It is said that there are Four doors to Liberation-liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, and from a life of misery and sorrow.
What are these Four doors to Liberation?
The First door is ‘Discrimination’ — Using one’s intellect to discriminate between what is wrong and what is right. While it is very difficult to control our thoughts, we can modulate and filter them through our intellect. If we use this faculty of discrimination, we can abort thoughts before they become actions or filter them by reversing the actions that are the outcome of the thoughts. By using the gift of intellect, we can use our willpower, an instrument of choice, to choose our actions, thereby creating positive Karma for the future.
The Second door is ‘Dispassion’ or ‘Detachment’. As long as one is attached to the materialistic world, one can never have liberation. One must live with dispassion. We human beings are born with a body that has sense organs and a mind, which together, perceive, think and desire. These desires often lead us to wrong actions inspired by lust, greed, envy, jealousy, and other negative emotions. Unless we realize the above and live with dispassion and detachment, we are prone to creating negative Karma.
The Third door is ‘Discipline’. To be liberated, one has to have the discipline of body and mind, only then can one evolve on one’s spiritual journey. A truly realized person lives dispassionately, detached from people and possessions. A realized being knows that nothing belongs to him. Though he has the body, he knows that he is not the body. The body is only his habitat and an instrument to realize the truth.
It is not enough to transcend only the body, a realized being has to transcend the mind. How does one transcend the mind? The mind constantly produces thoughts, and these thoughts make us believe that we are the ego. These thoughts create feelings that lead to actions that eventually create Karma. When we realize that we are not the mind, we shut the mind from thinking thousands of thoughts a day by reducing Mental Thought Rate (MTR). The mind, like a monkey, jumps from one thought to another and we try to transform it into a monk. We have an intellect that is distinctly different from the mind. It is another part of our subtle body, but our mind confuses us to disbelieve this. By using the intellect, we can cage the monkey mind, which is an illusion and can transcend it.
This is the only way to progress on the path to liberation. Unless we have a total grip on the body and mind, our true self within remains a slave to the ego. We also need to overcome the ego. A kind of tug of war starts within when we try to realize the truth — a war between the ego that is illusory and the real energy that we truly are. We need the help of the intellect to realize the truth.
Finally, The Fourth door — there must be a ‘Desire for God’, a ‘Love for God’. Unless one has got this strong passion and burning desire for God, one will never be able to get liberated. We must realize that there is a Creator, a power referred to as God that has created everything in this universe. He is immortal and we can realize Him only through inference. Cosmic Energy is everywhere, and we are nothing but the manifestation of God.
Who is truly liberated?
Not the one who earns good Karma but the one who transcends Karma? Not the one who just tries to use spiritual meditation to create emptiness in his life thinking that this will give spiritual awakening, but the one who is mindful of his mind. Liberation doesn’t just come from Yoga or being in Union with God, rather this mindfulness is required for transcending the mind and attaining self-realization. Only then, one will have spiritual growth which finally leads to spiritual enlightenment.
Realization wipes out ignorance and liberates us from Karma. We must realize who we truly are. We are not the body, nor the mind or ego, but we are the Divine Energy that gives life to the body. When we realize this, we are able to disassociate from all the pain, sorrow and misery that we experience as ignorant human beings and then we attain liberation from creating any Karma. Constantly being with a steady intellect is the key to liberation.
Therefore, if we seek liberation then we must check our path. If we are passing these four doors to liberation, Discrimination, Dispassion, Discipline, and Desire for God, then we are on our way to enlightenment. We will realize the truth. This self-realization leads to liberation which is nothing but enlightenment.