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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Vaisnava Siddhanta Mala > CHapter-VIII

Eighth Chapter:

Liberation Is the Attainment of Krishna's Lotus Feet


Q. How many different types of liberation (moksa) are there?

A. It is said that there are five types of moksha:  1) Salokya or living on the same planet as the Lord, 2) Sarsti or achieving divine opulences similar to the Lord's, 3) Samipya or becoming a close associate of the Lord, 4) Sarupya or obtaining bodily features similar to the Lord's, 5) Sayujya or merging into the Lord's impersonal effulgence. Of these, the sayujya-nirvana or conception of liberation by becoming merged in supreme oneness is specifically the mistaken concoction of the nirvisesa-vada (philosophy of non-difference); this mistake is not to be taken into consideration by foolish souls. From the point of view of the impersonal Brahman, this form of merging is one form of perfection. But when a soul becomes perfected by knowing the truth of simultaneous oneness and difference (bhedabheda), then the aspect of oneness (which formerly had the power to obliterate all differences) is unable to remain prominent.

Q. Then what is true liberation?

A. Only the attainment of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, in its purest form, is actual liberation.

Q. Why is only attainment of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna called liberation?

A. This is because the shelter of Shri Krishna's lotus feet automatically situates one in freedom from the influence of matter. The other forms of liberation are only temporary situations, for the soul must fall down again when the effects are concluded. But the ecstatic bliss of drinking the nectar of the Lord's lotus feet is a permanent situation; therefore what else could I possibly call liberation?

Q. Please give me an example of this?

A. When a lamp is lit, it simultaneously spreads its illumination as it destroys the darkness. In this example, the darkness represents the principle of impersonal liberation, and the lamplight represents the principle of situation at the nectarine lotus feet of Shri Krishna. The lamplight is everlasting, whereas the darkness is not. It can only exist for a short while, whereas the illumination of the light is eternal.