Salvation from Human Bondage

31
Jan

It should be clear to the reader from what has gone before that Salvation must carry together different connotation for the philosophy of Devatma. Salvation, for him, is freedom from low-loves and low-hates and the untruthful and evil thoughts, actions and disposition produced by it.

Low-loves and low-hates are dispositions to seek exclusively the pleasures of body and ego which lead to untruthful and actions and thus degrade and disease the soul and therefore constitute human bondage. The low-love of money, for example, leads one to indulge in thinking of ways and means to cheat and exploit others. It leads one to act in ways detrimental to the interests of others. It produces low-hates makes one think out evil designs to harm such a person. A low-love of praise leads one to indulge in one’s false self-praise, and to enjoy false praise by others. He does not hesitate to squander his patrimony on his flatterers or to give them unprincipled help. The well-wisher who warns him or actively stops him from some of his ruineous activities becomes an object of low-hate to be removed by fair or foul means. Thus every low-love and low-hate goes the way of untruth and thereby diseases the soul and brings about its death, if moksha is not attained from it.

1  “true moksha consists in getting rid of (i) low-love and their consequent low-hates; (ii) the untruthful and evil thoughts practices produced by them; and (iii) to remove the spiritual impurities accumulated by the past activities of low-loves and low-hates.”

The concept of moksha differs in fundamental respects from the classical Indian concept of moksha. The classical concept is an answer to the question so clearly put in Sankhya Karika at the very first page. It says, “From torment by three-fold misery (arise) the inquiry into the means of terminating it.” “If there were no misery or if misery did not affect us, there would be no inquiry at all.

The classical concept of moksha sets up elimination of misery or pain as the ideal.

This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that all doctrines of moksha agree only on one point that moksha is a state free from pain. On all other characteristics of moksha state, namely, whether it is conscious or unconscious state, pleasurable state or one without pleasure, a state of self-gathering or a state of identity or likeness to Brahman, there are wide differences among Indian philosophers.

The problem posed by Devatma in interpreting the state of moksha is not how to eliminate pain in life but how to eliminate untruth and evil in life. For him pain is not evil in all cases. There are pains and frustrations involved in scientific research, in espousing great causes for human good, in adventures for discovery and conquest of new worlds. There are pains involved in moral and spiritual ascent. The pain one experiences, for example, in recognition of the harm done to another and the effort involved to make amends for it, is a blessing for the soul. Such a pain liberates the soul from past accumulated impurities. It is only that pain which brings no gain to the quality of life that is evil and is to be eliminated. It is the pains of disease that are to be removed, not pains of growth. It is pains of accidents that are to be prevented and not pains of adventure. It is pains of superstition and ignorance that are to be removed but not pains for the gain of knowledge. It is fruitless pains of greeds, jealousy and vindictiveness that are evil and not the pains and sacrifices involved in altruistic service of others. All these healthy pains are not undergone just to remove pain in future but to bring truth, goodness and beauty in some aspects of life. Further, let us mark, it would not be a better world if these achievements in quality living were effortless satisfactions of lotus eaters. Devatma rejects, thus, the elimination of pain in life as the ideal of life. He does not conceive the ideal state for man to be a state free from all pain.

Secondly, Devatma holds the problem of moksha to be a value problem and not a psychological problem. The classical Indian thinker holds the problem to be psychological. . .

Devatma says, ‘if there had been any law of the universe governing man, by which he could safely follow the wake of happiness and by so doing produce nothing but good and under no circumstances produce wrong or anything antagonistic to good, there would have been no harm at all in raising happiness to the pedestal of the goal of life. but this is not a fact. There is no such law of Nature governing the life of man. On the contrary we find another eternal law of Nature that a lover of pleasure cannot but produce evil and wrong and cannot but harmful to himself as well as to other beings. . .

To sum up : The two fundamental differences between the classical and Devatma’s conception of moksha are that for Devatma pain is not evil in all cases and the problem of moksha is not the problem of elimination of all pain in life, for there are pains integral to quality of the soul. Secondly, it is impossible to avoid pain altogether, for human personality – both body and soul – is part of Nature and cannot avoid contacts which prove painful. thirdly, the problem of moksha is not attainment of pleasure as the goal of life, whether the pleasure is empirical or transcendental. The exclusive pursuit of pleasure is pathological in all cases, whether the pursuit is for the empirical or the transcendental pleasure.

The problem of moksha is neither the elimination of pain nor the attainment of pleasure, empirical or transcendental. It is eliminate low-loves and low-hates, i.e, to eliminate dispositions to untruthful and evil thoughts and actions, which disease, disintegrate and destroy the soul.

II

Let us concentrate on Devatma’s interpretation of moksha. When does a person attain to moksha from some low-love or low- hate? He obtains moksha from a low-love or a low-hate when he satisfies the following conditions :

(a)

He must awaken to the repulsive character of a low-love and the untruthful and evil thoughts and actions produced by it as symptomatic of the diseased state of his soul. He must cognize the repulsive character of the low-loves and the untruthful and evil thoughts and evil practices in the same way as a man cognizes certain physical symptoms as symptomatic of cancer in his body. . .

Moksha admits of degrees. To get moksha from one low-love or one low-hate is not ipso facto to get moksha from other low-loves and low-hates. One may get freedom from the low-love of greed, but fail to get rid of the low-love of sex. he may hate dishonest ways to earn money. He may hate to hoard money. He may be fair in his dealings with his labour and customers. But he may be blind to the harm involved in excessive sex satisfactions, or is being tyrannical to his wife in his sex demands, or in seeking sex satisfaction outside marital relationships by untruthful and evil means. He may get moksha from some biological low-loves but remain a slave to low-love of self. He may keep to the sex ethics, and business ethics, but indulge in false self-praise, waste money on ostentations. Since low-loves and low-hates are many , moksha remains a matter of degrees. Some can attain moksha from a greater number of low-loves than others.

It is not only true that there are different low-loves and each is to be separately tackled and conquered for the health and safety of the soul, but each low-loves is many sided in character. I have a low-love of taste for meat but fail to give up the low-love for sweet things. I may develop enough hatred for meat diet as involving cruelty to the animal world, but fail to develop hatred for the harm involved in my taking sweet things as a diabetic patient.

Finally, there are low-loves which stand in the way of moksha more than others. In order to get moksha from a low-love, I need the light to see the repulsive character of the untruthful and evil thoughts and actions produced by that low-love and the strength to root out the disposition. I need education. I need a moral inspirer who is free from that low-love. He provides the psychological climate in which my eyes can open in the light to see the ugly  and repulsive character of that low-love and get inspiration to root it out. This is possible if I am not given to too much self-love or vanity which does not let me recognize the moral inspirer as my superior and Saviour. If my self-loves are intense, I barricade my way to moksha.