Moksha, mukti or liberation is freedom from Samsara, say the scriptures. This freedom is gained when one realises the nature of Atma (Self) is of the essence of Sat (eternal Truth), Chit (infinite consciousness) and Ananda (bliss).
Since the desire to seek freedom is inherent in our nature, we try to find ways and means to gain this knowledge that liberates, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a lecture.
The Vedas speak highly of specific karmas that yield a variety of fruits. But do any of these give Moksha, one may ask. Scriptures also say that Moksha is the ultimate fruit which is a state of transcending bliss far different from the pleasures and enjoyments in this world. So the knowledge (Vidya) of the varieties of karmas and their fruits does not lead to liberation. But knowledge of our true nature releases us from the ignorance that binds us to Samsara.
When caught in Samsara, we are involved with it to a great extent. Moreover, Samsara is perceptible to the senses and not distant or remote, and since we are engaged in it in our day-today activities, we cannot ignore it. This involvement compels us to act and thereby also face the consequences of our actions.
We should constantly remind ourselves that the body is not identical with the Atma. Atma is inside the body and prompts it to act. Atma jnana is swayam prakasa. Water is colourless and tasteless but assumes the qualities from association, Atma assumes the body’s qualities. The eye, the ear, or any other sense organ or for that matter, the body itself incorporating the mind and intellect, is a mere instrument whose functioning is made possible by the Atma.
We should understand that Samsara is real only as long as we are preoccupied with it. Dreams are real at the point of dreaming but become unreal on waking up. A shell is interpreted as a piece of silver only as long as its true nature is hidden from our knowledge.
Says the Gita: “An individual who is absorbed in Brahman is neither elated nor sad by the pleasant or the unpleasant. Such a person is dead to the worldly attractions and alive to the all-pervading Brahman which he perceives in every atom of creation.”