(37) MOKSHA WITH THE BODY
20th February, 1946
About a week back, a newcomer to the Ashram asked Bhagavan, “Is it possible to attain moksha (deliverance) while still in this body?” Bhagavan said, “What is moksha? Who attains it? Unless there is bondage, how can there be moksha? Who has that bondage?” “Me,” said the questioner. “Who really are you? How did you get the bondage? And why? If you first know that, then we can think of attaining moksha while in this body,” said Bhagavan. Unable to ask any further questions, he kept quiet and after a while went away.
After he left, Bhagavan looked at all the rest of us with kindness in his eyes and said, “Many people ask the same question. They want to attain moksha in this body. There is a sangham (society). Not only now, but even in olden days many people not only taught their disciples but also wrote books to the effect that there were kaya kalpa vratas (rejuvenation), and such things, and that this body could be made as strong as an adamant, so as to become imperishable. After saying all that, doing ever so many things and writing about them at length, they died in course of time. When the Guru himself who talked and preached of rejuvenation passed away, what about his disciples? We do not know what will happen the next moment to a thing that we see now. Peace cannot be attained unless through Self-enquiry one realises that one is not the body and, with vairagya (absence of worldly desires and passions), one ceases to care about it. Moksha is after all the attainment of shanti (perfect peace). If therefore peace cannot be attained so long as the body is identified with the Self, any attempt to keep the body for ever as it is, increases the bondage instead of decreasing it. It is all an illusion,” said Bhagavan.