Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where twelve of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Will. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too! Having given us the topic, will Will or won’t Will?
Calm, peaceful, or tranquil; unruffled: a serene landscape; serene old age.
That is what the dictionary defines the term as. Each word worthy of a post by itself but all of them pointing to a state of being which all of us would dearly love to have.
In the Indian system of yoga, reaching that stage of perfect serenity is called Moksha. The nearest English word for that can be Liberation. Moksha is freedom from all limitations. A person seeking Moksha is called a Mumukshu.
Just anyone cannot become a Mumumkshu. He first needs to have certain characteristics. They are:
1. Viveka : The capacity to discriminate between the permanent and the impermanent.
2. Vairagya : Dispassion to the enjoyments of the fruits of one’s actions, here or hereafter.
3. Six qualities like Sama etc.
4. Yearning for liberation.
The Six qualities mentioned in the third requirment are: Shama, Dama, Uparati, Shraddha, Titiksha and Samadhan.
Shama: Being in control of one’s mind.
Dama: Control of the sense organs.
Uparati: Ability to perform one’s duties (enthusiastically, without any sense of burden).
Shraddha: Faith in the words of Guru, and Scriptures is Shraddha.
Titiksha: The ability to endure the pairs of opposites like heat & cold; pleasure & pain etc.
Samadhan: The ability to stay focused / concentration.
And we think that Serenity is easy to obtain! My spiritual teacher calls this the modern attitude of Instant solutions. Like Instant Coffee, we look to buy serenity off a shelf in some Ashram from some Guru by offering a dakshina.
When one is a Mumukshu, after having acquired the qualities enumerated above, the work starts in earnest. Meditation, reflection, discussions with other seekers, reading, attending classes etc are then taken recourse to.
Even with all these efforts, there is no guarantee that one will reach that stage of Serenity. In our systme, it is assured that being on the path, if one does not reach that stage in this life, s/he will get an opportunity in the next life by being born in a family where the process will be speeded up. If one does reach that stage in one life, that person is called a Jivan Mukta and there are a number of them amongst us, except that we do not recognize them as such.