Sunday, 26 February 2012

Narada Muni on Liberation

If one is very serious about liberation, he must stick to the process
of transcendental loving service, engaging twenty-four hours a day in
the highest stage of ecstasy, and he must certainly be aloof from all
activities of sense gratification.


There are different stages of perfection according to different
persons' objectives. Generally people are karmīs, for they engage in
activities of sense gratification. Above the karmīs are the jñānīs,
who are trying to become liberated from material entanglement. Yogīs
are still more advanced because they meditate on the lotus feet of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. And above all these are the devotees,
who simply engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord;
they are situated seriously on the topmost platform of ecstasy.

Here Dhruva Mahārāja is advised that if he has no desire for sense
gratification, then he should directly engage himself in the
transcendental loving service of the Lord. The path of apavarga, or
liberation, begins from the stage called mokṣa. ln this verse the
word vimuktaye, "for liberation," is especially mentioned. If one
wants to he happy within this material world, he may aspire to go to
the different material planetary systems where there is a higher
standard of sense gratification, but real mokṣa, or liberation, is
performed without any such desire. This is explained in the
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu by the term anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Madhya
19.167], "without desire for material sense gratification." For
persons who are still inclined to enjoy material life in different
stages or on different planets, the stage of liberation in bhakti-yoga
is not recommended. Only persons who are completely free from the
contamination of sense gratification can execute bhakti-yoga, or the
process of devotional service, very purely. The activities on the path
of apavarga up to the stages of dharma, artha and kāma are meant for
sense gratification, but when one comes to the stage of mokṣa, the
impersonalist liberation, the practitioner wants to merge into the
existence of the Supreme. But that is also sense gratification. When
one goes above the stage of liberation, however, he at once becomes
one of the associates of the Lord to render transcendental loving
service. That is technically called vimukti. For this specific vimukti
liberation, Nārada Muni recommends that one directly engage himself in
devotional service.

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.8.61

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