Vedānta Series – 8 

After having deliberated on sādhanacatuṣṭayaṁ, Tattvabodha now proceeds to discuss mumukṣutvaṁ. Mumukṣutvaṁ is explained as “mokṣo me bhūyāt iti icchā मोक्षो मे भूयात् इति इच्छा” which means the intense desire for liberation. Liberation means releasing the soul from transmigration. The one who desires for liberation or emancipation is known as mumukṣu. The liberation can be attained only if one gets rid of his inherent ignorance which is also known as avidyā. Ignorance or avidyā is not about material world. Ignorance in spirituality means lack of sufficient knowledge about the Brahman. Spiritual ignorance or avidyā means ‘not understanding that there is no difference between an individual soul and the Īśvara’. Brahman as Īśvara is a manifestation of māyā.

When individual soul believes that it is both the doer (kartā) and the experiencer (bhoktā), the Kūṭastha or Brahman merely remains as a witness. Brahman is also known as Kūṭastha, which means unchangeable. Brahman dwelling in the physical body appears to undergo growth and appears to have feelings like thirst, hunger, etc. One feels that the Brahman undergoes the process of modification and decay along with his process of aging. It is only due to ajñāna, known as spiritual ignorance, this deceptive feeling is induced in a being. It is again ajñāna that makes an individual soul to get identified with antaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect, consciousness and ego) or inner psychic apparatus. The primary condition for a mumukṣu is that he should be devoid of ajñāna, generally spoken of as avidyā. 

An aspirant, after having successfully did away with his spiritual ignorance, can now aim for liberation or emancipation. Liberation is the end to his transmigration. An individual soul undergoes repeated births and deaths due to its karmic impressions. Though a soul undergoes transmigration, the soul does not change and it always remains as Kūṭastha, remaining only as a witness. An embodied soul undergoes pains and pleasures depending upon its karmic quality. Generally pain and pleasure occur in alternate cycles. When the mind is so addicted to pleasures only, it is unwilling to consider pains as part of its existence. It carves only for pleasures thereby making the mind highly volatile and agitated. His repeated sufferings through various births educate him to find a solution to get away from the world of miseries. The traces of repeated sufferings are embedded in the subconscious mind that also transmigrates along with soul. 

An aspirant turns into a mumukṣu, when he decides to attain liberation. This is just the beginning of his spiritual life. What happens is when an aspirant longs for desire, he automatically begins to detach himself from materialistic world. He moves in the path of virtues, as a result of which, he does not accrue further karmas. His desire for liberation becomes so predominant in his mind over a period of time, and his concentration begins to focus on the Self. Sādhanacatuṣṭayaṁ and mumukṣutvaṁ, the aspirant begins to seek Truth.