Question 185-6: What are Bondage and Liberation?

BondageThe world, the Earth, the Universe – are all creations of the modifications of consciousness – which we bring with us when we are born. No one is born with a blank slate, tabula rasa as the philosophers claim. The world is experienced because of forgetfulness of Atma.

chitta: chitta San. noun. the mind (the seat of understanding and awareness, of intellect and will); memory, thought, reflection; the soul, heart. It is the individual consciousness, composed of intelligence and intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). In Vedanta, chitta is one aspect of Universal Consciousness (chit). The world hangs on the thread of consciousness – without consciousness, there is no world.


Question 185: Sir, what are Bondage and Liberation?

Answer: Ramji, in reality, both bondage and liberation are non-existent for a gyani. Like the show of a magician, bondage and liberation are cognised as such by the ignorant; these are illusory and are a result of the ignorance of the true self. Just as water is perceived in a mirage on account of an illusion, so is the universe experienced due to ignorance. The cognition (ignorance) due to which bondage and liberation are experienced by an ignorant person is, in its true state, free from bondage, and it is all-pervasive; hence it cannot be subject to bondage. When there is no bondage, how does the question of liberation arise ? The ego-attachments and desires of the world are experienced because of forgetfulness of Atma. When as a result of practice and discipline you are established in Atma, you will realise that nothing exists except Atma and that whatever is experienced is an illusion arising due to the forgetfulness of Atma. You are not concerned with anything.

Question 186: Sir, what are the experiential world and its objects that are cognised?

Answer: Ramji, the universe is the product of mind. When mind is extinct, is extinct, the universe and all its joys and sorrows also vanish. Just as fire becomes intense with fuel, and subsides in the absence of fuel, so a jiva gets an expansive universe due to the ideation in mind. When he stops ideation, he attains quiescence. As is the modification of his conscious mind, so is his experiential form. Therefore, adopt such an attitude for attaining quiescence of mind so that you may attain the Atmic state. He who becomes free from the earthly desires and is oblivious of existence and non-existence, attains to the Atmic state.


The children of Bharath (residents of India) believe that they are, each one, the Atma. They are aware that the Atma cannot be cut in twain by the sword, that fire cannot burn It, that water cannot wet It, and that the wind cannot dry It. The Atma has no bounds. Its centre is in the body, but, its circumference is nowhere. Death means the Atma has shifted from one body to another. This is the belief that every Indian has firmly in mind.

The Atma is not subject to material or worldly limitations or laws. By Its very nature, It is free; It is Unbounded; It is Purity; It is Holiness; It is Fullness. But, since it is associated with material, inert, bodies, It imagines that It is also a product of material composition. This is the wonder, the mystery, the miracle that It manifests! To unravel this mystery, and explain this miracle are beyond the capacity of any one.

How could the Full (Poorna) Atma get entangled in the delusion that It is ‘not-full’ (apoorna), ‘a fraction’, ‘in-completely’? Some persons might charge the Bharathiyas (residents of India) who declare that the awareness of incompleteness itself can never arise, as persons attempt to wriggle out of an impossible situation. They might say that this is but a stratagem to cover up their ignorance of the Truth. How can the Pure, the Unpartitionable, lose Its nature to the slightest extent? The Bharathiyas are simple and sincere, and their nature is seldom artificial. They would never attempt to wriggle out of a situation by resorting to specious arguments. They have the courage to encounter in a manly way any problem before them. Therefore, the answer to the question posed is: The delusion cannot happen! There is no basis for the error of imputing ‘incompleteness’ for the ‘complete’. The ‘full’ entity called Atma can never imagine Itself as ‘wanting’ or ‘less-than-full’ or feel that It is limited or controlled by the material sheath whose core It is. -Sathya Sai Vahini, pp25-26


road to freedom, liberation


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”
Pixabay / Joe

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