neti neti

Govind Rengarajan govind at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Wed Mar 25 22:24:11 CST 1998

On Wed, 25 Mar 1998, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> 5. Anand brought up the matter of mumukshutvam as a necessity. I think
> every vedanta student is a mumukshu (aspirant of moksha). If he/she is
> not a mumukshu, then there is no point in following vedantic studies and
> the ego would have forced the jeeva to give up vedanta studies long ago
> and would have forced the jeeva to follow the so-called worldly pleasures.
> It has to be accepted that every vedanta student is a deeply committed,
> sincere aspirant of moksha. Even the aspiration for moksha would die out
> in a committed vedantin and perfect vairAgya settles in.

I am sorry to interrupt this very interesting discussion. I am not
so sure about every student of vedanta being a mumukshu.
Interestingly, mumukshutvam is placed last in the list. A deep
desire (better still - the only desire) for moksha will override the
necessity for vairaagyaa, etc. However, vairaagyaa in itself is just
a step towards mumukshutvam. I think when one is a true mumukshu,
nothing will matter - discussions, notions, etc. He has not attained
moksha yet, but  he is almost there. For advaitic viewpoint, I
believe Shankara's explanation of the first sutra "athaatho brahma
ji~jnaasa" clearly states the conditions for even beginning a study
of brahman! When I had written about this sometime back, Alan Curry
in fact remarked in a private mail that it seems that if one were to
satisfy the requirements he might already be realized! I think
mumukshutvam cannot be underestimated - the overriding deep desire
will lead us to take mental,if not also physical sanyaasaa

A small story to explain this further: A student wanted moksha and
was pestering his guru repeatedly. Finally, his guru held him by his
legs and dropped him upside down into a well (just holding him by
his legs). Obviously the student was desperate for life and
struggled to get out. The guru pulled him out finally, and asked him
what was the thing that he wanted most while he was inside
struggling for his life. The student honestly replied that he was
desperately longing for some air to breathe. The guru told him that
he will attain moksha when his desire for moksha equals or becomes
greater than his need for air inside the water. I think this
illustrates mumukshutvam clearly.


PS: Not quite related, but there were some mention of jnaanaa/
ajnaana, and other schools of vedanta. In vishishhTaadvaita,
bhakti is placed supreme, and complete surrender to naaraayanaa is
considered the best path to Him, and indeed moksha is possible
for everyone regardless of caste, etc.

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