Jailed Jivan?

Image take from Google Image search

Image take from Google Image search

Recently a friend asked me about the difference I understood there to be between the term “enlightened” and “Self-Realized.” I answered him that I understand enlightenment to be something progressive and not automatically final, whereas I’ve never heard of someone being Self-Realized and still having more realization to attain. His understanding seemed to be similar.

A day or so ago, as I neared the completion of a book I’ve been reading, I came to a passage that seemed to fit into the aforementioned conversation, although … with a twist. The book is called “My Master – The Essence of Pure Love” and was written by the current and living (although that may change shortly) guru and Master of the Sahaj Marg, Shri Parathasarathi Rajagopalachari, affectionately known as Chariji. He wrote this book upon a “divine commandment” received by him from his own guru, Sri Ram Chandra – also known as Babuji within the Sahaj Marg. What follows is an excerpt from the chapter called “The Gift of Liberation.”

“The ultimate aim of sadhana under the Sahaj Marg system of raja yoga is rather loosely designated as being liberation or realization. These two terms are generally used interchangeably, as if they were synonymous, and represented the same condition of state of Being. Those closer to Master who have had more experience with Master’s use of the terminology of his system, appreciate that there is not merely a difference between the two words, but the difference is indeed a large and significant one. Sometimes a third term is used, this being ‘the perfect human condition’ or the ‘condition of the perfect human being.’ Thus the goal is generally described in these terms, the exact term used depending on the person’s degree of intimacy with Master, and his own growth and experience in the system.

“As far as I have been able to understand the subject, is appears to me that liberation is a lesser order of attainment when compared to realization. In Sahaj Marg terms, liberation is indeed a far higher level than the traditional religious emancipation labeled mukti or moksha, both of which generally refer to a state of salvation from which there is no return to the physical plane of existence. They, however, do not preclude rebirth in higher non-physical realms of existence, of which Master says there are many. So mukti and moksha are limited concepts, whereas the liberation of Sahaj Marg yoga offers a permanent release from the chain of births and deaths.

“There is a more significant difference. Traditional religion seems to provide, by and large, for release only after death. This is called videha mukti, that is mukti after one has vacated the body. The jivan mukta state, that is the state of release in this life itself, while one is yet alive, is stated to be a very high order of mukti, possible only to a very few. Under Sahaj Marg the emphasis is on the attainment of liberation in this life itself, here and now, while one is living a normal life as a householder.

“When I requested Master to give a short definition of liberation, Master said, ‘In one who has been liberated what is first broken down is time. Time is destroyed first.’ This is clear enough as far as it goes, implying that one who is liberated is no longer subject to the sway of time. For such a person all temporality ceases to exist and one steps into eternity. I have long tried to understand this concept of eternity. The only clear understanding I have arrived at is that eternity does not mean unlimited extension of time. It seems to be of a different order of existence.”

I found this section of the chapter intriguing. It provides many answers if one decides to accept them, and it also certainly can be said that this section and chapter opens many questions as well. I also wonder where a term like “samadhi” fits into the Sahaj Marg understanding of liberation and realization – I’ve yet to encounter much, if anything, relating directly to that term. For now, if nothing else, this serves as an example of another perspective that might not be very prominent, but is no less valid.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Aum Shanti



Prayer Hindu

The first two chapters of this copy of the Vivekachudamani are really more of an introduction than anything and so much of what is said feels like the essence of Jnana, as I understand it. I also find what I’m planning to share in upcoming posts to be essential Hinduism if ever I’ve encountered Hinduism’s essence. Surely, the rest of what devotees would identify as Sanatana Dharma has grown from this very knowledge. You’ll see.

Many people mistakenly understand Jnana Yoga to mean hardly anything deeper than intellectual wisdom. Often, in an effort to refute the immense value of Jnana Yoga, people cite texts that point out that book wisdom won’t automatically lead to moksha/liberation. However, Jnana Yoga blows book wisdom (which is highly prone to ego influence) out of the water entirely, and is directly concerned with experiential knowledge of Reality. When I superficially consider what Jnana Yoga might mean for a soul that becomes illumined, I often think of the movie The Matrix.

Neo embarks on a journey of realizing exactly who he is at his center and by the end of the movie, after the realization that the illusion everyone lives in (Maya?) has no real power of its own, we’re allowed to glimpse the new “vision” his illumination has brought. He sees that the essence of everything is The Same… Everything is swirling in binary code, although the distinct forms of various things are still distinguishable.

That is Jnana Yoga. Commitment/Devotion was fuel for the fire that drove him along his journey. His actions were certainly a part of that process, too. The culmination of his entire journey was to arrive back at an experiential knowledge of Reality. With this manifestation of Jnana Yoga, he achieved liberation and was free to not only move about existence as need willed, but could also control the “material” world and was freed from fear. He ultimately attained freedom from Illusion(Maya) as well as those agents who worked within it. Then, as a Seer, he became a bodhisattva – someone who’s vowed to forever assist others on the same journey, until all are similarly liberated.

I’ll soon be sharing some of what I’ve learned in the opening chapters – that eventually bring me to the actual Vivekachudamani in chapter three. It’s lofty stuff, that’s for sure, but it’s also Truth.

Brace yourself.

Om Shanti



The mind is in itself the cause for one’s happiness and misery. That mind which is possessed of wisdom, manliness and cheer is a friend, while that which is otherwise is a foe.

The mind that is sullied by the passions of attachment and hatred gives rise to misery and several other painful experiences. Hence one should wash off these impurities of the mind with one’s own wisdom and manliness and make it crystal pure.

To get rid of human misery, it is the mind and not God that is to be pleased. Without purity of mind no salvation is possible.

Motionlessness of the mind is itself salvation, while its motion is worldly bondage. Get the mind absorbed in itself and it will then merge in ecstatic Bliss. That is indeed the cessation of all misery and the attainment of final beatitude.

Brahmananda Swami Sivayogi (1852-1929)
-As taken from Hindu Blog