[Advaita-l] sadyomukti and jIvanmukti
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed May 12 12:53:33 CDT 2004
I think there is a little confusion in the usage of terms here. The term
sadyomukti refers not to liberation at the instant of physical death. sadyaH
means immediate, at once, at the very moment. The moment referred to here is
the instant of full, right knowledge of Brahman-Atman. Of course, the
embodiment of this knower can continue, but what happens at the moment of
physical death? The bRhadAraNyaka upanishad gives the answer - na tasya
prANA utkrAmanti, atraiva samavanIyante. In other words, there is no travel
by devayAna/pitRyAna for the sadyomukta, there is no question of reaching
brahmaloka and there is no question of any further step in liberation.
Inasmuch as such a knower can continue, for however long, in an embodied
state, it should be clear that the sadyomukta can also be called jIvanmukta,
but not all those who are called jIvanmukta-s are sadyomukta-s. The
sadyomukta has infallible knowledge, but there are those who even after a
glimpse of right knowledge need strengthening of their knowledge by tapas,
vairAgya and saMnyAsa. In such cases, there can be a residual tendency away
from knowledge. SankarAcArya describes this situation too, in the
bRhadAraNyaka commentary 1.4.7. Such knowers can also be called
jIvanmukta-s. Also, those who perform upAsana of saguNa brahman can become
jIvanmukta-s and after physical death, travel through the devayAna to reach
brahmaloka. This is not called sadyomukti, but videhamukti and can be
considered a step in krama-mukti.
In summary, not all jIvanmuktas are sadyomuktas, but sadyomuktas can be
called jIvanmuktas. jIvanmukti is a much more elastic term, encompassing a
range of meaning, but sadyomukti is a very definite term. I hope this
clarifies the usage of these terms.
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