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Kashmir Shaivism And Moksha

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Speaking Tree
24th August, 2019 16:32 IST

The view that ignorance is the cause of bondage and perfect knowledge is the cause of freedom, moksa, is commonly accepted by all Indian philosophers. Yet, in reality, these philosophers have not completely understood knowledge and ignorance. The Vaisnavites, for example, believe that liberation from repeated births and deaths occurs when you are united with paraprakriti. And this union with paraprakriti will take place only when you observe in your understanding that the apparent differentiation of this universe is unreal. Then all attachments, pleasures, and pains will come to an end and you will be established in your own real nature....

The Advaita Vedantins, on the other hand, have concluded that, in the real sense, moksa is only bliss (ananda) and nothing else. They say that when you are residing in the field of ignorance, you become the victim of the fivefold veils: avidya, ignorance; asmita ,ego; raag, attachment; dvesa, hatred and abhinivesa, attachment to your own conception. These coverings, which are the cause of your remaining in samsara, should be removed by the practice of tattvajnana. In this practice, you must mentally negate all that is not your own real nature by thinking, neti, neti,‘I am not this, I am not this.’ So here you practice thinking, ‘I am not the physical body, I am not the subtle body, I am not the mind, I am not the life essence (prana).’You must negate all outside elements. And when you reside completely in your own nature which is that which remains after you negate all outside elements, that knowledge... is called moksa.

The tradition of Buddhist philosophers, who are known as the Vijnanavadins, accept that you are liberated only when your mind is completely detached from all attachments to objectivity….

From the Shaivite point of view, these philosophical traditions remain either in apavedyapralayakala or in savedyapralayakala….As an example, take the state of deep sleep.When you wake up from deep sleep and then think,‘I was sleeping and I didn’t know anything’ that is the state of apavedyapralayakala.And when you wake up from the state of deep sleep and think, ‘I was sleeping peacefully without dreaming’ that is the state of savedyapralayakala because you experienced that it was a sweet sleep and so ‘sweetness’ is the object for you in this state. Shaivism explains that jnana, knowledge is knowing one’s own nature, which is sat, being; chit, all consciousness, and ananda, all bliss.

Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme, Ishwar Ashram Trust ■

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