Sri Matre Namaha
Nitya-mukta – The One Hundred & Fourty Fourth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
She who is forever free of the ties of the world
Nityam Yatha tatha mukta
As she is eternal She is ever free
nityam mukta yasyah bhaktah sa
She whose devotees are ever free
nityam muncati (=mucyate va) ( = nityamuktasya bhavah) tattva
She who always makes herself free. Or, She is of the nature of Salvation
She is eternally free, another quality of the Brahman.
To realise the Brahman, one has to be eternally free and devoid of bondage.
Liberation (Mukthi) can simply be defined as freedom from the material consciousness, resulting in dissolving of the instinctive mind or false ego — death from the bondage, Maya or repeated pain and suffering in a physical body. That is to say, to attain a blessed state of the Jeevanmukta is to overcome mental delusion and recover one’s Divine Identity as Pure Consciousness. Hence to attain perfect liberation while living, Realization of the Self needs to be brought through into every aspect of life and every atom of the body.
An ordinary mortal or a conditioned soul is continuously stirred up by Maya (illusion, ignorance, false ego, mistaken identity, delusion, etc.) while witnessing his day-to-day life. But a Jeevanmukta observes the play of the life through the prism of the Pure Consciousness — without any desires, emotional attachment, restlessness, prejudices and agitations of the mind. The teachings of the world scriptures are intended to awaken this Pure Consciousness within. This Unconditioned Consciousness is our true nature, which can be awakened by fully roasting the seed of ignorance in the fire of Self-knowledge (Aatam-Gian).
The scriptures mention four kinds of Mukti. They are:
Saalokya Mukti: When a devotee worships a particular god, he will ultimatelyobtain a place in the heavenly abode of that particular god. This is called as‘Saalokya Mukti’. The method of worship followed here is called as ‘Charya’. Itis a method in which the seeker considers himself a slave and the god as theSupreme Lord.
Saaroopya Mukti : A devotee practising even more intense devotion will not onlyobtain a place in the heavenly abode, but will also acquire the qualities of thegod he worships. The method of worship followed here is called as ‘Kriya’. Kriyahere means performing Pooja, Homa and other rituals.Saameepya Mukti: If the worship is even more intense, the seeker will not onlyacquire the qualities of the god he worships, but will also gain a godly formand a place very near to God. This method is called ‘Yoga’. Here Yoga means theeight steps of Ashtanga Yoga.
Saayujya Mukti : When the worshiper transcends the Saguna form and reaches the Nirguna form, the seeker will realise that Jeevatma and Paramatma are one andthe same. This is called Saayujya Mukti. The instrument to obtain this is‘Jnana’. Jnana means realising the Atma Tattva with the help of Nitya AnityaVastu Viveka.The first three are not important. Although they are referred to as Mukti, thereal meaning of Mukti is not reflected by them because those three kinds ofMukti are not permanent. Also, in each of the three, the Jeevi will be havingsome sort of form. After the merit is exhausted, he will lose the celestial bodyand will again take birth as a mortal.
The fourth type of Mukti is different. In this, the Jeevi will not have a bodyand will not have another birth either. Only this should be considered as realMukti.
Now that we have understood what is mukthi and the different forms of mukthi, let us take this thought forward and understand what devi tells us and the things we have to do to attain this everlasting peace and happiness.To attain mukthi one has to understand the meaning of the seed mantra. Devi says”The letter “Ha” means gross body and the letter “Ra” means subtle body and the letter “Î” means the causal body; (dot over the semicircle) is the fourth “Turîya” state of Mine. Thus meditating on the separate dillerentiated states, the intelligent man should meditate on the aforesaid three Vîjas in the Cosmic body also and he should then try to establish the identity between the two. Before enteriing into Samâdhi, after very carefully thinking the above, one should close cne’s eyes and meditate on Me, the Supreme Diety of the Universe, the Luminous and Self-Ellulgent Brahmâ.
“Putting a stop to all worldly desires, free from jealousy and other evils, he should (by constant practise of Prânâyâma) make equal according to the rules of Prânâyâma, the Prâna (the inhaled breath) and Apâna (the exhaled breath) Vâyûs and with an unfeigned devotion get the gross body (Vais’vânara) indicated by the letter “Ha” dissolved in the subtle body Taijasa. The Taijasa body, the letter “Ra” is in a cave where there is no noise (in the Susumnâ cave). After that He should dissolve the Taijasa, “Ra” into the Causal body “Î”. He should then dissolve the Causal body, the Prâjña “Î” into the Turîya state Hrîm. Then he should go into a region where there is no speech or the thing spoken, which is absolutely free from dualities, that Akhanda Sachchidânanda and meditate on that Highest Self in the midst of the Fiery Flame of Consciousness.”.
When one follows these steps one can see devi within them and if she is in the vastless space then how can she ever be tied down. She is maya,she is nirguna,she is nirmala.Devi again points out that moksha can be attained by three ways: They are Karma Yoga, Jñâna Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
Let us look into these kinds, to understand why it is connected to mukthi and why devi wants us to follow these.
Karma Yoga is consecration of all actions and their fruits unto the Lord. Karma Yoga is performance of actions dwelling in union with the Divine, removing attachment and remaining balanced ever in success and failure.
Karma Yoga is selfless service unto humanity. Karma Yoga is the Yoga of action which purifies the heart and prepares the Antahkarana (the heart and the mind) for the reception of Divine Light or attainment if Knowledge of the Self. The important point is that you will have to serve humanity without any attachment or egoism.
Action of some kind or the other is unavoidable. You cannot keep quiet without doing anything. What binds you to phenomenal existence or Samsara is not the action but the idea of doership and enjoyership. Karma binds when it is done with a selfish motive, with the expectation of fruits. But when action is done without the expectation of fruits, it is liberating. If you act as an instrument in the hands of the Lord, as a participant in the cosmic activity of Nature, without expectation of fruits, that Karma will not bind you. Karma, then becomes Karma Yoga. Work unselfishly. Feel that you are only an instrument and that the Lord is working through you. Surrender the actions and their fruits to the Lord. You will be freed from the bonds of Karma and enjoy peace.
The practice of Karma Yoga prepares the aspirant for the reception of knowledge of the Self. It makes him a proper Adhikari (aspirant) for the study of Vedanta. Ignorant people jump at once to Jnana Yoga, without first having a preliminary training in Karma Yoga. That is the reason why they fail miserably to realize the Truth. Various impurities lurk in the fourfold mind (Antahkarana). The mind is filled with likes and dislikes, jealousy, etc. They only talk of Brahman. They indulge in all sorts of useless controversies, vain debates and dry, endless discussions. Their philosophy is only on their lips. In other words, they are lip-Vedantins. What is really wanted is practical Vedanta through ceaseless, selfless service. Selfless service is the only way to remove the impurities lurking in the mind.
Two things are indispensably requisite in the practice of Karma Yoga. The Karma Yogi should have non-attachment to the fruits of actions. He will have to dedicate his actions at the altar of God with the feeling of Ishvararpana. Non-attachment brings freedom from sorrow and fear. Non-attachment makes a man absolutely bold and fearless. When he dedicates his actions at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, he develops devotion to God and approaches Him nearer and nearer. He gradually feels that God works directly through his Indriyas or instruments. He feels no strain or burden in discharge of his works now. He is quite at ease. The heavy load which he felt previously on account of false notion has vanished out of sight now.
The practice of Karma Yoga does not demand that you should possess enormous wealth. You can serve with your mind and body. If you find a poor sick man lying on the road side, give him some water or milk to drink. Cheer him up with sweet, encouraging words. Put him in a carriage and take him to the nearest hospital. If you have no money to pay for the carriage, carry the patient on your back and see that he is admitted into the hospital. If you do service like this, your heart will be purified. God is more pleased with such sort of service for the poor helpless people than with the service done by rich people with pomp and vanity.
If any one is suffering from acute pain in any part of the body, at once shampoo the affected part very quickly. Feel, when you massage, that you are shampooing the body of the Lord (Virat). Repeat your Ishta Mantra or any name of the Lord while shampooing. Pray also from the bottom of your heart: “O Lord! Remove the pain of this man. Let him rest in peace. Let him possess good health.” Feel, when you massage, that the energy from the cosmic source, Hiranyagarbha, is flowing continuously through your hands. The more you give, the more yu will get. You will be in tune with the cosmic energy or the Infinite. This is the divine law.
Karma Yogi should be absolutely free from lust, greed, anger and egoism. Even if there are traces of these Doshas, he should try to remove them. He should not expect any kind of fruits for his actions herein and hereafter. He should not have any desire for name and fame, approbation, thirst for applause, admiration and gratitude. He must have a spotless character. He should try to possess this gradually. He should be humble and free from hatred, jealousy, harshness, etc. He should always speak sweet words. How can a proud and jealous man, who expects respect and honour from others, serve others ? He should be absolutely fearless. A timid man is absolutely unfit for Karma Yoga. A Karma Yogi should have large heart. He should be free from crookedness, meanness, miserliness and selfishness. He should be absolutely free from greed, anger and egoism.
A Karma Yogi should have an amiable, loving social nature. He should be able to move and mix with everybody without distinction of caste, creed or colour. He should have perfect adaptability, tolerance, sympathy, cosmic love and mercy. He should be able to adjust with the habits and ways of others. He should have an all-embracing and an all-inclusive heart. He should always have a cool and balanced mind. He should have presence of mind also. He should have equal vision. He should rejoice in the welfare of others.
A man who is easily irritable and who can easily be offended for trifling things is absolutely unfit for the path of Karma Yoga. He should have all the organs under perfect control. He should lead a very simple life. He should bear insult, disrespect, dishonour, censure, infamy, disgrace, harsh words, heat, cold and the pain of diseases. He should have absolute faith in himself, in God, in scriptures and in the words of hid Guru. If he leads a life of luxury, if he wants everything for himself, how can he share his possessions with others ? He should burn his selfishness to the very root. Let me remind you the words of the Gita: “Restraining and subduing the senses, regarding everything equally, rejoicing in the welfare of all, these alone come to Me.” Such a man becomes a good Karma Yogi and reaches the goal quickly.
Now coming to jyana yoga:
As recounted many times in vedantic scriptures such as the Upanishads and the Yoga Vasishta, when the student is ready, liberation, or moksha, can come very quickly. Here is the three-step process that leads to self knowledge:
1. The guru explains to the students the teachings of vedanta and what is Brahman. He often uses stories and analogies to make his point. The students listen attentively and this step is called sravanam, which literally means listening.
2. The student reflects upon what he or she has heard, cogitates, and tries to really comprehend the subtle truths that have been taught to him or her. This is called mananam, which means reflecting or contemplating.
3. The student meditates on the Brahman of the upanishads and this leads to the intuitive, direct experience of Truth. This is called nididhyasana, or meditating.
Follow the different forms of bhakthi which I have explained indetail in my other posts which i had quoted from Srimad-Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana like:
Sravana (hearing of God’s Lilas and stories),
Kirtana (singing of His glories),
Smarana (remembrance of His name and presence),
Padasevana (service of His feet),
Archana (worship of God),
Vandana (prostration to Lord),
Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God),
Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava) and
Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self).
All these margas lead to the Supreme so by moving towards her one realises like her they also tend to remain in bliss forever.