Is Liberation Possible Through Self-Will Alone?


Pranam and Salutation.

Can somebody with a very strong will power and excellent materialising aptitudes liberate himself through mere will power; especially if we take into account that as we think so we become? What if such a person continuously affirms, "I am fully liberated." ?

Hari Om.

—preety, mauritius


Pranam and salutation to you!

The saints and rishis teach us that liberation comes through a combination of self-effort and grace.

Self-effort alone is insufficient because the ego (“the soul identified with the body”) is trapped by its own self-definition. It’s like starting a car without a battery: the engine cannot start itself. It needs the assistance of an electrical current from outside itself.

Our minds can intellectually conceive of liberation, but we cannot “realize” it by mind alone.

The grace of God that descends through the masters gives to us the liberating touch and transmission of grace that – added to our will – can free us. Like Moses (representing ego’s self-effort), what is born in the captivity of delusion cannot enter “the promised land.” Like Bishma on the field of Kurukshetra, the ego must voluntarily offer itself into the flow of divine grace.

There is no inherent logic to this teaching: the intellect can neither prove nor disprove it. But testimony, both of those who have achieved liberation and those who are advanced in their striving and journey, bears witness to this truth.

Even those of us who may be yet far from liberation, but who have valiantly strived for enlightenment, can state that by ourselves the labyrinth of the mind is too dark, too deep, too suspiciously infected by ego and delusion to be trusted to its own devices.

Ask God to send to you a true (sat) guru – whether in the body or not – whose teachings, technique, and grace, added to your efforts and infusing them, can make you free.

Nayaswami Hriman