what does nirmukta stand for?
How did "Nirmukta" (the word ), come about? is it derived from any English/Hindi word or from some other language?
(18-Apr-2011, 03:18 PM)lalitmohanchawla Wrote: How did "Nirmukta" (the word ), come about? is it derived from any English/Hindi word or from some other language?

From our About page,

Nirmukta is a Sanskrit word that means “Freed”; “Liberated”. At Nirmukta, we are freed of dogma.

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(18-Apr-2011, 07:03 PM)Lije Wrote:
(18-Apr-2011, 03:18 PM)lalitmohanchawla Wrote: How did "Nirmukta" (the word ), come about? is it derived from any English/Hindi word or from some other language?

From our About page,

Nirmukta is a Sanskrit word that means “Freed”; “Liberated”. At Nirmukta, we are freed of dogma.

Err... I am not an expert of literature but isn't is like : नि: + मुक्त = निर्मुक्त

I did not had any problem with the name (never gave a thought Blush ), but as much as I know it mean "not freed".

it's [सं० निर्+मुच् (छोड़ना)+क्त]
I have heard the word being used not as 'not freed' but more as 'beyond freedom'.
The word refers to a radical non-attachment in which there is no attachment even to freedom! Even what is thought of as 'freedom' is a limiting state in these metaphysical contexts, and by a Nirmukta, such limits too are transcended. A somewhat messily constructed contemporary equivalent would be 'trans-freedom'.

That this word does not mean 'not free' can be confirmed from this example usage in the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2 Verse 51).

(In that verse,vinirmukta = 'vi+nirmukta' = 'having liberated (themselves)', somewhat like 'vigata' -= vi+gata = 'having gone' or 'vijita' = vi + jita = 'having won'.)

I understand that at Nirmukta, we do not subscribe to this metaphysical overly transcendental-sounding connotation, but the object of this post is just to clarify that Nirmukta does not mean 'bonded' even in those circles.

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(23-Aug-2011, 11:54 PM)LMC Wrote: it's [सं० निर्+मुच् (छोड़ना)+क्त]
Thanks, it seems I was wrong interpreting it. I googled it and found this :

निर्मुक्त (nirmukta)
mfn. loosed, separated, sundered, liberated or saved or escaped or free from, deprived of (instr. abl. or comp.) MBh. Ka1v. &c.
given up, lost, disappeared, vanished (esp. ibc.
cf. below)
flung, hurled MBh. BhP.
(a serpent) that has lately cast its skin MBh.
free from every attachment (= %{niH-saGga})
deprived of all, possessing nothing (= %{niS-parigraha}) ib.
%{-kalmaSa} mfn. freed from sin MBh.
%{-deha} mfn. one who is freed from his body (or bodily desires) ib.
%{-saGga} mfn. one who has given up all (worldly) attachments BhP.

The discussion on fb is heating up, we might have delete the thread lest facebook causes further unrest among members , just in case i'll archive it here

i'ts private so only people with link will be able to view it, (didn't post it as reply due to word limit and wait time)
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Recap of the FB arguments

As usual those who were making a lot of noise on the thread on facebook (the entire gang of 2 people) have shown that they are not interested in contributing to the conversation here on the forums. It seems to have been mostly about seeking attention by questioning the name of the group than about collaborating in earnest. I propose that, in the future, all discussion about the name "Nirmukta", on facebook and elsewhere, be redirected to this thread.

Now, about the thread on FB. As Lalit has shown, the arguments kept changing every time we showed they were lacking, to the point where those opposed to the name were so arrogant as to accuse us of harboring Hindutva leanings!

1. The first comment that started it all asked a bunch of things:

a) What is the meaning of the word?
b) Why use a word from a language that we are not using in our communication?
c) Is it some "sacred language"?
d) Is our name "some kind of lingering Hindutva stand"?

2. Full explanations/clarifications were provided.

a) The meaning of Nirmukta was presented at least twice. The person opposed to the name ignored the actual meaning and concocted his own, and used that to oppose us again on those grounds.
b) Lalit and others showed that plenty of names come form archaic dead languages like Greek, Latin and... yes, Sanskrit. These names can be cool and catchy. Rakshi made the point that even English, which is the language we are using for communication, has associated baggage. All languages do. We also pointed out that many English names are derived from Hebrew/German/Latin/French etc.
c) In response to the accusation that Sanskrit is a "sacred language" and that some of had "Hindutva leanings", we pointed out that Sanskrit is also the language of much of Indian Philosophy and mentioned Amartya Sen's statement that Sanskrit has more atheistic writings than any other Classical language. We also clearly pointed out that the association of Sanskrit with Hinduism is one of those things that must be challenged, and we must reclaim language from organized superstition.
d) Clear refutation of the accusation that we had "Hindutva leanings" was provided, with additional requests to not go by the name alone without looking at the context.

3. Then the arguments got redundant and downright silly... and new ones were invented.

a) The person opposed to the name on grounds of its meaning, ignored the actual meaning and concocted his own, and used that to oppose us again on those grounds.

b) The 'dead language' argument was shown to be weak and so new arguments were proposed. Claims were made that individuals had an aversion to the name Nirmukta right form the beginning. When it was pointed out that such an aversion to a name based on a false association with religion, when the content is agreeable and there is more atheistic writing in the language than in any other Classical language, is actually irrational, the argument was twisted to say that we were the ones who were irrational because they were bringing up legitimate questions- in effect ignoring our rational argument using the standard trollish trick of asserting that our rational counter arguments were irrational because these people were just asking questions! How irrational of us to obstruct their questioning by refuting their defunct arguments using reason?!

c) The statement by Sen about there being plenty of atheistic and philosophical writings in Sanskrit that was provided to refute the claim that Sanskrit is a "sacred religion" was twisted to make the argument that we shouldn't be looking at out past and instead should look forward! So it is fine when they look to the past to associate Sanskrit with Hindu nonsense, but when we point out that this association with Hinduism is an artifact and needs to be challenged because there is plenty of atheistic writing in Sanskrit as well, we are accused of resting on claims of antiquity! As anyone who has been part of our group knows, we are actually really wary of such claims of antiquity, and are a very progressive organization. In fact, I do not think there is as progressive an online group of freethinkers from India as the Nirmukta community. That entire line of attack is insulting to those of us at Nirmukta

d) Those opposed to the name began making more direct assertions that there were latent Hindu leanings in the group management because of the name, and because of our events names such as 'Yukti'. At this point this charge was getting less silly/funny and more insulting. Repeatedly we asked that they cease making such charges fueled by their one sided version of history, brainwashed by religion to see Sanskrit words as inherently Hindutva, and actually see what it is we stand for in the content of our forums and website.

4. At this point another argument was proposed- that Sanskrit is a foreign language to South Indians, and that people in a village or town in Tamil Nadu will not be able to pronounce the word Nirmukta. I found this insulting, because I am a Tamilian and I was involved in naming the group, and I do not find the word difficult to pronounce. I find it a sweet and powerful word. I think it is catchy and makes an excellent brand name. And most importantly of all, I think it is derogatory to say that Tamilians cannot pronounce the word. This was refuted by a more general accusation about how Sanskrit was being imposed on non-Sanskritic cultures, to which the response was that such discussions have a place on the forums as long as they are not accompanied by wild accusations that the group has a hidden Hindutva agenda. A link to one such conversation was provided. But by now it was obvious that those opposed to the name were not really concerned about those reasons they were giving in opposition. Of course no one followed up on that thread, which contained some very interesting discussion on the subject they were raising.

5. Throughout the conversation, the argument was made by different people (Gautam, Lalit and myself etc) that names are just brand identities, and that in the modern world such brand names serve a useful purpose. This was also attacked in a comment posted after the thread was officially closed, by questioning Nirmukta's entire management approach as irrational because it attempted to emulate principles of management that are the key to successful non-profit organizations in the modern world. This line of argument was not only distracting and further digressing form the topic, the proponents of the argument were making assumptions about an organization they knew little about, making demands when they had contributed little to its initiation/management/development/success.

For those interested, our discussions on this front go back more than a year and half, to our first online conference. That conference initiated a strong movement founded on sound ideas. I recommend that newer members read the linked article, you may find it interesting how we began in the direction of forming an organization, and how much our initial plans have changed. I think this is normal. Plans exist to give direction, and must change over time as circumstances change. We have done very well to adapt to the new ideas/members/events and accomplishments that have come Nirmukta's way.

Is it possible that those new members who join the organization down the road can have good ideas that will improve our organization considerably? OF COURSE!
But this does not mean that these new members can barge in and make ill-conceived accusations at the management without knowing the first thing about the organization they have just joined. We can do these things in a systematic and coordinated manner, without implying that those who have been running the group are bumbling fools who have not given thought to the most basic of considerations. This is the essence of the problem we had on that facebook thread, as in a number of threads on facebook recently. I am confident that despite such setbacks and distractions, we will find those who are genuinely interested in working with the Nirmukta management to help Nirmukta grow into a powerful force for reason in India.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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I think the term Nirmukta should be portrayed as a counter concept of Mukta. The stress should be on person's detachment from the unworldly life and the acceptance of the worldly life as the truth. I think all these obscure concepts like Nirvana and Mukti can only be countered by targeting the irrational foundation of it like 'non-worldliness'(aloukika). I suppose the attributes that lead to Nirvana or Mukti can be anything and these concepts themselves need not be theistic.
Manju Vadiarillat
(24-Aug-2011, 10:46 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Recap of the FB arguments

I am Kiran, one of the 'Gang of Two' as Ajita describes. Let me first of all say I am full of praise for the kind of work and reach-out Nirmukta has achieved. It is helping the cause of Rationalism/Atheism greatly. Though I have my reservations on whether we have completely understooc and promoting the 'Humanism' as a whole. Not that I do, but I am talking from the organizational point of view.

Any way, I was agitated by the actions (and not much by thoughts, let me tell you) of organizers of the FaceBook forum. The debate in which reference Ajita has summarised here, was not an attack. To call it an attack and ourselves as gang, in itself says a lot about 'the approach'. That night I set for 2 hours and drafted my own analysis of what I percieved in that debate and posted in the running thread (which was declared CLOSED, as befitted by Ajita! and we call this open forum). No replies were registered. Lalit Mohan had inquired to me on my FB messg-board 'whether I had deleted it myself?' so I checked, my long post was deleted (with others too).

The post was about my observations on debate and actions/behaviour of organizers. Which should be welcome to any rational-minded person. Not to Nirmukta. They not only deleted it from the thread, not cared to put or mention it in here as well!! Only saving grace was shown by Lalit Mohan, who saved it from his email and included in archive. Who visits archives? Raiders of the archs, not readers. So, I am taking trouble to get registered here, and putting my response here. With a hope, that it will not be deleted. Here is my original response to controversial debate :

Friends, I read all the comments because I wanted to study the responses / attitudes and wanted to do some analysis on how rationalists tackle a simple critisism. I am an activist rationalist, socio-political analyst and a communication professional; running my own advertising design studio.

- Just check, there were just 2 persons opposing the shades of Hindutva in a sanskritized name like Nirmukta. The whole bunch of rationalists, many of them seem to be the organizers jumped in to defend. Was it that big an issue? No, you made it so.

- And then you complained we made you waste your time! Is that a rational conclusion or emotional one, matching the emotional outburst of your comments!

- Kit n me simply wanted to bring to your notice that why sanskritized name for such a group. Nobody is demanding you change the name. 'Hindutva leaning' should be read as 'burried in our sub-concious somewhere' due to our up-bringing in a society full of religio-feudal people. And as a rationalist we shall attend to such minor issues as well.

- Employing the imagery and language/expression/style of religious establishment also creates wrong impression; conveys wrong meaning. Not only Nirmukta name, the pictorial symbol of flying bird with sun in the background is similar to traditional/ religious minded institutions. It can easily be fitted as Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ashram! Even the typo bears similar styling. (I understand the limitations a group work with, yet...)

- In Gujarat, we are witnessing a dangerous trend of rationalists praising and promoting religious saints in the name of attracting good crowds to rationalist publications n programs. An editor of a rational monthly always keep telling we shall adopt tachnics of religious sangathans. Some of the rationalists are emulating the narrative style and emotional appeals of religious 'Ramayan kathakar'. Morari Bapu has become darling of theirs.

- Many of you kept harping on your wonderful technic of marketing and branding. Let me tell you, 'market' is the 'next religion' we will have to fight in next generation. Kuchh logoke liye dharm ek dhandha hai, to bakike liye dhandha hi dharm hai. What is a concious effort of branding? Faking the identity. Are we aiming at that? Do work passionately for what you believe in, that will create brand. But talk about it, this loud.

- Nirmukta administrators and organizers rushing into save the platform in a non-important thread also tells me something. Paranoia of some kind. Though all of you have debated in an inoffensive way, the act of barraging itself was like an offence. Mild intolerance was also visible in expression. Actually from the organizers, it should have been of appreciation, as who were raising the issue were rationalists themselves.

No offence, just some observations.
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I think it is good that we started this discussion. I just have some questions.

1. Is it good to let some religious goons have the proprietary of a language?
2. If we find a language associate to a religion, doesn't it mean that we have a prejudice for that language?
3. How different it is from some religious idiots who think using Urdu is only for Muslims and it should not be used in Hindi?
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Quote:No replies were registered. Lalit Mohan had inquired to me on my FB messg-board 'whether I had deleted it myself?' so I checked, my long post was deleted (with others too).

actually, i did reply to your comment,after i finished i found your comment deleted, i presumed that you had deleted it, going by our repeated requests to take it to forums,(which would have meant ceasefire from your side, and me replying may have in that cause restarted a closed thread , also it would have meant not respecting ceasefire and so the PM)

i did mention in the PMs that such posts are ussually deleted and that there are valid reasons for admins deleting them,

Quote:YesterdayLalit Mohan Chawla
did you delete your comment yourself?
anyhow, i had got your comment in gmail and have replied, but it is better that we stop further comments so i have archived comments here,http://nirmukta.net/Thread-what-does-nirmukta-stand-for?, and have removed my own comment

YesterdayKiran Trivedi
No, Lalit I haven't removed it myself. I came to know it has gone missing from there through this message of yours. Its very shocking for a rationalist to know that group of organizers - rationalists themselves - can censor opinions!! Even If you are of the opinion that 'the thread is closed', you shall not delete people's comments. I don't know how shall I address this autocratic, authoritarian behavior of a group! But I will react deffinitely.

YesterdayKiran Trivedi
I just checked the 'archived pages from FB' link you posted. Thanks for atleast taking trouble to include comments recieved after the thread was 'closed by authority'. You seems to be a moderate amongst the hard-liner rationalists.

YesterdayLalit Mohan Chawla
actually this is not about censoring but preventing further damage, our admins know how such discussions quickly turn into name calling and expletives even when both parties may have best intentions, due to design of fb
after i found your comment delted , i deleted my own reply to your comment too,i copied your comment from gmail, and have saved the entire discussion in thread above, please use the above thread for further discussion, http://nirmukta.net/Thread-what-does-nirmukta-stand-for

once you start posting in forums, you would notice the differences of way of posting in forums and fb , and begin to appreciate the forum an d our reasons for diverting fb discussions there

YesterdayKiran Trivedi
Whatever you call it, finally it is authoritarian and control-freak mentality. Does not gel with rationalism / humanism.

Quote:Who visits archives? Raiders of the archs, not readers.
also i hope you do go through the archive since i too spent some time replying to your 2-hour long analysis

regarding your point about the admins being authoritarian
our, regional groups have been updated recently, and i am copying this from delhi freethinkers group description, nirmutka will also have a similar description soon so that there are no confusions about the administeration being authoritarian

Quote: the case for good moderation is made below using a direct analogy:

1. Facebook is a pretty egalitarian place, and our groups have members ranging anywhere from 13 to 83 years old from all demographics. This is more or less equivalent to society at large.
2. Our communities are open to people from this society-at-large, under certain specific and pre-defined conditions. This is equivalent to a small interest group meeting in a conference room.
3. In any conference room sized group that draws members from the general public, there are bound to be rules of conduct. The conference room doesn’t belong to the general public. It belongs to the people that built and manage it giving it their time and resources, and to those whom they allow into it.
4. Members from society-at-large are not born with the right to be in the conference room. They have to earn it. This doesn’t mean their rights to free speech are being curtailed when they are deemed undeserving of the group. It means the rights of those who deserve to be in the room are being protected.

A comprehensive article addressing most of the commonly asked questions about moderation of online freethought communities can be found here:


If you have any questions about our moderation policy, PLEASE READ THE ABOVE DOCUMENT FIRST.

Quote:I think it is good that we started this discussion. I just have some questions.

1. Is it good to let some religious goons have the proprietary of a language?
2. If we find a language associate to a religion, doesn't it mean that we have a prejudice for that language?
3. How different it is from some religious idiots who think using Urdu is only for Muslims and it should not be used in Hindi?
right questions there,frmchandan,thanks,as i said this in my reply to his comment, that we cannot let religious organisations have sole propreity over language, also only language is not the problem BTW , in the comments it was said that they also have problems with our display of the sun rays and the flying bird,
As atheists, we might have faced a lot of problems by religious organisations so much so that we may have developed a strong dislike for religion and anything associated with it so infact, the bias is other way round and we cannot let such biases hinder us from adopting otherwise effective methods
Quote:'Hindutva leaning' should be read as 'burried in our sub-concious somewhere' due to our up-bringing in a society full of religio-feudal people.
it's more like 'hindutva hatred' 'burried in our sub-concious somewhere' (and that misfires sometimes) due to our up-bringing in a society full of religio-feudal people.

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