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Unveiling the Secrets of Kaivalya: A Discourse on Finding True Liberation

Kaivalya, often translated as "liberation" or "enlightenment," is a concept deeply rooted in ancient Indian philosophy and spiritual teachings. In this discourse, we’ll explore the secrets of Kaivalya, offer an understanding of what true liberation entails, and how it can be achieved.



The essence of Kaivalya: Understanding True Liberation

The essence of Kaivalya lies in understanding the true meaning of liberation. It is not merely a concept or a destination to be reached; it is a state of being that transcends all limitations and attachments. True liberation is the freedom from the conditioned mind, the ego, and the illusions of the material world. It is a state where we create a steady, stable, and tranquil mind; in which one realizes their true nature as pure consciousness and experiences a sense of oneness with the universe.


To attain this state of Kaivalya, one must embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-transformation. It requires deep introspection, self-reflection, and the practice of mindfulness. Through meditation (samadhi), spiritual/devotional practices (tapas), chanting/singing the divine’s name (mantra), and/or spiritual experience via herbs/drugs (ausadha), one can gradually dissolve the barriers that separate them from their true or higher self, which helps us find more self-awareness.


According to Mr. Iyengar,

“Patanjali says that when the intelligence is cultivated to the point of ripeness, ego, ahamakara, loses its potency naturally and consciousness reaches a state of divine purity.  The rivers of intelligence and consciousness lose their identities and merge in the river of the soul.  This is the crowning glory of the your sadhana, the attainment of kaivalya or Brahma jnana.” (Iyengar, p.226)



The Journey Towards Finding True Liberation: Insights and Teachings

indian saint

The journey towards finding true liberation is a transformative process that requires dedication and commitment. It is not a quick fix or an instant attainment; rather, it is a gradual unraveling of the layers that conceal our true essence.  Kaivalya or Moksha, is the pinnacle of the Eight Limb Path or Asthanga Yoga, prescribed by Patanjali.  So an integratabtle part of this full journey is a continual integration of the first four limbs of Astanga Yoga, being the Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, and Pranayama.  However, our focus in this article is more about ideas and techniques from the limbs of Pratyahara (drawing in of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (meditative absorption).


To embark on this journey of creating a stable, tranquil mind, we must cultivate a strong sense of self-awareness, discrimination and training our mind to be one-pointed. This means we must critically observe our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, with loving kindness towards ourselves, while seeking to have non-attachment to them.  This is done by continually paying attention and analyzing these thoughts, emotions and behaviors with discernment and without judgement.


One key in helping us continue pointing towards liberation is to ask each thought, emotional response and/or a given behavior, “Is this thought, emotion, or behavior moving me towards a more steady, stable, and tranquil mind?”  The answer is either Yes or No.  You are seeking to increase your Yes responses and those positive actions on a daily basis.  This is really the definition of Mindfulness and through this practice of being mindful, we begin to become more self-aware by better understanding the nature of our conditioned mind and the role it plays in creating our reality.


Another important aspect of this journey towards liberation is developing a meditation practice. Meditation allows us to go beyond the limitations of the mind and connect with the deeper dimensions of our being. By stilling the incessant chatter of the mind, we start to create clarity in our mind and the space for inner peace to emerge.


Many think meditation is simply sitting quietly.  But this is only part of the equation.  We must also do as Jesus says in Matthew 6:25,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” 


He is telling us we must not only be quiet, we must actively stop worrying about outside influences.  I teach when thoughts or ideas pop up, you acknowledge them and then tell them to go away.  I guarantee, the important items will come back around.


In addition, Jesus also tells us in Matthew 6 verses 22/23, 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” 


He is talking about meditating on the third eye center, the pineal gland.  So when you are meditation, you want to bring your awareness to the third eye and have no thoughts.  In addition Jesus is harkening back to our self-awareness practices above, those of asking are my thoughts, emotions and behaviors moving me towards the “light” or “darkness”.


So how do we train our minds to be more one-pointed?  I like how Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati recommends from his commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 

“Train your mind to be one-pointed: There are several predictable obstacles on the inner journey, according to Patanjali. These include illness, dullness, doubt, negligence, laziness, cravings, misperceptions, failure, and instability (1.30-1.32). However, there is a single antidote that deals extremely effectively with these, and that is to train the mind to be one-pointed (1.32). Whether the means of one-pointedness is mantra, a short prayer, a remembered principle, or being focused in the work you do, this seemingly simple practice is profoundly useful. It must be practiced and experienced to be fully appreciated.” (https://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-keys.htm)



Hanuman Rejoicing
Image by S Das from Pixabay

By training our mind to be one-pointed, the above practices of looking at our thoughts/emotions/behaviors becomes easier as does learning to sit quietly with our inner focus on the third eye and learning to be in control of our thoughts.  All this helps us find a more stable and tranquil mind which ultimately leads to kaivalya.





Role of a Spiritual Guide in the Pursuit of Liberation

Another important aspect in the pursuit of kaivalya is the role of a spiritual guide. A spiritual guide, also known as a guru, teacher or mentor, plays a vital role in guiding and supporting individuals on their path to liberation. They act as a beacon of light, offering wisdom, guidance, and practical tools to help seekers navigate the complexities of their spiritual journey. They have a deep understanding of the spiritual path and have likely walked the path themselves, experiencing a direct connection with their higher self.


A spiritual guide provides invaluable teachings, helping seekers deepen their meditation practice, gain clarity in self-inquiry, and cultivate the virtues necessary for true liberation. They offer insights on overcoming obstacles, understanding spiritual experiences, and finding solutions to the challenges that arise on this profound journey.


It is important to approach the choice of a spiritual guide with discernment and intuition. Seekers should look for someone who embodies the qualities they wish to cultivate and resonates with their own inner truth. Building a strong and trusting relationship with a spiritual guide can greatly accelerate the journey towards kaivalya.




The Transformative Power of Kaivalya

Living a liberated life is not just a lofty goal, but an attainable reality that can be experienced through the true practice of Yoga.  By embracing and embodying the transformative power and teachings of Yoga, we can not only find personal liberation, but also become catalysts for positive change in the world.  By integrating the technique of self-discernment and discrimination of our thoughts, words and deeds, we open the door to the limitless source of all love, joy and bliss.


Stay tuned for more insights and practical strategies on how to live a liberated life in our upcoming posts.


Jai Shambo : Dwell in Joy


Tommy






Sources:

Iyengar, BKS (1993/96), Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, London:Thorsons



Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati, www.swamij.com



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