Shad Darshan – Vedanta philosophies (contd.):
Swaminarayan philosophy – Moksha
Atyantik Kalyān or Moksha Part I
3. Atyantik Kalyān or Moksha (Final redemption, Liberation, or Salvation) in Swaminarayan philosophy is considered as the liberation or complete detachment of the soul from its causal body (karan sharir) in this very same birth and after the death, to attain spiritually enlightened brahmanized or “brahmrup” state, and to stay in the company of other liberated souls (Akshar-muktas) and Aksharbrahm humbly serving Parabrahm Purushottam Narayan (God) in His abode (Akshardham). A truly brahmrup or brahmanized state always accompany the utmost servitude towards God, realizing His greatness and supremacy. A true brahmrup person is the one who worships Parabrahm (God) in the master-servant manner (swāmi-sevak bhāv). A mere brahmanized state, leveling of oneself with God without showing devotion (bhakti) to Him is not considered as a Moksh. Secondly, just to believe or to show-off to be brahmrup is one thing and to be actually brahmrup is totally different thing. If one believes oneself as brahmrup and stops there and never progresses higher to achieve a brahmrup state, then, one is taking a risk of deviating or skewing from spiritualism by forthcoming hurdles. Mere self-realization or atma-realization (ātmanishthā), known as (ātma-gnān) just provides stabilization of mind in the extreme situations of pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow, but does not give the guarantee of peace of mind, gratification, and moksh at the time of death. To cultivate Brahmgnān (transcendental knowledge) that Parabrahm Purushottam Narayan (God) is distinct, cause, supporter, and inspirer of Brahm and then to worship Parabrahm in the master-servant manner after uniting one’s soul with the Brahm is the safest (nirvighna) and the best (shreshtha) path towards the transcendental enlightenment (param-pad) and the ultimate liberation (moksh). Only such a brahmanized person knows the true glory and power of the God, as it is, in real sense, others can just describe God as per their own intelligence but cannot enjoy and share enjoyment of the bliss of God. The incomplete realization or the flaw in understanding the nature of God is the worst loss of all losses. By incomplete realization of Brahm and Parabrahm one cannot experience the true bliss of Purushottam Bhagwan (God) and one cannot become an ekantik bhakta (true devotee). Only by profoundly associating with an ekantik bhakta of God one can truly understand the nature of God.
After a long period since Mahabharat, in worshiping the Supreme Being, during Buddha’s and Mahavira’s period ethics and vairagya was dominated, after fall of Maurya Empire and beginning of Pandyan Empire (King Pandyovijaya) or Sunga Empire (2nd century BCE) through the beginning of the common era and during early centuries, dharma and karma-kānd (Vedic rituals) became dominant, in Shankaracharya’s period gnan dominated, and after Ramanujacharya’s period bhakti became dominated. When Shri Swaminarayan came, he reestablished Bhagwat Dharma or Ekantik Dharma by rebalancing all four: Dharma (religious and social vows), Gnan (atma-gnan), Vairagya (worldly dispassion), and Bhakti (devotion or navadhā bhakti) with Mahimā or Mahātmya (true understanding of the glory and greatness of God) in worshiping Purushottam – the Supreme Being. He explained that only by strictly observing Dharma, only by achieving Atma-gnan, only by cultivating Vairagya, or only by doing Bhakti, such as, kirtan bhakti, seva bhakti, dāsya bhakti (servitude), or Navadhā bhakti, one cannot get liberation unless and until one gets rid of one’s svabhāv (habits), prakruti (nature or temperament of a person), dosh (flaws or vices), and vāsanā (infatuation). Only after getting rid of habits, bad temperament, attitude, vices, infatuation, and other flaws, one can be brahmrup or brahm-like and only after becoming brahm-like one can achieve or earn the true and the highest status of worshiping and pleasing God for His bliss.