Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 703

Buddhist view of Moksha

 The question is whether this particular energy is working on its own or is been impelled by somebody else. If there is a horse carriage in which the horse is being driven and if you do not see the driver for a long time you might feel that the horse is driving itself; but later on you may discover that there must be somebody to guide, there must be a charioteer. In the spiritual search it was found that behind Prakriti there is somebody who drives Prakriti, that is Prakriti is not self impelled, the motion of Prakriti is not self impelled; there is behind it another power which is capable of standing behind, guiding and controlling. That power is called Purusha. It experiences as a being, and the minimum capacity of which is to witness. The Purusha is capable of witnessing the situation. Of this we have talked last time already and we have said that if this is the relationship then it is further argued that the kind of situation in which you find yourself is actually a result of what Purusha wills and Purusha is yourself. But this Purusha which is yourself is not what you think is yourself and that is where the problem lies. If it was very easy and this Purusha was the same thing as we think is ourselves, then studying the situation would be very easy. You could manipulate the situation very easily. But what you think to be yourself is only a part of your situation, it is not yourself. Normally you think that your thoughts, your mind, your ego is yourself, but later on you discover that that is a part of Prakriti. They are all products of your situation, they are not yourself. There is still something beyond. When you discover that and if that Purusha wills that the situation should be changed, it will change. The secret of the situation is in that Purusha. You are in a given situation because for one reason or the other there was a will in Purusha which has led you to the present situation. So from this, one very important conclusion follows: never blame anybody else for your situation, your situation is a result of your will, not immediate will of which you are not immediately aware, but which has a long story and a long history as a result of which your present situation is what it is. If you can go back to that original Purusha, then you can have the power to change your situation.

Now the question is: how can you go back to the discovery of that will of the Purusha? How has Purusha come into this situation? On this question there is a bewildering confusion in the entire history of Indian thought. How has Purusha come into this situation? There are answers that have generally been given to this. Some people say, that you should not ask this question because it is unanswerable and others say that you should not press for the answer. Your pressing question is something else. Your pressing question is not how I have come into it but how I should come out of it. They say that they have the answer to this pressing question. The other question i.e. how I came into it perhaps has no answer to it or they cannot answer it or perhaps when you come out of it you will be able to answer it but at present, do not raise this question. There is a famous sentence that if you have been inflicted by a thorn in your foot, which is paining you unbearably and when you go to a doctor and he begins to ask you the question how this happened, you will say, "Please ask me this question later on! My pressing need is to remove the thorn first. So that is why it is said that your present situation is so pressing that you just come out of it and they can tell you how to come out of it. The third answer is that it is by the mistake of the Purusha that it has entered into this undesired situation. It should not have entered into it, but by mistake it has entered or it is by an accident that this has happened. A fourth answer that is given is that it is for the sake of play that some have entered into it. These are the different answers which have been given to this question. But let us return to the one which says that do not ask other questions. Only ask the pressing question because there is great merit in it. This second answer that is given which says that we should not ask the question of the origin of it but ask the pressing question, "how to come out of it?" is actually an answer of almost everybody, but prominently of the Buddhists. The Buddhists maintain that we may not realise but we are sitting on a volcano. Any time it can burst. They know how to take you out of this situation is the claim of Buddhists. Their answer is that your situation is a construction made of constructions which are going on indefinitively. One construction produces another construction that produces another construction and so on. It is a constant web. The whole life goes on constructing and this construction is basically painful. You may experience happiness now and then, just as people having a picnic on a volcano may enjoy for some time but basically all human beings are in a web which is painful, and sooner or later one comes to experience the pain. This world is a duhkhamaya samsara full of misery and suffering and this suffering is because of constructions. These constructions are made by the thread of desire and this desire becomes more complicated when there is a further construction of ego. Desire and ego are the two threads by which the constructions made become very powerful. No construction can be broken as long as these basic threads of desire and ego are maintained. This is the analysis of the Buddhists. Then what is the process of coming out? Buddhism only says that constructions are being built and in these constructions the threads of desire and ego are most prominent. If you want to come out of it, then you should destroy desire and ego but how to destroy desire and ego? The answer is: a process of right thinking, right judgment, right action and benevolent action. The answer is that you should do certain specific actions which are activated by compassion and you go on doing them repeatedly and do not begin any new desire. You start from whatever you have now and no new desire is to be added to your program. You start demolishing all constructions and for that you do only benevolent actions of compassion. Miraculously it is found that these compassionate actions have a dissolving power. They go on dissolving your constructions. The more you do compassionate actions, the more the constructions are gone. This may take a long time. It may not be done in one life. If you have started in this life, maybe you are born again because of the constructions. And when you really arrive at a point where you are mature, you achieve a state of buddhisatwa, not of buddhahood but of buddhisatwa. Then you are so compassionate, so kind that the action that proceeds from you creates no construction. Ultimately even compassionate action also ceases because that is a construct but a construct which has the capacity of dissolving constructions and ultimately it dissolves its own construct. Now that stage when reached where all constructs are gone, is moksha according to Buddhism. Since there is no construct in it at all, there is no misery left. You are delivered out of it forever and there is no birth because there is no ego and desire left, no construct left. All birth is a construct. It is all dissolved so there is no rebirth and you have come out of the whole wheel of constructs. This is the Buddhist answer by which the thorn is taken out of your flesh and you are free.