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Bondage and Liberation

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

11 August 2021

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There is a way of generating peace and relief, lightness and freedom. The way is to make the mind interact with the Soul, the Subject or the Self.

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः ।
बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्तं निर्विषयं स्मृतम् ॥

mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandha-mokṣayoḥ ।
bandhāya viṣayāsaktaṃ muktaṃ nir-viṣayaṃ smṛtaṃ ॥

…This shloka from Brahmabindu Upanishad (shloka 2) says that the mind itself is the cause of bondage and liberation. A mind attached to sense-objects leads to bondage while the mind freed of objects leads to liberation.

Bondage and liberation are verily for the mind. The Soul does not have any bondage, nor does it need liberation. Many of you get confused about what in us gets liberated. My reply is, whichever part in you now feels bound, will start feeling the absence of bondage.

Liberation is not something to be gained after the body falls. Right from the birth of our body, the senses start interacting with the external world. Consequently, the mind too gets involved with the object impressions. With the passage of time, it becomes more and more crowded with worldly impressions. The sukha-duḥkhās, the likes and dislikes, the various agitations and afflictions – all relate to the world and its objects. The world thrives on dvandvas. Caught in the quagmire of dvandvas, the mind feels bondage, but never does it look back into its own
source, the Subject.

But there is a way of treating the mind. There is a way of generating peace and relief, lightness and freedom. The way is to make the mind interact with the Soul, the Subject or the Self. As the interactions with the plural world give rise to afflictions and tension, so will the contemplation on the one and uniform Soul generate peace, poise and freedom.

The right time to treat the mind with Self-reflection is when the agitation exists. Don’t wait for the afflictions to subside. The external situations we may not be able to win over. But the responses of our mind to any external situation we can certainly control and transform. So, consider every unfavourable situation as an opportunity to treat the mind and transform it.

The mind is a kind of surface expression like the waves of the ocean. The waves appear to be high and mighty. But underneath lie the immense depth and stillness of the ocean. Compared to the vastness below, what is the magnitude of the waves? So are the afflictions and agitations, likes and dislikes, joy and sorrow of the mind. Underneath these waves and ripples, lies the calm infinitude of the Self. Know this vastness. Know this unfathomable depth. Let the waves and ripples of the object impressions play on the surface. But you remain poised in the uniform taintless vastness of the Subject…

Harih Om Tat Sat

– From the book–Prabhata Rashmih-Vol 1

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“Bondage and liberation are verily for the mind”

“Liberation is not something to be gained after the body falls.”

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