Jivanmukti as per Advaita-Vedanta FAQ (fwd)

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Mar 6 06:44:42 CST 2000

Hari Om,

In " Viveka Choodaamani " Sri Shankara has explained the features of a Jivan
mukta in the shlokas numbering from 429 to 442. H.H. Sri Sri Chandrashekara
Bharathi Swamiji of Sringeri has written a commentary on Viveka Choodaamani. He
being a Jivan Mukta himself would have given an apt description on this matter
of Jivan Mukti.. It is in Sanskrit. If some List member can go through it and
tell us also it would be very enlightening to one and all.

Below I have put forth my own comments upon this subject. Please do not think it
as audosity coming from a novice like me. I always like to share my thoughts
with others so that I can get corrected by the enlightened forum.

Latha Vidyaranya.


Realisation of Brahman is the knowledge firmly established in our antahkarana
that I am not this body-mind complex. I am only a magical manifestation of the
Chetana which pervades the whole universe. This Chetana is Sat – eternal, Chit –
all knowing and Aananda – bliss incarnate. This gets reflected in our intellect
or budhdhi and our budhdhi creates the whole universe with all its Charaaachara
beings. When I say  ‘ I die’ it only means that the body which is jada dies and
not the true I which is eternal.  This knowledge which I gain through a Sadguru
makes me a Realised person. Once I have this firm conviction that I am truly
that Brahman and not any other thing which my mind can conjure up, I become a
person who is released by all bondages of this samsaara and I can have the
luxury of watching this body-mind complex undergoing all changes without getting
involved in any of those happenings. Have I not become a Mukta while still
living in this body ? – a jivan mukta ?

But how many of us can constantly put this knowledge into practise ? How many of
us can live in this Saakshi bhaava always ? We keep getting ourselves involved
in day to day activities, forgetting momentarily the knowledge that we have
imbibed thro our Guru. Our condition is like that of an actor who knowing very
well the role that he has been asked to play keeps getting involved himself in
the role to such an extent that he keeps forgetting that he is only an actor
asked to play the role and not the role himself. A constant reminder helps him
to play the role unattachedly. But this true knowledge definitely comes to his
help when the day’s shooting  is called off and he has to get back home. He no
more nurses any of the feelings that the role had demanded from him while on

Similarly for a mumukshu, the very knowledge that he has realised definitely
comes handy whenever situation requires. He can still keep himself composed
inspite of the turbulance that the life undergoes every moment. He can watch it
all standing away from it, sometimes interfering, sometimes aloof. The serpent
of this life can still bite him, but can not injure him.

But there are many Mahaatmaas like Sri Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Swamy, Sri
Sadaashiva Brahmendra Saraswathi Swamy of recent times who in their end stages
of this earthly sojourn totally immersed themselves in the Brahmaananda rasa and
were unaware of the happenings in their surroundings, and even the bare
necessities of the mortal body were forgotten. And they were then hailed as
Jivan muktas. Does this mean that when they had not yet reached this stage of
outer manifestation of Brahmaatmaikatwa, they were not jnaanis ?! Just because
Sri Sri Abhinava Vidyaathirtha Mahaswamy did not show signs of this kind of
outer manifestation of his inner Jnaana, can any body deny that he was a jivan
mukta ?

A person whether he is a Jivan mukta or a Jivan badhdha, only his antahkarana
knows. He can still look like any other ordinary mortal in the eyes of others.
But a close observation of his aachaara and vichaara will surely reveal his

Hari Om,
Latha Vidyaranya

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