Four Plans I Make For Liberation

[Shri Hanuman]“The fortunate Hanuman, the son of the wind, upon hearing those words of Sita, a new insult to him, thought:” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.31)

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सीताया वचनं श्रुत्वा हनुमान्मारुतात्मजः।
चिन्तयामास लक्ष्मीवान्नवं परिभवं कृतम्।।

sītāyā vacanaṃ śrutvā hanumānmārutātmajaḥ।
cintayāmāsa lakṣmīvānnavaṃ paribhavaṃ kṛtam।।

At the foundation is an understanding that the path at present is not the way. I have been thoroughly convinced that simply accumulating possessions and enjoying the senses has limitations. Most importantly, there is a cap on my ananda, bliss.

There is a way to permanent happiness. I feel glimpses already. That is to say there is evidence within this lifetime; I don’t have to wait for some moment that no one has direct experience with, at least within memory.

The problem is life itself gets in the way. I know that I should get serious about my efforts in dharma, which is the real version of religion, but I have other things to take care of first. In this regard I make several plans for reaching moksha, which is liberation, the end of the cycle of birth and death.

1. Let me earn enough money to retire

Retirement is the best time. The most pressing responsibility in adult life is work. All other activities get lower priority; the daily schedule is based on the ability to reach work on time, with plenty of rest. Enjoyment in other areas has limitations precisely because of the responsibility to provide for myself and my family.

If I’m already working, let me do as well as I can. If I earn enough money, I can retire early. Then the entire day can be spent focusing on spiritual life. I will be able to fully immerse the consciousness in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan.

[retirement savings]The dependents within the family will be taken care of. There won’t be any guilt that I have let people down. I don’t need much; just a roof over my head, a mode of transportation, and some basic food. I’m not a lavish spender by any means. I am not so interested in accumulating stuff; less is more.

2. Let me start reading books more

I have made several experiments of it. On days where I read more than I watch television, I am much happier. This is especially true if the subject matter of the books is Divine. As they say, content is king. Works like Shrimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and Ramayana are the king of all content.

Perhaps I can find liberation by reading more. I will make a routine of it. Block out a certain portion of each day to spend in connection with the Divine. This is shravanam, which is hearing. It is one of the nine processes of devotional service.

3. Let me give up my bad habits

Before I get serious about bhakti, let me give up my bad habits. First purification, then liberation. Otherwise the consciousness will always be clouded. Let me find little tricks here and there to give up consumption of impure food and drink. Without strict attention to detail, to the right and wrong, liberation will stay far away.

4. Let me move to a certain place

I am fine where I live at present, but I’ve heard that other places might be better. I understand that man has a tendency to think that the grass is greener in some other place, that after moving they fall into the same habits and the previous despondency, but perhaps it will be different with me. After all, the interest is spiritual life. Going to some place that has a better atmosphere might be just what I need. Then I won’t have any other choice but to succeed.

A wise person thinks in these ways; they look to improve the situation in life for good. Rather than chewing the chewed, as Prahlada Maharaja describes, they seek out eternal bliss. The taste resulting from bhakti is like nectar, amrita.

From the example of one person we see that while such well-laid plans are positive in intention and may even bring auspiciousness, it is not necessary to change much at all. That is to say a person can remain exactly where they are and not only guarantee liberation, but thrive in devotional life.

Shri Hanuman is known as Lakshmivan. He is blessed by the goddess of fortune, Shri Devi. He is fully illustrious and his fame continues to increase with every passing year. He works directly for the Supreme Lord in the personal form of Shri Rama. Hanuman stays liberated no matter where he is, even in the enemy city of Lanka.

Accepting a personal insult from Sita Devi, Rama’s wife, is no issue. Succeeding in pleasing them both also does not change the situation. Hanuman has the choice to return to the spiritual world, but he decides to stay here, to remain around for as long as Rama’s glories continue to be told.

[Shri Hanuman]Any person who hears those glories is truly fortunate. That hearing, in the proper mood, is equivalent with liberation. The potency of the Divine is so great that His association can arrive through just the sound of His names, like those found in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Waiting soon for permanent break,

In retirement serious effort to make.

At liberation, for rebirth cycle to end,

Every day in contemplation to spend.

Or perhaps today more to read,

And not bad habits to feed.

But known now from Hanuman’s presence,

That God’s glories liberation’s essence.

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