[Advaita-l] RE: sadyomukti and jIvanmukti

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu May 20 23:27:31 CDT 2004

This will be my final response on this subject, for I find myself repeating 
the same points. As far as jIvanmukti and what happens on physical death are 
concerned, one must distinguish clearly between the knower of brahman as 
nirguNa and the worshipper of saguNa brahman.

>Shankara says that "The pranas (organs) and elements of the knower of the
>Nirguna brahman get merged in It (divine) at death" in Brahma Sutra
>commentary (4.2.15). Thus, in case of jeevan mukta (a gyani), these parts

This applies to the knower of nirguNa brahman. The Sruti authority for this 
is the earlier quoted bRhadAraNyaka text, "na tasya prANA utkrAmanti atraiva 

>Now let us extrapolate this situation to liberated souls at Brahma Lok. 

How do these liberated souls reach brahmaloka? Through the arcirAdi mArga, 
as discussed in detail in the brahmasUtra's 4th adhyAya. Why do these souls 
reach brahmaloka in the first place? Through worship of saguNa brahman. When 
do they reach brahmaloka? After the death of the physical body. What are 
they called before this event? jIvanmukta-s or guNAtIta-s or one of a few 
other similar terms. They are not considered sadyomukta-s, because for them, 
there is still the step of attaining brahmaloka after physical death.

>Badisa: I haven't come across such a term 'sadyo mukta' in spiritual texts.
>I will be grateful to you if you can provide me some reference. I know
>sadhyo mukti, as per sruti. By saying jeevan mukta and sadyomukta

sadyomukta is one who is in the state of sadyomukti. Sankara uses the term 
quite a few times in his bhAshya-s.

>separately, it implies that there can be different muktas in the world. I

As I explained earlier, based on Sankara's texts, the knower of nirguNa 
brahman is sadyomukta. People call him a jIvanmukta in a general fashion, 
but it is only a manner of speaking. The sadyomukta is one who fully knows 
"brahmAhamasmi", the instant the guru imparts the Sruti. He does not need 
the further support of tyAga, vairAgya and other sAdhana-s to bolster his 
knowledge and he does not need any practices, to counter the prArabdha karma 
induced tendency towards further karma. Most often, SankarAcArya has this 
kind of mukta in mind. There are others who need multiple teachings, as also 
additional sAdhana-s, to counter the effects of prArabdha karma. These are 
jIvanmukta-s. SankarAcArya accounts for this class also, most notably in the 
bRhadAraNyaka commentary, under the vAkya, AtmetyupAsIta (1.4.7). If this 
kind of jIvanmukta still has residual tendencies towards action, even at the 
moment of physical death, he is in a similar kind of situation as the 
knower/worshipper of saguNa brahman who performs the upanishadic upAsana-s. 
On the death of the body, he passes to brahmaloka, rising through the nADI-s 
in the body and through the devayAna. Please see SankarAcArya's comments 
under the sUtra, anAvRttiS SabdAt.


ps. I will post my concluding portion of the Anandamaya topic in a couple of 

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