“The desire for liberation arises in human beings at the end of many births through the ripening of their past virtuous conduct”. (Paingala Upanishad 2:11)
When the five cognitive senses together with the mind cease (from their normal activities) and the intellect itself does not stir, that, they say, is the Highest State. (paramam gatim)( Katha Upanishad4:3:10)
Nirvana means the cessation of the cycle of rebirth. It is Liberation (Moksha or Mukti) from the state of embodiment in the material world. Emancipation from Karma and its results, and subsequent Liberation from the cycle of rebirth can be obtained in several ways, for there are many ways to Liberation and Beatitude. Each individual must essentially follow his/her own path and work out his/her own way to Moksha under the guidance of a competent Spiritual Preceptor (Guru) according to the Cosmic Laws (Dharma) and his/her own disposition and stage of spiritual development. There are two views about the processes to Nirvana: —
- Personal effort — Liberation as a self‐initiated process facilitated through the framework of • Mystical union born of reflection and meditation . (Jñana Yoga),
• Through good works done without personal motive. (Karma Yoga)
• Through devotion to God. (Bhakti Yoga)
- The Taking of Refuge — the act of self‐surrender to God (Prapatti, Saranagati) and reliance upon His Grace.
The first three means are ‘self‐initiated’ activities but the fourth is ‘God‐initiated’. The Blessed Lord has stated quite clearly in the Bhagavad Gita 18;66 that He will liberate all those who simply surrender to Him having abandoned all self‐initiated attempts at emancipation. This is known as Prapatti — the Way of Self‐surrender.