“You are a wanting person” ~ Pujya Swami Dayānanda
The brightest full moon of the year is coming up.
This luminous day is celebrated as Guru Purṇimā – the day we honor the divine role of the teacher who guides us to remove and release all that obstructs the luminosity within.
In honor of that time, I’m offering a 3-part series highlighting 3 keys to the yogic journey with some personal sharing.
This part 1, begins with the beginning, the threshold that must be crossed on the spiritual journey.
That threshold is what my own guru would call “becoming a mumukṣu”.
This is when you realize that all of your various discomforts, dissatisfactions & desires have one root cause – the feeling that you are “incomplete”.
You realize no material thing, person or circumstance can give you permanent satisfaction or peace you stop seeking “stuff” and you start seeking “self”. If you are lucky enough to sense that true happiness is possible, you transmute normal “wanting” into seeking liberation, and this is what it is to be a mumukṣu – one who is seeking inner freedom.
Read on for a bit of my own journey...
From when I was a very small child – about 4 years old – my mind was filled with constant questions about the mysteries and purpose of life. These played into my birthday wishes, my daily thoughts, and every moment was filtered through them. At the same time I was also highly compelled to be in service – to my younger siblings, my mother, my grandmother.
Both of the patterns of questioning life and caregiving for those around me were dramatically exaggerated when I underwent a family trauma at the age of 10 – the sudden death of my father, followed by my grieving mother relying on me as though I was no longer a child.
Life seemed “normal” on the outside, yet inner questions haunted me…
By a stroke of magic, when I was 21 years old, I began to take philosophy classes in Eastern religion, texts and teachings.
This is when the asking, looking, hungering… began to transmute into seeking that had a true POTENTIAL for answers.
This is when I became a “mumukṣu”.
The story will continue in the next installment.
“A mumukṣu is wanting self, not stuff” – Kaya
mumukṣu | मुमुक्षु
Being a “wanting person” is normal… it is being in ongoing pursuit a million short term fixes to feel okay. None of it satisfies… and so the wanting never ends.
But the wanting serves a purpose.
When you listen deeply, you realize what you really want is to be permanently at peace.
The beginning of your yogic journey is to transmute “wanting” into seeking. This is “becoming a mumukṣu”.
A mumukṣu seeks mokṣa | मोक्ष – inner freedom, psychological freedom, utter limitlessness itself.
A mumukṣu releases normal “wanting” and prioritizes seeking what truly satisfies – the nectar of your Self.
For this reason, a mumukṣu lives a yogic life.
This is the invitation of yoga, the invitation of yogic scripture and the oral tradition.