as your body appears external to you in the mirror on account of maya (illusion).

Just as a man does not behold the object which he has seen in his dream when awake, so also the jivanmukta (liberated sage) does not perceive the universe after he attains knowledge of Brahman.

The mind has the power of creating or undoing the whole universe in the twinkling of an eye. Slay this mind through vicara (enquiry), destruction of vasanas (psychological impressions or conditioning) and control of its fluctuation.

Mind is a bundle of vasanas (subtle desires). Through vasanas bondage is caused. Destruction of vasanas will bring freedom. The mind will attain quiescence like a gheeless lamp if the vasanas are destroyed.

Just as a silk-worm is caught in its own cocoon, so also man is caught in this vast net of samsara (worldly life) by his own sankalpas (thoughts and notions) and vasanas.

The enemy of the atman (self) is the fluctuating mind only. The mind through its power of fluctuation generates countless vasanas and sankalpas. Destroy this fluctuating power of the mind through constant Brahma-vicara.

Brahman will not shine when the dualities of the mind are not destroyed. Destroy the dualities. Brahman will shine in its pristine glory.

Ahamkara (egoism) which is the source of all troubles has its seat in the mind. Annihilation of egoism will bring about destruction of the mind and annihilation of the mind will cause destruction of egoism.

The ideas of 'mine' and 'thine' are only the creation of the mind. If the mind is destroyed through vicara, these ideas will vanish. Destruction of the mind alone is moksa (liberation).

Destruction of sankalpas is really destruction of the mind. It is only sankalpas destroyed beyond resurrection that constitute the ineffable, imperishable, and effulgent Brahmic seat.

Just as gold is purified by heating it on the fire, so also mind is purified by the fire of meditation.

As fire is concealed by ashes, sword by the scabbard, sun by the clouds, foetus by the amnion, rubies by the earth, mattress by the bedsheet, so also Brahman is concealed by flesh and bones. If you remove the ash you can perceive the fire; if the clouds are dispersed you can cognise the sun; if you remove the scabbard you can behold the sword; if you remove the bedsheet you can see the mattress. Even so, if the veil of ignorance which conceals the Brahman is removed by knowledge of Brahman you can directly cognise the self-luminous Brahman.

You cannot see the all-pervading butter in the milk, but if you churn it you can get the butter. Even so you cannot see Brahman by these physical eyes, but you can behold the all-pervading Brahman by the churning of meditation.

Purge your mind of all impurities. Sever mentally all your connection with visible objects. Destroy the weeds of desires. Abandon all sankalpas (thoughts). Eradicate the longings. Meditate on Brahman. You will attain soon the nondual Brahmic seat of ineffable splendour.

Understand the right significance of the 'Tat Tvam Asi' Mahavakyas (the great declaration, 'That Thou Art'). The knowledge relating to the identity of the individual soul and the supreme soul that arises from Mahavakyas like 'Tat Tvam Asi' (Thou art That) is the means to emancipation.

The immaculate and supreme seat can be attained very easily if you possess equal vision, balanced mind and discrimination, if you associate with the wise persons and if you practise vicara or enquiry constantly.

One soon becomes that on which he constantly meditates with great intensity in accordance with the illustration of the wasp and the worm.

Negate the five sheaths. Control the senses. Sit quietly. Meditate always, "I am Satchidananda Svayamprakasa Brahman" (Brahman which is existence-consciousness-bliss and which is self-luminous), which is the substratum for these five sheaths and the whole world. Keep up the Brahma-bhavana (contemplation of Brahman) while walking, eating and bathing.

You should ever be engaged in enquiry of Brahman, till you get Brahma-jnana (knowledge of the absolute). You should practise right conduct also. You should have association with the sages. Brahma-bhavana, the end of all vedas, will dawn of itself in you, if you generate the Brahmakara-vrtti (the concept that Brahman alone is real) constantly from your satvic antahkarana (pure mind and heart) by meditating on the right significance of the Mahavakyas, 'Aham Brahma Asmi' (I am Brahman).

Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of all the vedas. It is the boat to take you to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality. Meditate on Om with bhava (feeling) and meaning.

You should make Brahma-vicara habitual in you by constant practice. Then only your mind will be under your perfect control. All the impurities of the mind will be washed away by Brahma-vicara.

Enquire unceasingly : "Who am I? Whence came this universe? How did birth and death come? What is bondage?" You will be able to attain the imperishable abode of eternal bliss.

If you want to attain Brahman all longings for objects should perish. The more you are removed from objects, the more the effulgence of Brahman will radiate in you.

You will never be able to go into samadhi (superconscious state) although you can sit in the padma or siddha asana for six hours at a stretch, if you are not free from attraction and repulsion, anger, egoism and pride.

Merge the speech in the mind; merge the mind in the intellect; merge the intellect in the witness of the intellect or Brahman and enjoy the supreme peace.

Restrain the senses. Silence the bubbling thoughts. Drown the mind in Brahman, who is within. Now you can realise your identity with Brahman.

Acquire the four means. Control your speech. Annihilate all hopes. Hear the srutis (scriptures). Reflect on what you have heard. Then meditate. You will attain self-realisation.

Brahman can be clearly and definitely realised only through nirvikalpa samadhi. Samadhi ensues only when the purified mind is merged in Brahman.

When Brahman is realised by means of nirvikalpa samadhi, then the heart's knot viz., avidya (ignorance), kama (desire) and karma (action) is destroyed.

You cannot have samadhi without perfect dispassion; you cannot have self-realisation without samadhi; you cannot have perfect freedom without self-realisation.

He who thinks, "I am the body .... This body is mine... She is my wife .... He is my son .... I am a brahmana .... I am fat .... I am black .... I am a pandit", is an ignorant man. He is bound.

He who thinks, "I am not the body: I am all-pervading, changeless, immortal, indivisible, self-contained, self-existent, Satchidananda Brahman," is a wise sage. He is free.

He who thinks, "I did this work, so I will go to heaven; I enjoyed such and such a thing", is an ignorant man.

He who thinks, "Prakrti (nature) does everything ... I am only witness .... I am non-doer .... I am non-enjoyer", is a wise sage.

The annamaya sheath (food sheath) is made up of the five elements. It has a beginning and an end. It is inert and full of parts. It is an effect of the five elements. It is full of impurities. Therefore you are not this physical body or the annamaya sheath. You are the witness of this body. Understand, therefore, "I am not the body. I am Brahman."

The pranamaya kosa (the vital sheath) is the product of rajoguna (dynamism, passion). It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the pranamaya kosa. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand, therefore, "I am not the pranamaya kosa. I am Brahman."

The manomaya kosa (the mental sheath) is a product of satva guna. It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert . It is an effect. Therefore you are not the manomaya kosa. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand, therefore, "I am not manomaya kosa. I am Brahman."

The vijnanamaya kosa (the buddhi sheath) is a product of satva guna. It has also a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the vijnanamaya kosa. You are witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the vijnanamaya kosa. I am Brahman."

The anandamaya kosa (the bliss sheath) is avidya or ignorance, a modification of prakrti (nature). It is the effect of past deeds. It is endowed with changing attributes. It is jada (insentient). Therefore you are not the anandamaya kosa. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the anandamaya kosa. I am Brahman."

A jivanmukta (liberated sage) who has reached the imperishable turiya (transcendental) state can never be affected by the pairs of opposites. He always rests in his own Satchidananda svarupa (essential entity as Satchidananda). He roams about happily.

A jivanmukta realises that he is beyond the three bodies and the five kosas; he is the witness of the three states; he is pure consciousness.

For a liberated sage who has realised that all beings are the self, there is neither delusion nor grief, as there is no second for him.

The sage who has destroyed all his desires and egoism, who is always calm and serene, equanimous, who does not see any distinction of form and who has freed himself from delusion or ignorance, shines brilliantly.

The jivanmukta rests with an unshaken mind in the all-blissful Brahman. He is free from all the modifications of the mind. His heart is pure like the Himalayan snow or the crystal. He is free from the distinctions - I, he, thou.

The liberated sage, the prince among ascetics who has conquered the enemy, ignorance, who has known the secret of true bliss, uses the palms of his hands as his bowl, and sleeps blissfully under the foot of a tree.

The sage does not care for public criticism. He keeps a cool mind even when he is assaulted. He blesses those who persecute him. He beholds only his own self everywhere.

He whose mind does neither sink nor float amidst pains and pleasures is indeed a liberated sage. He has rendered his mind completely quiescent by identifying himself with Brahman.

The jivanmukta has a consciousness of body in the form of a samskara (psychological impression). The videhamukta has no consciousness of the body.

Thou art not this perishable body. Thou art not the wavering mind. Thou art not the indriyas (senses). Thou art not the intellect. Thou art not the causal body. Thou art the all-pervading, immortal Brahman. Realise this and be free.

Thou art the prajnana ghana atman (embodiment of wisdom). Thou art Chidghana Brahman (mass of consciousness). Thou art vijnana ghana purusa (mass of knowledge). Thou art ananda ghana soul (mass of bliss). Realise this and be free.

74. Thou art akhandaikarasa Brahman (one homogeneous essence). Thou art cinmatra purusa (pure consciousness). Thou art spotless, passionless, sexless and bodiless soul. Realise this and be free.

75. Thou art timeless, spaceless, deathless, changeless, endless, beginningless, motionless, desireless, faultless and actionless Brahman. Realise this and be free.

76. Thou art indivisible, partless, and infinite. Thou art birthless and deathless. Thou art immutable and self-luminous. Thou art eternal, perpetual and self-contained. Realise this and be free.

77. Thou art Anandamaya-Purusa (blissful soul). Thou art Cinmaya Brahman (pure consciousness). Thou art jyotirmaya atman (radiant). Realise this and be free.

78. Thou art distinct from the three bodies and the five kosas. Thou art the witness of the three states. Realise this and be free.

79. That supreme Brahman which is the immortal self of all, which is the beginningless entity, which is immutable and infinite, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech-that Brahman art thou. Meditate on this. Realise this and be free.

80. My child! Hast thy delusion been destroyed? Have you become fearless now? Have your doubts been removed? Are you resting now in your own Satchidananda Svaropa? I have declared to thee the profound secret of vedanta, the essence of vedas. O preceptor! I have realised the self now. I am verily that Brahman, which is self-effulgent, one without a second, which is changeless, partless, formless, eternal, all-pervading, the absolute and the homogeneous essence.

81. I am Satchidananda Brahman. I am pure, infinite, unattached, timeless, motionless, deathless, decayless and fearless. I have no connection with the body and the mind. I am actionless, formless.

Salutations unto thee, O venerable guru! Thou hast saved me from the wheel of birth and death. Through thy grace I have attained immortality and eternal bliss. All my doubts, delusion and ignorance have vanished. Millions of prostrations unto thee, O merciful Lord.


Gopala Gopala Muralilola

Yasoda Nandana Gopibala.

Serve - Love - Give - Purify, Practise Ahimsa,

Satyam, Brahmacarya 'take satvic food', study Gita,

Have satsang, control senses, do japa kirtan,

Meditate in brahmamuhurta, know thyself.

Love all, embrace all, be kind to all,

Work is worship (serve all), serve the Lord in all.

Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,

Know the self through enquiry, "Who am I?"

Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,

Serve, love, give and be dispassionate,

Know Brahman, maya, samsara and 'I',

Behold the goal of life, Hae Saumya nearby

(Gopala Gopala .....)

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