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Kaivalya

by Swami Sivananda

1. WHAT IS KAIVALYA

Kaivalya (perfect independence) comes when the Gunas (qualities), devoid of motive, become latent. Or the power of consciousness gets established in its own nature.

NOTES

The Gunas act for the enjoyment of the Purusha. As soon as the Purusha realises His own native state of isolation, the Gunas, having fulfilled the object, cease to act. Their effects, the various modifications of Gunas, get Laya or involution. They merge into their causes. Nothing remains for the Purusha to cognise. This does not mean that the universe has come to an end. The world continues to exist as usual for those who have not attained Kaivalya. The Indriyas are drawn into the mind, the mind into the Mahat, and the Mahat into the Purusha.

2. MEANS FOR KAIVALYA

On the equality of purity between Purusha and Sattva comes Kaivalya (perfect independence).

NOTES

Perfection is attained when the intellect becomes as pure as the Atman itself. When the soul realises that it is absolutely independent and it does not depend on anything else in this world, this highest knowledge, Kaivalya, Isolation or perfect independence comes in. The soul feels that it is ever free, unchanging, immortal, beginningless, endless, infinite, beyond time, space and causation, full of bliss, peace and knowledge. When the intellect or Sattva is rendered as pure as the Purusha, when it loses all consciousness of action on its own part, then its purity is said to be equal to that of the Purusha. The intellect or Sattva is annihilated. Purusha only remains free in His native, pristine divine glory. 'Sattva' means here intellect. Purusha is reflected in intellect. Sattva is the cause for knowledge and Ahamkara. The intellect attains the same state as that of Purusha when it becomes absolutely pure and when it remains motionless and when all its functions and activities stop completely. In Sutra II-25 another means for Kaivalya is given.

3. PURUSHA COGNISES THROUGH INTELLECT

Though the seer is pure intelligence only, he cognises ideas through intellect.

NOTES

The Purusha is an embodiment of intelligence. He is ever pure and eternally free. He is always the silent witness of the play of Prakriti. Through intellect, the Purusha appears as if seeing, although really he never sees or does anything.

The qualities of intellect are superimposed on the Purusha. Just as the real colour of the flower appears on the transparent crystal, so also the qualities of Buddhi appear on the Purusha. Hence, the Purusha appears to be happy or miserable.

4. KNOWABLE IS FOR THE PURUSHA

For His (Purusha's) purpose only is the existence of the knowable (the object of experience).

NOTES

If the Purusha were not, the being of Prakriti could never have been as stated in Sutra II-18. Just as the cows allow the milk to flow freely to the calf, so also this Prakriti places all her products before the Purusha for his enjoyment, experience and emancipation.

5. PRADHANA IS NOT DESTROYED

Even though destroyed to him, whose purpose has been fulfilled, it (Pradhana) is not yet destroyed, because it is common to others.

NOTES

According to the Sankhya and Raja Yoga philosophy, even if one becomes a Mukta, the Pradhana and its modifications exist for others.

6. SAMYOGA EXPLAINED

The junction is the cause for the recognition of the powers of nature and its Lord.

NOTES

The Purusha unites with the Buddhi and enjoys the different objects. This is the cause for human sufferings. Ignorance is the cause for this conjunction. This Prakriti and Purusha are united from time immemorial. If this union is separated, the Purusha recognises his original, divine glory. The original conjunction is the union of Purusha with the Buddhi. Through Buddhi, he is united with body.

He mistakes this perishable body for the real Purusha. Through this body, he gets united with wife, children, relatives and friends. The whole Samsara has started now. Disconnect yourself from the Prakriti and become a Mukta Purusha. This is the essential teaching of Raja Yoga.

7. MIND IS NOT PURUSHA

The perception of the mind as Purusha ceases for the man of discrimination.

NOTES

Just as the existence of seeds is inferred from the blades of grass shooting forth in the rainy season, so also it is rightly inferred that he whose tears flow (Asrupatha) and whose hairs stand on end (Pulaka) when he hears the name of God or Moksha, has surely a store of Karma tending to liberation, as the seed of the recognition of the distinction is already there. The perception of mind ceases to appear as Purusha.

8. DISCRIMINATION IS SEVENFOLD

His (the Yogi of unbroken discrimination) discrimination is sevenfold at the final stage.

NOTES

The Yogi gets the knowledge in seven grades one after another. The seven grades are the seven Jnana Bhumikas. The first four relate to the objective side and the next three to the subjective side. In each Bhumika, he has the followings feelings:

1, I have known all that was to be known and nothing further remains to know. The dissatisfied state of mind has disappeared. All doubts vanish.

2, Nothing can give me any pain.

3, By attaining Kaivalya, I have attained everything and nothing more remains. (Here he is an Aptakama).

4, I have fulfilled all my duties now. (Here he is a Krita-kritya). My mind is at complete rest. All distractions have vanished. (Here the freedom of the mind is threefold).

5, The Gunas have all dropped away, like stones from the mountain-top, never to rise up again.

6, I am what I am, ever free. I am established in my Self. I am all bliss and knowledge.

7, I have no connections. I am Kevala Purusha.

These are the seven stages of knowledge or feelings of the Yogi in the seven Jnana Bhumikas.


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