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Karma Yoga for Moksa
Patrick: Om, Sundari, I apologize for the delay. My wife gave birth to our first child last Monday, and I’m just now getting to my email.
Thank you so much for these talks; they are both enlightening and inspiring. I have yet to receive the email from James that you mentioned, but I’m sure and hope it will come soon.
As I read and reread your comments, a small doubt arises in the mind. I feel that more or less I am aware of the presence of reflected awareness throughout the day. Even while the mind is tamasic, through knowledge I see that since I am aware of the nature of the mind, I must be other than the mind. Yet there is still something within me that wants to do something to get enlightened. After speaking with James and inquiring into this issue, I see that it’s a vasana dependent on awareness from my yoga days… and I can say intellectually that moksa is my nature already. And I can also intellectually say that since consciousness obtains and is the only free and eternal thing, than I must be it now.
But I have not yet owned my identification as the self.
I have confidence that it obtains, that it’s the only reality, but something blocks the final identification of myself as the self. I know a great deal of the material like the back of my hand, but perhaps it’s a confidence issue. Since I am not in the presence of a jnani constantly, it’s hard to say. But I want to own it. I keep inquiring, listing, inquiring and can taste it, but to no avail.
As I write this, I see that I want enlightenment to be a huge “spiritual orgasm,” to put it in James’ terms. When you work for something so long you want the release to be that much greater. Perhaps this feeling is there because I’m not taking Isvara into account. It just feels so close, but I haven’t owned it yet, and don’t know how to. Is this wanting a trace of the doer?
Thank you so very much!
~ Om and prem, Patrick
Sundari: Hello, Patrick. My apologies this time for taking so long to reply! I received this mail just before Easter, which I went to spend with my daughter in South Africa and straight after that James and I left for Holland where we are now. He is teaching here until the 22nd and then we are on our way to the States.
I have read through this email carefully, and the solution is simple. Practice karma yoga on your desire for moksa. You have done all the necessary work and it is time to surrender your desire, as it is up to Isvara now, not up to Patrick. It will come when it comes. You are enlightened, so moksa is only for the mind, i.e. Patrick. You have already established that you are not your mind. The desire for moksa is the most important qualification and it takes you as far as it can, but the time has come to let it go or it will hold you back.
Why is the knowledge that you are the self not enough? Scripture should be all you need because it is apta vakya, the testimony of competent witnesses. The rishis to whom this knowledge was revealed are trustworthy. What experience is going to remove this doubt? As even if you had such an experience, how would you know if you interpreted it correctly so that it removes your doubt? Why not dare to own the knowledge now? It requires nothing more than that you own it with confidence.
You say that there is a part of you that wants to do something to get enlightened. That is the doer. The teaching that negates the doer on this topic is this: moksa is limitless. No action done by a limited entity can produce a limitless result. Therefore action is not a valid means of enlightenment. Only knowledge is because ignorance is the problem. Action, doing something to get moksa, is the effect of ignorance and the effect of something cannot remove the cause, because the cause is subtler than the effect. However, inquiry is a peculiar kind of action insofar as the result of inquiry is knowledge. But inquiry is just the application of knowledge once the knowledge has been assimlated. So you cannot say it is an action in the common sense in which this term is used.
Inquiry is seeing the apparent reality (mithya) from the self’s point of view. When you identify yourself with the self you assume its point of view and you no longer see yourself as the doer and therefore the doer’s actions are consumed in the fire of this knowledge. In other words, the results of action are no longer meaningful. This desire you probably picked up from yoga because yoga is for doers. Vedanta is the knowledge that frees the self from the notion of doership and action. The self is akarta, actionless.
James and I wish you much joy with the birth of your child; what good karma he has to be born to a father who knows who he is!
~ Om and prem, Sundari