The philosophy of Moksha: is digital an option? What happens after death?
As a Brahmin, all you need to do is ask the question, the answer will always be there. Convoluted, twisted, jargon-filled, but you have an answer at least. Hindu’s have the concept of moksha (liberty) after death.
There are many ways to realise this liberty, some of them being:
- Follow all the rules in the scriptures (fasting, festivals, the whole 22-yarns) — no, I am not a fan of rules.
- Accept a guru and follow their path. No. I could not read the Bhagavad Gita because of this. Krishna says to Arjun in time of great conflict — you will accept whatever I say as the truth. I lost Krishna at that point. If I cannot question then I won’t listen. #kthxbye
- Do intense physical penance by denying your body the worldly pleasures. Buddha followed this path for 5-years and came to the conclusion — for a healthy mind, you need a healthy body. This penance made clear to him the importance of suffering in the human condition. Sant Ramdas speaks of physical dexterity and why regular exercise is necessary. I can accept that because it benefits the living but the rest of it I won’t.
- By being an atheist. This is the way that my sibling decided was the best for him at a tender age. To his credit, he has stayed true to the path. He does not interfere, refuses to take part in our rituals, but isn’t dismissive. Worked great for him but that is not for me.
- Leading a virtuous life: Where do your karma-dharma scales tip? Like a ridiculous cosmic game show, Hindu’s believe there is someone keeping score. I am Kulkarni on my maternal side & after this life, I do not wish to identify with that or be answerable to any Deshpande. Maru de mala shantatet (let me die in peace).
I have spent more than 20-years trying to make a sense of it all. It started with my thread ceremony where I went from a normal human to being a ‘brahmin.’ I did not care but I am informed that the thread ceremony was a rite of passage for me like my ancestors before me. I came up with concepts to explain Hinduism:
- We have 100,000 crore gods because they all represent a part of human emotion. This explanation failed at several levels. Also, the level and hours of research involved did not give postulated benefits.
- Forget all the above ways of attaining moksha. What if one could transfer his soul/conscience at death into a larger AI? At first, this argument made a lot of sense until I spoke an expert in the field of ML/AI. TLDR version: our ‘modern’ society’s morality allows denying the dignity of the dead. “Terrorists” in several regions are treated as sub-humans because of their ideological beliefs. For some reason, we are all okay with it or look the other way or are completely ignorant of it.
In December 2019 — I began my entrepreneurial journey with Aditya Mitra Mandal because I lacked ‘traditional ambition.’ Giving up corporate perks was difficult. The stays in swanky hotels, an identity that needed no explanation, no skin the game but the paycheck, being a mercenary for hire. Like Socrates would put it — the perks came at the cost of my soul. (People struggle with the concept of a soul, let me simplify it — that little voice that tells you not do stupid shit. That is your soul. DM me on Twitter if you have more questions.)
Now to circle back to the question, what is moksha/liberty? Hold on though, this wasn’t my question. My question was what after death. Hinduism told me that there is Tapasya (meditation) on your sins with an after birth. How is that liberty? That is a quagmire that will keep me entrenched in the Hindu dogma for an eternity, the suffering. The Hindu way of life is a living hell then. So, I rephrased the question like Buddha did 2500 years: what is the end of suffering? What is freedom? The answer was simple and yet most elegant: by leading a virtuous life I do my deed and end my suffering. This birth is the only birth. The current reality is all that matters. If I can serve the living as I walk and breathe on this pale blue do then I have done my duty to a higher power. When I die, I want to switch off, lights out, Elvis has left the building, I stop to exist. What I would leave behind would be relationships — if living liked me when I breathed, they would when I am dead or not, who the fuck cares? I am dead. If ghosts scared me while living, I won’t return as one.
In conclusion, Buddha is right. Live a good life and die. Die. There is nothing after this. Nada, zero, finished. There is an end to this misery & suffering in death. If that isn’t peace, I fail to understand what the word means. What I am giving to you here are two things:
1. Allowing you to accept that there is no higher purpose that you are here for.
2. Your higher purpose is within you all the time. Living a good life is in your control and hence your destiny or legacy.