Thursday, May 22, 2014

What is the difference between awakening and liberation?

What is the difference between awakening and liberation?
by Nityananda Atman
Awakening is the realization that we are not the body-mind complex or the ego but the witnessing consciousness behind them. When awakening happens there is a spontaneous disidentification from the mind and body and the realization that we are the space-consciousness in which the body and mind appear.
However, awakening is not necessarily accompanied by the total destruction of the egoic mind. In some cases, awakening can destroy all the egoic mind structures. In other cases, after awakening a great amount of latent impressions (samskaras andvasanas) continue to exist in the subconscious mind, interrupting the experience of the Self. Sadhana must be continued until all vasanas are totally fried and the abidance in the Self will be permanent and effortless.

‘…intense effort is necessary until the I-thought will disappear completely in the heart (Self) and all the vasanas and samskaras will be fried and do not revive again.’ 
‘Knowledge (
jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasanas are rooted out.’  
~ Ramana Maharshi

People who have some kind of awakening may confuse it with liberation or the final state of realization. Keep in mind that there is no liberation if identification with ‘ego’, body, emotions, thoughts and sense objects continues after awakening. There is no liberation if the vasanas and samskaras drive out the mind to entertain sense objects.

‘All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people.’ 
~ Ramana Maharshi

The Self shines in the heart, so effort is necessary to keep the mind inward. Until all vasanassamskaras, desires and the ‘I’ thought are destroyed, effort is necessary to keep the mind still in the heart.
~ Ramana Maharshi

‘If the six illusory enemies (desire, anger, greed, delusion, intoxication and envy), beginning with desire, that mingle in your heart are totally destroyed, the extremely clear light of 
jnana will shine.’  
‘An unruffled mind established in the heart is the fence that protects the field of liberation.’ 
~ Ramana Maharshi

But do we really want to abandon sense pleasures? Do we really want to lose our egoic identity? The enjoyment of sense pleasures and the abidance in the Self are opposites. We cannot serve two masters; we have to make a choice.

‘Why give up the marvelous experience of peace by desiring imaginary and degraded sense enjoyments?’ 
‘Do not allow yourself to be buffeted by the sense perceptions in this world, but become firmly established in the discipline of spiritual practice (
tapas), and be totally free of misery.’
 ~ Ramana Maharshi

‘No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and mammon.’
~ Jesus Christ