Our theme for this month focuses on a different sort of Independence, than the one that we most often associate with July – Moksha.
Moksha (also called Vimoksha or Mukti) is the Hindu term for freedom or liberation – and is defined in terms of “samsara”, or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. To achieve Moksha is akin to achieving “Nirvana” – to be fully and completely liberated. In Hinduism, Moksha is a path that only “Renunciates” (those who give up their family, loved ones, and worldly possessions) pursue. However, the primary tenets of Moksha – letting go of one’s desires and ego, and removing the “veil of ignorance” which allows us to believe we are separate from each other, are practices we can all engage in. In what ways do we as individuals remain trapped by our self-definition and egos? How are we buying into our “separate-ness” as a society? The current humanitarian crisis at our border is a heartbreaking but apt example of how this false belief that we are separate, and not intricately connected, can cause great and undue harm, as nationality is put before humanity. Full liberation may be a path for only the most devout – but greater freedom, in every sense of the word, for all beings everywhere, is something we can all work towards.
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.