[Advaita-l] RE: sadyomukti and jIvanmukti

Ramesh Badisa badisa55 at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 6 10:29:06 CDT 2004

Dear respected members,

>The reason I said you seem to be redefining terms is that you use 
>sadyomukti to refer to the moment of physical death of a jIvanmukta. The 
>moment of death is properly called videhamukti, not sadyomukti.

Badisa: I will quote one reference of the Divine Life Society here. 
Recently, Swami Premanandaji Maharaj died at Shivananda Ashram 
(www.divyajivan.org/articles/adhyatma/memorium_premanandaji.htm). Towards 
the end of the
Homage Page, it says that “Sri Rama Charit Manas” has granted him Sadhyo 
Mukti”. Now, the question is when the swamiji was granted this type of 
mukti? The above homage indicates that it is granted to swamiji after the 
death. All swamijis at this ashram are advaita followers, and their sayings 
are nothing but true, at least for me. You say that Sadhyo mukti is not 
achieved after death, which is opposite to the sayings of sivanananda ashram 

>Second, you seem to use the term "divine experience" in a variety of ways. 
>What characterizes this divine experience is left unstated.

Badisa: Divine experience means that the sadhaka realizes the divine nature 
of his soul. This is called atma gyan – the highest knowledge. I would have 
appreciated you sincerely if you had raised this question at the same time 
when you felt this term was used in a variety of ways. So that 
misunderstandings, if any, would have been avoided.

>As far as advaita texts are concerned, the following points may be noted.

>1. videhamukti - is the ending of embodiment of a jIvanmukta;
Badisa: I agree to it.

>2. jIvanmukti - is the condition of continuing in an embodied state after 
>the rise of Self-knowledge;

Badisa: Jeevan mukta state is achieved once the sadhaka realizes the divine 
nature of his soul. He continues to live till the end of his prarabdha 
karma. If that is what you are saying above, then I agree to it.

>3. sadyomukti - is the condition of immediate liberation at the very 
>instant of Self-knowledge.

Badisa: In 2, you are saying that rise of self-knowledge and in 3 you are 
saying that instant of self-knowledge. Does it mean that in case of 2, the 
self-knowledge rises slowly, over the period of time, and in case of 3, the 
same knowledge is given instantly? If you say yes then, it is not right. 
Why? Atma gyan dawns slowly for all sadhakas. It will never come all of a 
sudden, like in one go, like one hour back there is no atma gyan and one 
hour after he has atma gyan. We will see with an example. If we want to 
reach the top of the building, we need to climb the steps slowly. Reaching 
top of the building is equal to attaining the atma gyan, for example. Here, 
the top is not reached immediately, but slowly. Therefore, all sadhakas will 
be at different steps, meaning that they are at different levels of 
spiritual advancements depending upon their temperaments, intensity of 
sadhana etc. The sadhaka, who is at the top of the building, is the one who 
experienced the divine nature of his soul, and is called a jeevanmukta, but 
not others. Also, atma gyan will not be given by the guruji. Guru ji will 
tell and show the direction to the sadhakas. It is the sadhaka, who has to 
take up journey towards that direction pointed out by guruji, and achieve 
the atma gyan. In other words, gurujis or sruti or any other spiritual texts 
are like sign boards (Lord Krishna did not give this atma gyan to Arjun, who 
was said to be very, very closely associated with Lord. In Gita there are 
many instances, where Lord Krishna says to Arjun for controlling of mind, 
senses etc for realization). They can only show the directions to the 
sadhakas, meaning that sadhakas have free will to choose what ever they want 
to do. Yes, gurus and scriptures will tell the sadhakas the ultimate aim and 
objective in the life. But they will never force any one for any thing, 
meaning that they only show the direction to the sadhakas, and the sadhakas, 
with guruji’s and divine blessings will get atma gyan slowly, either in one 
life or many lives, depending upon the intensity of sadhana, which again 
depends on quantity and quality of karma hanging on. The reason to mention 
this here is that in one of the previous responses it was indicated that, 
“sadyomukta is one who fully knows “brahmAhamasmi”, the instant the guru 
imparts the sruti” I differ with this. Realization does not come suddenly 
with one go. If we take zero for a person who does not do any spiritual 
sadhana and 100 to a self realized person (jeevan mukta), then there are a 
lot of different shades of persons in between, ranging from 1 to 99. These 
are also called sadhakas, but are not called realized persons. When all 
these persons have to pass through to higher levels slowly, then where is 
the question of getting the self-realization (also called divine experience 
or atma gyan) suddenly? Once we cross all steps on the ladder to reach the 
top of the building, then only we are said to be at the top. We can only 
reach the top after passing through all the steps slowly, but not in one 
jump. On the other hand, it is not to say that once we reach the top, the 
atma gyan will be dawn there suddenly at once. When significant amount of 
karma is annihilated due to sadhana, then the sadhaka starts experiencing 
different indications about divine nature of his soul etc. These are only 
the indications and not realization, and based on these indications, he does 
more and more intense sadhana, and finally gets self-realization. This 
sadhaka, now, is called a jeevan mukta. The term ‘mukta’ is used in a 
technical sense in order to differentiate from vast majority of ordinary 
people. One may argue here that we have sruti sayings that mukti is achieved 
here while living. Yes. There, the sruti is pointing out that 
self-realization can be achieved here itself. But self- realization is 
different from the state of absolute salvation, where there is no limitation 
for any thing. Since there is no such thing called instant self-realization, 
sadhyo mukti is applicable after death of a jeevan mukta. We will see one 
example here for better understanding. Swami Vivekananda is a great 
personality in the modern times. He did not get self-realization immediately 
even though he was the most lovable disciple of sri Rama Krishna Pramahamsa. 
SwamiVivekananda served his guruji and done intense sadhana. Based on this, 
he got self-realization slowly in due course of time. If the sadhaka dies 
before self-realization and before karma is annihilated to zero, then he 
will take birth and starts his sadhana till he get self-realization. One 
sadhaka may get this realization soon while other sadhaka may take longer 
time, depending upon karma balance on them. If one sadhaka gets the 
self-realization sooner than another sadhaka in the life, it does not mean 
that he got it instantly. See, even though Bhakta Prahalada (BP) had the 
darshan of Lord Narasimha, he was not given self-realization immediately, 
but given slowly in the later years. It is clear from these examples, that 
self-realization won’t come instantly. Thus, a jeevam mukta, after death 
gets sadhyo mukti. And this is the reason why in the above web site it is 
said that the swamiji was granted sadhyo mukti after death. One more 
reference is give in this regard. In Varaha Upanishad 4.5, it is said 
clearly that as per divine sankalpa, salvation can be achieved by two 
different ways. One is krama mukti and the other is sadhyo mukti. One may 
here argue that sruti also says about vedeha mukti (VM) and kaivalya mukti 
(KM). Now, coming to VM and KM, both are same as per Lord Ram’s teachings 
(Muktika Up. 1.16). Similarly, sadhyo mukti is also called Vedeha mukti, 
meaning that after physical death of a jeevan mukta, his soul spreads 
everywhere immediately, i.e., becomes divine instantly. The conclusion is 
that the soul of jeevan mukta gets sadhyo mukti after death of physical 
body. This sadhyo mukti is also called vedeha or kaivalya mukti. In the 
after death state, these terms for eligible souls are synonymous.

>Next, coming to your discussion of saguNa worshippers and nirguNa 
>worshippers. There is, properly speaking, no such thing as nirguNa worship. 
>Knowing nirguNa brahman is a state of being. Worshipping saguNa brahman is 
>an activity where the worshipper and the object of worship are distinct. As 
>such, the liberating experience for a saguNa brahman worshipper (as for any 
>sAdhaka) is the instant when the knowledge arises that there is absolutely 
>no distinction between him/her-self and the object of his/her worship. It 
>is not a transformation of the worshipper into the object of the worship. 
>Rather, it is the realization that there never was, is not and never will 
>be, in reality, any difference.

Badisa: Realization is the criteria to decide which mode the eligible soul 
takes for salvation. With realization, the soul gets immediate salvation. 
Failure for realization due to premature death, then the eligible soul will 
follow devyan marg. In other words, it is not the type of worship (saguna or 
nirguna divine) but self-realization that decides for which either ways of 
salvation to achieve.

>If this is what you term as divine experience, then yes, in that case, 
>there is no going or coming anywhere after physical death. On the other 
>hand, one has to realize that after this divine experience, the seemingly 
>saguNa worshipper is no longer a saguNa worshipper, but is a knower of 
>nirguNa brahman. Any other saguNa worshipper, who does not gain this 
>liberating knowledge, is still subject to further cycles of going and 
>coming to different worlds after the end of the current embodiment.

Badisa: You did not give your opinion here the type of salvation that would 
be achieved by the saguna worshipper with self-knowledge. My under standing 
is that in that case his soul will get salvation immediately, that is, no 
need to go by 8/24 path of Gita. If you agree to this then, I will 
appreciate you opinion on the following also. What would happen to saguna 
worshipper who makes his karma to zero by doing pious deeds, as per Gita 
7/28, and faces a premature death before the dawn of self-knowledge? Such 
souls cannot take birth as the karma was nullified to zero by pious deeds. 
Also such souls won’t get immediate salvation due to lack of 
self-realization. Then what will happen to such souls? My understanding is 
that such souls will follow 8/24 path of Gita (and sruti texts), get 
self-knowledge later, and achieve salvation at pralaya (Brahma Sutra 
4.3.10). Thus, as per my understanding the saguna worshipper, who does not 
gain self-knowledge (or liberating knowledge), is only subjected to further 
cycles of birth and death if karma is not annihilated to zero. Other wise, 
his soul will follow devyan marg (8/24 Gita). Please let me know your 
opinion on this.

>Among these saguNa worshippers, those who perform the upanishadic upAsana-s 
>leading to the arcirAdi mArga are promised (anAvRttiS SabdAt) that after 
>the current embodiment, they go to brahmaloka and do not return to further 
>cycles of rebirth.

Badisa: As per Brahma sutra 3.3.31, any worshipper of saguna Brahman will 
follow devyan marg. I believe you are also saying the same thing above. 
Right? As per my understanding, the above rule is applied when the above 
worshippers die before the dawn of atma gyan. However, if these worshippers 
are successful in achieving atma gyan in the very life itself, then their 
souls will get immediate salvation. In other words, it is like this. Every 
sadhaka has two things. One is to realize their true nature, and the other 
is failure for this realization. It does not matter whether the sadhaka is a 
saguna worshipper or a nirguna worshipper. These two things are always 
available. Any qualified sadhaka, who gets atma gyan, will get immediate 
salvation, while a qualified sadhaka, who fails this realization due to 
sudden death, will follow devyan marg. The above Brahma Sutra is applicable 
to those qualified saguna sadhakas who die before the dawn of atma gyan due 
to sudden death. Atma gyan is not an easy thing, and thus most sadhakas die 
before achieving it. Hence, the above sutra, in a generalized way, says that 
all saguna sadhakas (worshippers) will follow devyan marg. If we take its 
literal meaning, then, it means that all saguna worshippers will never get 
atma gyan. But the examples of great person, like Bhakta Prahalada and Sri 
Rama Krishna Paramahamsa etc, prove that saguna worshippers can also get 
atma gyan. One needs to under stand the intension of sutras or mantras or 
slokas in light of great masters lives.


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