Chaining and Spiritual Liberation - part 1
The concept of spiritual liberation (MOKSHA) involves two aspects.
First, there is an "I", a soul that reaches MOKSHA, and secondly, this soul or "me" is chained because only a being that is chained can become free. Thus, MOKSHA involves chaining. Holistic tradition accepts the existence of an individuality, an "ego" as the one who knows (JNATA) and the one who acts (KARTA). This "me" is chained and therefore is not capable of enjoying its true nature. Therefore, before understanding what MOKSHA – Liberation - is, it is necessary to know the nature of the chaining.
Chaining is ignorance (AJNANA) or, better said, ignoring the real nature of our being.
Literally, the word AJNANA means "the absence of knowledge," but it is used in the sense of "illusion," which is not an absence of knowledge, but a mistaken knowledge. This mistaken knowledge is in fact an incomplete or imperfect knowledge of reality (APURNA JNANA or APURNA KHYATI).
We can ask: if ignorance is a sort of wrong knowledge, how can it chain a being? Is ignorance so powerful that it produces an essential transformation in a being so that s/he becomes different – can it turn SHIVA (divinity) into PASHU (mortal)? The answer is YES. This power of ignorance that can bring about change in your personality is evident in the dream state. When a king, in a dream, finds himself without a kingdom and wandering like a beggar, suffering from hunger, no physical change has occurred. Everything happens only in the mind of the king. He is considered a beggar and he even suffers in his dream, but when he wakes up and his mind is again "healthy," he will turn again into the king.
Understanding can change reality from all points of view. The "we become what we think" aphorism can be understood more clearly from this point of view of holism, according to which consciousness or thought is reality itself. There is no big difference between imagination and reality. Through the power of thought, MANTRA, the yogi can even produce physical changes.
We are a chained soul because we identify ourselves with a chained soul. Of course this is not an intellectual misunderstanding (BAUDHA AJNANA), but an existential one (PAURUSHA), as it appears in the dream. The dream of ignorance is not intellectual ignorance. But at the same time the change that occurs in the dream is not a physical one, it is just a change of state of consciousness, in other words it is a virtual change of personality in a dream, due only to the ignorance that is related to the mind and not to the matter.
We are unconscious of an all-embracing truth
The chaining of the consciousness cannot be a material one, it can only be mental. The nature of ignorance and illusion is thus the wrong thinking due to the wrong knowledge. Of course, the language used to describe the chaining is material. "Chain", "veil", "occultism", "impurity" (MALA) are terms that apply to the material world and only symbolically apply to Consciousness, in order to express spiritual impurity.
This spiritual impurity is the wrong thinking, characteristic of a chained mind. If chaining is due to ignorance and wrong knowledge, what is the nature of this wrong knowledge? The answer is "duality" (DVAITA-PRATHA), the feeling that people and the objects of this world are different or something else than our own being.
The sense of duality is true ignorance, and that is what really chains us. Non-duality is the consciousness that everything is one thing or belongs to a single being; it is the feeling of unity altogether, the state of universal love. What makes the being different is the ego, which is the feeling of being limited to a particular individuality, for which we say "I". The ego originates from the fact that we consider ourselves an individual, seeing in the rest of the world the "others". This is another name for selfishness and this is ignorance or illusion that binds. It is like the mother who, due to unfortunate events, has been separated from her children. When, lately, the children are adults and in front of her, she no longer knows that they are her own children and takes them for “others”. The great discovery of Tantric and Vedic clairvoyants is that the whole Universe is one with the Self, but ignorance makes us unconscious of this all-embracing truth.
Ignorance - the state of affirmation of wrong knowledge
It has become clear from the above statement that ignorance is not a denial, but an affirmation - the state of affirmation of wrong knowledge. Wrong knowledge is itself a state of spiritual impurity (ASHUDDHI). MALA is a term that belongs to the physical world, meaning literally "dirt" or "misery." Applied to consciousness, this term designates the mental or spiritual impurity through which consciousness, in its present state (the state of individual chaining), is imprisoned.
Because impurity conceals the consciousness (Self), it is called "darkness" (TIMIRA or TAMAS). Because it covers or envelops the Consciousness, it is called the "veil" (AVARANA or ACCHADANA), being like a clothing or wrapper (KANCUKA) enveloping the true nature of the Self; because impurity prevents the light of the Self from shining, it is called "occultation" (AVARODHA); because it binds consciousness, it is called "chain" (BANDHA) or "link" (ARGALA).
to be continued!
I wish you a fulfilled life in pursue of spiritual liberation!