Jivanmukti in advaita - post 3

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Mar 17 13:22:13 CST 2000

Bearing on the character and extent of the little nascience that
persists even after enlightenment, there is a discussion in the later
advaita texts, especially in the minor manuals such as Tripti dipika,
ascribed to Vidyaranya in Panchadasi. They highlight the individual
differences in the lives of the jivanmuktaas and their modes of conduct.
Janaka, the king of Mithila, was an enlightened person ; but he lived
amidst plenty and comfort. Yagnavalkya, the householder with two wives,
was also enlightened. Suka and Sanaka were ascetics who were enlightened
; they led simple and austere lives. Vaamadeva was enlightened even when
he was born, unlike the others who acheived this state by effort and
application. Rahuu gana, Siikara dwaja and Priya vrata were known to be
bad characters although they were enlightened.

To explain this difference, the text mentioned above classifies
prarabdha into five types :  1. 'Superior' , which will predispose the
individual to withdraw from the worldly involvement from the very moment
of his birth, as in case of Vaamadeva ;
2. 'middling' , which will initially prompt involvement in the world but
will in due course encourage withdrawal, as in the cases of Shuka and
Sanaka ; 3. 'inferior', which will make only for withdrawal, as in case
of Yagnavalkya ; 4. 'very inferior' which will initially prompt
withdrawal but encourage in due course involvement, as in case of Janaka
; and 5. 'exceedingly inferior' , which will predispose the individual
to folly, license and vice, as in case of Alarka and others. The
difference in the prarabdha does not mean that there is a difference in
the quality of jivanmukti...........

As long as the individual is free from the delusion of bondage, no
worldly involvement is likely to affect him. And his transactions are
not motivated by love or hate and hence does not bear fruit.
............He looks forward to nothing. There is a natural tendency for
him to withdrawfrom the world as much as he can. For, although the
phenomenal involvement now does not alter the quality of his liberation,
it will reduce the happiness that forms the core of that experience.
...........True happiness can be enjoyed only by renouncing. Greater the
involvement in the transactional world, lesser is the possibility of
enjoyment of the bliss of liberation.Prarabdha in any case will work
itself out and get exhausted ; but when it favours withdrawal, it will
allow a greater measure of the experience of

Jivanmukti is meant to transform our entire orientation to life, our
attitudes and our involvement in the world. Liberation does not alter
facts ; it does not bring about a change in the world ; nor does it even
free us from our commitment to others around us. But our approach to
ourselves and to the world undergoes a total change.........

Although the normal physical coordinates of individual existence
continue for the individual that has achieved liberation, there is a
total transformation in his psychological moorings and relationships.
The reason for this persistence at the existential level and
transformation at the functional level is that the condition of
jivanmukti is essentially an altered state of consciousness.

The change that occurs in a jivanmukta has been graphically described in
several texts, especially in some Upanishadic passages, in Bhagavadgita,
and in Yoga vasishta. The descriptions are replete with suggestions
regarding the transforming power of liberation. The individual's
personal consciousness gets suddenly freed from the psychological
barriers of customary cognitions as well as from the organismic need to
survive as an individual in the world of distinctions and
differentiations. He feels no longer bound to his ego or to the object
outside. His consciousness, though most of the time individualised by
his body and mind is nevertheless illumined by the direct experience of
the essential unity of all experience at the level of cosmic
consciousness ( brahmaakaara vritti ). The bubble of his ego is
punctured, and it can no longer break down or build up the presented
world in accordance with fancy, desire, or fear, as it would do in an
ordinary individual. He will no longer be deluded, annoyed, lured or
caught unawares by the world. The world for him would be like a serpent
whose fangs have been taken out : it may bite, but cannot injure

Although there is no danger of him losing his wisdom or being deluded
again, he would miss the joy of liberation unless he repeats the initial
mental modality that liberated him. In order to experience the bliss of
liberation, he is advised repeatedly to cogitate on the identity of the
individual consciousness with the cosmic one. The normal inclination of
the jivan mukta would be tp preserve and pursue the brahmaakaara vritti
; for which, the stability and purity of mind are essential requisites.
But it may so happen that his prarabdha may present him with diverse
distractions, for it is impossible even for a liberated one to be
unceasingly in a state of absorption. He is subject to the necessity of
'emerging out' (vyuthaana) to participate in the phenomenal world, so
long as his embodied condition lingers on. Thus he moves between the
reality that he has realized and the unreality that he has sublated but
has to concede...........................................


Hari Om,
Latha vidyaranya

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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