Forwarded message: Jivanmukti as per Advaita-Vedanta FAQ

Ramana R r_ramana at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 20 13:33:29 CST 2000

In on earlier mail, Sri Vidyasankar had requested for verses in Jivanmukti
Viveka stating Yajnvalkya is not a Jivanmukta. Firstly I am not able to
trace the portion where this was quoted and secondly, this text is
numbered. It is more in a discussion form. However I can quote the reasons
for stating that:

1.There can be no doubt that Sri Yajnavalkya was a Knower of Brahman
because he wins the debate on Brahman, makes some statements which can be
made only a Knower of Brahman and also agrees to teach his wife(he wouldn't
do so if he himself didn't know Brahman).
2.He was not a Jivanmukta, because he curses a Brahmana to death and asks
for gold/cattle etc; for winning the debate. Sri Vidyaranya states that a
Jivanmukta would never lose his cool etc; and Sri Yajnvalkya's behaviour
was contrary.
I don't think this should be a subject for discussion, I am stating this
since the verses were requested.

In Jivanmukti Viveka, Sri Vidyaranya quotes the following verses from Yoga
Vasishtha.(I am producing what I can recollect and not verbatim)

There are seven stages in Spiritual progress :
Stage-1 : Aspirant feels why should he remain deluded. Why not cogitate and
know the Truth ? This stage is called goodwill. There is a good will/desire
to know the truth.

Stage-2: Having developed goodwill, with the help of company of Sadhus and
by reading Scriptures, he develops Discrimination.(Nityaanitya vastu viveka)

Stage-3 : With Goodwill and Discrimation, he develops Non-attachment or
rather detachment from worldly things.

Stage-4 : The person having developed very strong detachment looks within
and experiences Nirvikalpa Samadhi and becomes a Knower of Truth. Though he
Knows the truth, this knowledge is not steady. I guess it is like a blind
person having a temporary glimpse of Sunrays. However, there is marked
difference between a blind person not able to imagine what Sunrays mean and
a blind person knowing what Sun rays is.

Stage-5 : Knower of truth/Brahman strives to protect this knowledge and his
entering in Samadhi is more frequent and Steadier than Stage-4. However, he
can come out of Samadhi himself.*

Stage-6 : Having firmed up Samadhi, he can come out of Samadhi only if some
external object/person can disturb/bring him out of Samadhi.*

Stage-7 : He becomes a Jivanmukta.

* I don't really understand, what coming out of Samadhi himself or someone
has to bring him out of Samadhi mean ... don't ask me on that.

To summarize, Stages 1-3 apply for seekers and Stages 4-7 apply for Knowers.

Since Yoga Vasishtha is regarded very highly in Advaita, the above
definitions can be considered authoritative(ofcourse subject to errors in
my wordings).


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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