Classic Indian board-game of moksha patam (snakes and ladders) revived for the modern age. Practical wisdom of Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita...
This is a board game made by the rishis from India. It is based on timeless wisdom of the Vedas.
Thousands of years of collective, everygreen knowledge on a single board.
It's exact date is unknown. Neither is the author.
Author is considered a pen instrument in hands of the Lord. That's why most Upanishads are author-less.
Each square represents player's understanding of scheme of things.
For example in block 6 – general understanding is:
"Best use of MY existence is to accumulate for MYSELF. More for MY family, less for others".
Strong notion of "my" and "mine" is universal ignorance in all ages.
Noone is born free of it.
Right from childhood, "My body, My pain, My toys, My epiphany, My thoughts".
Then in adulthood, it gets more sophisticated, "My enlightenment! My samādhi. My knowledge. My ignorance".
Words have changed. Ignorance remains.
Through course of time, this unquestioned notion gets stirred up.
For example in block 19 – attitude evolves to:
"Noblest use of living is to contribute this person's unique skills to the society. This way everyone benefits, including myself".
Mindset of 19 has exponentially higher rewards over 6.
Although player in 6 won't immediately recognize how honesty for less is better then cheating for more. Especially when there's little risk of being caught.
This is because mind hasn't expanded at level of 19. Stuck in competition mode.
And remember – everyone at 19 was once at 6.
Therefore if 19 dismisses a 6 as clueless – it's because 19 hasn't yet matured to 22. Etc...
So no matter how high the player gets, one is NOT immune to making additional mistakes which cause a fall — symbolized by snakes on the board.
We're students until last breath.
This is meaning of humility, which ultimately blesses the player with a guru who removes the beginningless ignorance of nature of "I" — leading to mokṣa (freedom/liberation).
Original intention of game was to educate how to discern right from wrong. Truth from falsehood. And what is "right" and "wrong" in the first place.
Game was meant to show that all pain, suffering and devolution in life is due to mixing up right-wrong, truth-falsehood.
The process is entirely in our hands because we're given a powerful instrument of discernment (viveka).
As dharmic discernment is refined, it's what cultivates wisdom.
And a wise person is qualified to assimilate and hold the higher Upanishadic teachings of self-knowledge (brahmavidya).
Summary: Dharma > Moksha. That's the intent of the game.
One of oldest name given is moksha patam.
"Patam" means going, falling, flying. Meaning player can go either up or down — depending on one's actions in the game.
A solo self-inquirer.
Or whole family. Although more then 3 players will come at cost of shorter discussions — else risk player(s) getting bored.
Keep it short and to the point for the youth.
Actually the player – you – have been playing this game since beginningless beginning.
Only difference is this time you’ll see how every decision leads to either to progression or regression. Happiness or sorrow. Intelligence or ignorance. Strength or insecurity.
But what determines your decision? Knowledge.
Meaning, an informed decision is only as good as what you know or don't know.
Driver can only choose a different road, long as a map is available.
Otherwise driver is choicelessly bound to the same road, putting up with the traffic jam.
And what determines the quality of your knowledge? Education.
Then how do we gain the right education which leads to prosperity in life? By playing the game. And inquiring into every square (experience) you find yourself in.
It’s true in early years, most decisions are unconscious, impulsive, motivated by instant gratification.
But through hard work, every human being, irrespective of background, culture, privileges — can lift themselves by themselves.
This is what the game is meant to convey. Go and play to find out...