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Marga


Marga way of attaining ultimate salvation in accordance with the Indian religious philosophy. 'Moksha' is defined as becoming one with the Supreme Spirit. Indian philosophers have identified three paths for attaining Moksha: 'Karma-Marga' (way of action), 'Bhakti-Marga' (way of devotion) and 'Jvana-Marga' (way of knowledge). According to the doctrine of 'Jnana -Karmasamuchchaybad', both knowledge and action are essential for emancipation. According to 'Bhakti-Marga', humans attain salvation or reach the Supreme Spirit only through devotion. According to 'Jnana-Marga', the only path of human salvation is knowledge; neither work nor devotion can bring that about.

Karma-Marga work is essential for leading human life. Indian philosophy divided 'Karma' into two categories: desire-based and desire-free. It says that it is not possible for humans to carry out only desire-free karma. Indian philosophy has emphasized on karma in the light of yoga. The principle of yoga is to achieve equanimity of mind by shunning the desire for results. The yogi is not troubled by results of deeds as he is driven by pragmatism. His aim is to achieve purity of mind by renouncing egoistic pride. Self-purification, self-realization and equanimity are obtained only through desire-free action. And human beings achieve 'Moksha' only in this way.

Bhakti-Marga love is people's innate nature. Man can easily feel oneness with God through love. For this to happen, all kinds of impurities have to be replaced in the mind by reverence, service-orientation, sacrificing attitude and sincerity. The devotee should have unflinching faith on God and try to become one with Him through imaginations; he has to surrender everything. Only then would it be possible for him to come in touch with God. The Indian philosophy mentions some special methods for the ascetic practice of bhakti: the practice of calmness (shantobhav), the practice of harmony (samyabhav), the practice of friendliness (sakhyabhav), the practice of father/mother consciousness (pitribhav/matribhav) and the practice of compassion (modhurbhav). It is possible to become liberated by achieving emancipation through any of these methods. Eminent dualist Ramanuj was a follower of 'Bhakti-Marga'.

Jnana-Marga Among the three Marga of Indian philosophy, the Jnana-Marga is considered to be the greatest. This is because, it is the successful culmination of Karma-Marga and Bhakti-Marga. A person with Jnana-Marga is the possessor of pragmatism, logic and knowledge of philosophy. His knowledge is undivided'he has an unbroken and complete understanding of the world, life, supreme being etc. As a result, the possessor Jnana-Marga proceeds by practicing the paths of karma and bhakti. According to the Jnana-Marga, the desire to acquire knowledge of the Brahma has to be aroused in the minds of the devotee. In this state, the mind of the devotee enquires about the Brahma. This enquiry is dependent on several preconditions: 'bibek' (conscience), 'samadamadi' (Full control of mind and sense organs), 'uparati' (Austerity for self complacent), 'titiksa' (tolerance in the midst of various conflict), 'samadhi' (concentration of mind), 'shraddha' (firm belief in scriptures and spiritual teacher), 'birag' (Renunciation of reward in the earthly world and eternal world) and 'mumukshutma' (Indomitable will for salvation).

By fulfilling the above conditions, the Jnana -Margi devotee sincerely strives to gather knowledge about the world, life, soul, etc. from his learned guru. This process is known as 'Sraban'. After hearing the truths from the guru, he himself would become certain about their correctness and justifiability by applying his own logic and intellect. This is called 'Manon'. After getting this knowledge, the devotee would continuously meditate about these spiritual truths. This is called 'Nididhyasana'. Through this process, all kinds of ignorance vanish from the mind of the devotee and divergent knowledge become extinct; the sameness of the soul and Brahma is then realized. In this state, the devotee attains 'Moksha' or emancipation. To the Jnana-Margi, Brahma is the sole ultimate truth, 'Sachchidananda' (eternal, omniscient, blissful), 'Nirgoon' (beyond quality) and absolute entity. The 'Nyaya- Vaishesika' and the non-dualistic philosophy of 'Vedanta' also support the Jnana-Marga. In Indian philosophy, there is no conflict between 'Karma-Marga', 'Bhakti-Marga' and 'Jnana-Marga'. The devotee attains salvation by following a path consistent with his predisposition. [Pradip Kumar Roy]