Moksha is liberation and this is the most often word talked by seekers. The reason for this is, the moksham is the desirable outcome and probably only outcome true seeker longs for. Moham is the deep-rooted attachment. The adage means that when we can get rid of the attachment that is either material or even for some spiritual objective, then only is true liberation possible. If moksham means liberation, the next question that arises is, liberation from the clutches of ‘what’?
The entire life goes in perpetual ‘pursuit of happiness’. One may say there is nothing wrong in this pursuit. From Charvaka to Ayn Rand’s writings, the central theme seems to be pursuing one’s happiness, and that too without inhibitions. The micro-to-macro link was mischievously extrapolated by such theorists by saying that if the individual pursues and reaches his/her own happiness and everybody in the world replicates this, the resultant is a happier world. By being selfish one is trying to improve the world by making it a happier and better place! But when one is trying to become happy, he/she may make a dozen other stakeholders unhappy, and the more people try to become happy in this manner shall make the world a more suffering place. Thus, mighty or scheming only may become happier at the cost of many more who are reduced to unhappy conditions.
The above becomes a global challenge. This is also the classical example of many micros not necessarily adding to macro. The gestalt may be a distant reality but even the mere summation hypothesis is false. Then the seekers may ask again the pressing question, what is the way out.
Two-way possibility of getting liberated. One by undergoing the ‘bhoga’ to one’s heart’s content and then rising above it. The second way is realizing the futility of material/emotional inputs and getting detached from all this. The first has definite limitations, in terms of material availability and associated pitfall of deeper attachment to the material/emotional object or sense. Thus, we realise that the safer and better approach is overcoming the ‘moham’ by ensuring its ‘kshayam’ (decimation) that only results in true ‘moksham’. True liberation is in moving into higher orbits first and then seeking ‘no orbits’. Equilibrium then prevails.
Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of tradition and management. Views are personal. https://www.ainavolu.in/blog