In the time of Ramayana there used to be a great sage called AshtaVakra. His body was twisted and uneven from 8 places and hence he got the name AshtaVakra ( Ashta means 8 and Vakra means twisted ).
One day Sage AshtaVakra visited the Royal court of King Janak. As the Sage entered the court, almost all of King Janak’s ministers and court officers starting laughing upon seeing the strange and twisted body of Sage Ashtavakra. Upon this Sage Ashtawakra smiled and said, ” King Janak, I have heard so many good things about your knowledge and wisdom but all I see is that your royal court is full of Cobblers and Shoemakers “.
Upon hearing this, all the people present there got very angry and the chief general asked for king’s permission to punish such ill speaking sage as none of the courtiers knew about Sage Ashtavakra. King Janak refused the permission and said that whatever Sage AshtaVakra said was true and then the king requested the sage to explain his words.
To this, Sage AshtaVakra smiled and said, ” You are a wise and just king, Janak. The moment I entered your court, most of the people started laughing by looking at my body and skin, and the ones who deal in skin are either cobblers or shoemakers and they only judge the quality by skin, and so I called them Cobblers and Shoemakers “.
King Janak bowed to the sage and all the courtiers felt very ashamed at their lack of wisdom.
Moral : Don’t Judge a Book by its cover and don’t judge people by their physical attributes. Always judge people by their character and conduct as looks may be deceptive but character and conduct is loyal. Always remember that physical beauty is only skin deep whereas the beauty of character and conduct is Soul deep. So don’t fall for the former and learn to value the latter.
On the other hand, as a soul is permanent and it cannot be destroyed by any means, the attributes assigned to a soul are also permanent which means that once a person develops or writes such attributes on his soul, they are going to be there forever and ever until some specific and conscious practices are done to remove these attributes. The attributes like knowledge, wisdom and even liberation are the attributes of the soul and accordingly they stay forever once they have come. It means that any type of knowledge gained by you in any one of your lives will always remain with you though you may not be able to fully access and use this knowledge in some particular life of yours due to various reasons.
But even then such knowledge and wisdom is always there inside you, stored in your subconscious mind and protected by it. When the right time comes in a life or when the right life comes for this knowledge to be released to you, it is released by your subconscious mind and you start having it once again as if by magic. In reality, there is no magic in it and this knowledge was gained long time back by you only and then this knowledge had become unavailable to you for some time. Now it is become available once again and since you do not know all the steps involved in this process, you think that you have gained this knowledge by virtue of some magic.
As liberation is an attribute of the soul, it means that once a soul achieves this state of liberation, this state cannot be reversed and this soul remains liberated from there on, even though such a soul may have to put great amount of work and will power in order to achieve such a state of liberation. Accordingly when the liberated souls chose to come to this earth from time to time, they are free from the conditions of good and bad karmas and whatever they do on this earth whether good or bad, bears no fruits for them since they have already freed themselves from such fruits. In order for the nature to maintain harmony in its system, such liberated souls become aware of their state of liberation at early or very early age and accordingly they start behaving like a liberated soul which means they do not engage in bad karmas, they do not wish for the fruits of good karmas and they do not develop any desires.
This is what it actually means when we say that a liberated soul is free from the fruit of good and bad karmas. Such souls are very well aware of their state of liberation and their state of highest wisdom and accordingly they do not engage in such acts or desires which can become the cause of new and conditional births, as per the laws of nature. This is the time when all of you should understand as to why do many of highly divine saints or Godly people start exhibiting very wise and balanced behavior right from their early or very early age. This is due to the fact that their state of liberation as well as their state of highest wisdom is conveyed to them at very early ages so that they may not engage in any such acts which may cause them to take new and conditional births as per the laws of nature.
And since such souls gain access to all the knowledge and wisdom during their childhood or early childhood itself, they start behaving like enlightened souls right from their childhood. Such a behavior is nothing but logical and compulsory because in order to maintain its system in a flawless way, nature has to grant these souls with an access to all of their knowledge and wisdom as well as to their state of liberation, in early years of their lives. And as such knowledge and wisdom comes to them, they start behaving like the enlightened ones right from their childhood, which is exactly what we should expect from a liberated soul and which is exactly what they do.
The word liberation comes from the word Liberate and the world liberate means to set free and accordingly the world liberation in karmic and spiritual terms means freedom and such freedom has very deep meaning which we will discuss now. A liberated soul is a soul which is free from the conditions of births and deaths as well as from karmas and their fruits. Now pay attention that there are only three factors which bind a soul or which put conditions of being born again and again, on a soul. Among these conditions, the settlement for bad karmas is the first one, rewards or settlement for good karmas done with desire for fruits is the second one and unfulfilled desires are the third reason. If any of these reasons exist, it is very logical that a soul is not free since such a soul has willingly or unwillingly bound itself with results and conditions which cannot allow this soul to be liberated, as a bound soul can never be a free soul.
Considering the opposite scenario, when after many births and after great efforts, a soul finally stops engaging in bad karmas, one reason for rebirth is gone which means one out of the three big chains tying this soul has been untied. Likewise when this soul has achieved a stage where this soul can engage in more and more good karmas without developing a desire for the fruits of such good karmas, the second reason for rebirth is gone as the second one of the three big chains tying this soul has been untied. Finally when this soul is able to win over the illusion of developing more and more desires for various things and people, the third and the final reason for rebirth is also gone as the last one of the three big chains binding this soul has also been untied now.
And as all the chains restricting this soul have been untied, such a soul is free from the cycle of rebirths and accordingly such a soul has earned the right to be called a liberated soul or such a soul has achieved liberation. It should be noted that liberation does not mean that a soul cannot come to this earth ever again as that in itself will be one more condition, the condition which says to this soul that you cannot go to the earth now. Even if such a condition is put on a soul, it cannot be called truly liberated since the world liberated means free, free from all the conditions and boundaries. Hence the world liberation in its true sense means that such a liberated soul is not bound to come to this earth in human form under any conditions or karmas or unfulfilled desires. But at the same time, such a liberated soul is always free to come to this earth again and again, though in this case, such a decision is made by this soul itself and not by other factors of nature.
So liberation means that a soul does not have to come to this earth again and again under some unavoidable conditions and at the same time, this soul can choose to come to this earth as and when this soul wishes so. Whenever such wish is made by this soul, the system of nature starts working in order to fulfill such wish of this soul and accordingly a time and place is decided for this soul to be born again. This soul is born again on this earth just like all of us but with a very big difference and this difference is the fact that this soul is free from the results of all the good as well as bad karmas done by it in its present human form. Accordingly this soul is neither rewarded for the good karmas nor punished for the bad karmas.
Liberation is a not a state of physical body and it is a state of mind and soul. There are two types of attributes which are called physical attributes and spiritual attributes where the physical attributes are the attributes of a physical body and the spiritual attributes are the attributes of a soul. Such attributes are also called Sanskara or Sanskara. Since a physical body is temporary and it lasts only for some years, hence the attributes attached to this physical body are also temporary and they do not last permanently. Such physical attributes may include physical shape, beauty, physical health and all other such physical and materialistic things.
To be Continued
Let’s take an example from real life in order to make this concept easy to understand. Many of us use credit cards and they come with reward points and likewise there are many other types of memberships which offer reward points each time you shop or spend through such cards. As you keep on shopping through these cards, you keep on gathering more and more reward points and then a time comes when you want to make use of these reward points. All such companies offer various types of rewards and you can collect any reward that you want provided you have sufficient number of reward points in order to get that reward.
So if you want a luxury watch showing on the reward catalogue as your reward and that luxury watch says you need fifty thousand reward points in order to get it, if you have already earned those fifty thousand reward points, that watch is yours anytime. But if you have lesser number of reward points, say forty thousand reward points, you will either need to wait until the time you earn ten thousand more reward points or you will have to settle for another reward which comes within forty thousand reward points. This is exactly how it works in real life, you earn reward points through good karmas and then you get the rewards that you want or wanted in this life or in your previous life.
Coming back to the example of the soul that wants to be a big move start, even though the desire of this soul has been partially fulfilled but this soul does not want to compromise and he keeps on developing even stronger desire and effort to become an A class movie star. This person dies with this strong desire which remains unfulfilled and hence this unfulfilled desire makes him come to this earth once again. In this new life, this person once again develops a strong conscious desire of becoming an A class movie star and he starts doing effort to fulfill this desire. Here again two things can happen where first one of them is a situation that this person now may have gathered the specific amount of positive energy or good karmas required to achieve the status of an A class movie star and accordingly this person gets this status after making efforts for it. Hence this desire of this soul is fulfilled and the file is closed.
But in the in the second case, it may happen once again that this person does not have sufficient amount of positive energy which can grant him the status of an A class movie star and hence he may not be able to achieve such a status, even in this life. If the positive energy gathered by this person is sufficient to grant him the status of a B class movie star, he will achieve that status and nothing more than that. In this case, this person once again dies with an unfulfilled desire of becoming an A class movie star and accordingly he takes one more birth in order to fulfill this desire.
This cycle of keeps going on life after life until a life comes when this person has sufficient amount of good karmas or positive energy required to achieve the status of an A class movie star. This is the life which fulfills the desire of this person and he is able to achieve the status of an A class movie star and accordingly this desire is erased from the list of unfulfilled desires. This person may have to take many births in order to fulfill just this one desire due to the fact that this desire in question needs great amount of positive energy or good karmas and acquiring such great amount of positive energy can take many lives. Hence the bigger is the desire the more is the amount of positive energy or good karmas that you need in order to fulfill that desire.
Some of you may be surprised as to how many times we may have to take birth in order to fulfill a single strong desire of ours. And even though it is surprising but it is not the end as every soul has many such desires which bring him to his earth again and again and it is a common scenario in case of most of the souls that even though some of their desires have been fulfilled in a specific life, they develop many other desires in that specific life. Some of these desires get fulfilled in the same life whereas some of them are not fulfilled due to various reasons and hence such desires cause one more birth of this soul. This sequence goes on and as a result a soul trapped in the whirlpool of making more and more wishes and then achieving them, keeps on coming to this earth again and again as such a soul cannot find liberation until all of his wishes and desires have been fulfilled.
To be Continued
This strong and unfulfilled desire brings you back to life once more and once again the system of nature helps you by sending you on this earth at times and situations which bring you in contact with this girl, in this new life of yours. Once again the same process follows and if you are able to get this girl, this desire is fulfilled whereas if you are once again unable to get this girl due to her free will not coming in accordance with your desire, you are scheduled for one more birth as this desire still remains unfulfilled. This keeps going on and on until a life comes when either the free will of this girl comes in accordance with your desire or you choose to forsake this desire completely. The second choice is rarely practiced by any soul since no soul likes to forsake a desire for which it has waited and tried for many lives. Hence you keep on taking birth after birth until in one of your lives, this wish is fulfilled and you don’t have to take one more birth in order to fulfill this desire.
Let’s now take another example from a different sphere of our lives in order to better understand the important and role of desire element, in the process of rebirths. Let’s assume that a person in his present life wants to become a very famous movie star and he starts doing efforts for it. In this case, the desire element is there and this person has started doing efforts also even though both of these elements may not be as strong as strong may be required in order to become a famous movie start, but they are still there. With the passage of time the desire of this person as well as the efforts of this person to become a big movie start keep on intensifying and this is where the third factor of luck or karma comes into play.
Since achieving big fame and money needs great amount of positive energy or rewards which can be earned primarily through engaging in more and more good karmas, hence this desire of becoming a big movie star depends a great deal on the amount of positive energy that he carries by virtue of good karmas done in past life as well as in this life. If this person has sufficient amount of good karmas or positive energy which is required to become a big movie star, his efforts will start bringing results and he will achieve what he wishes and in this case the equation does demand one more life for this wish since it has been fulfilled.
But if this person does not have sufficient positive energy or good karmas which are essential for becoming a big movie star, he will not be able to become a big movie star despite all his desire and efforts. In this case, this desire remains unfulfilled and hence such an unfulfilled desire brings this person to this earth once again and in this life also, this person develops a strong desire of becoming a big movie star right from his early age. This is due to the fact that such desires are the attribute of the soul and hence they cannot simply go away once a person dies and instead they keep on appearing life after life until they have been fulfilled in a specific life.
So this person once again starts working towards becoming a big movie star and let’s say that in this life, this person has good amount of positive energy or good karmas but even then this positive energy is not sufficient to completely grant him what he wants. Hence in this case, the efforts of this person will bring fruits and he will become a movie star but not as big or famous as he wanted to be. The star status of this person will correspond to a status which can be achieved with the help of good karmas or positive energy that he has. So if this person has a stock of positive energy which can take him to the status of a movie star which falls in B or C category, this person will achieve that status with his efforts and he will achieve nothing more than that even though he may keep on trying harder and harder. B category of movie stars includes the movie stars who are not the most famous ones but who come just after the most famous ones and likewise the movie stars belonging to C category come just after the movies stars belonging to B category.
To be Continued