[Advaita-l] Advaita-l] RE: sadyomukti and jIvanmukti

Ramesh Badisa badisa55 at hotmail.com
Sat May 22 08:52:59 CDT 2004

Dear respected members,

>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.

Badisa: Not all saguna worshippers will go to Brahma Lok please. For 
example, if some saguna worshippers, are able to get divine experience in 
this very life itself, then the souls of such people will not go to Brahma 
Lok, but merge in divine immediately, called immediate salvation. In this 
regard, two examples were quoted in the earlier posting (Like Bhakta 
Prahalada and sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa). If a saguna or nirguna devotee 
becomes karma rahita by intense spiritual devotion and sadhana, and if they 
face an untimely death before divine experience, then for either type of 
worshippers, the soul will follow 8/24 path of Gita. The reason is that they 
died before divine experience when they were alive. In order to get this 
divine experience, these type of souls travel to Brahma Lok by archiradhi 
marg of 8/24 or Brahma Sutras or Upanishads. Therefore, all saguna 
worshippers won’t go to Brahma Lok. As far as I understand, there is no such 
rule in sruti texts to say that all saguna worshippers will have to go 
Brahma Lok and all nirguna worshippers will get immediate salvation. Type of 
salvation is not determined whether a devotee is a saguna worshipper or a 
nirguna worshipper. It depends on whether the spiritual sadhaka experienced 
the absolute divine nature or not by intense sadhana while living. If the 
answer is ‘yes’, then either type of sadhakas will get immediate salvation 
(such persons are called jeevan muktas before death), and if the answer is 
‘no’, then either type of sadhakas will follow archiradhi marg. In this 
case, the term jeevan mukta is not applicable for either type of 
worshippers. On the other hand, when sri Shankara mentioned different ways 
of salvations for saguna and nirguna worshippers, there he has a different 
standpoint.  When sri Shankara says that saguna worshippers will go to 
Brahma Lok, it means that he is concerned about those saguna sadhakas, who 
died before divine experience. Similarly, when he says that a nirguna 
worshipper will achieve immediate salvation, it means that sri Shankara is 
taking the case of those nirguna sadhakas who experienced divine in their 
lifetime.  This is consistent with what Lord Krishna says in Gita. For 
example, Lord Krishna in Gita 12/2 says that those who fix mind on him 
(either in saguna or nirgun form) are considered to be the best devotees 
(who experienced the divine) among all other worshippers (saguna or nirguna 
worshippers without divine experience) in his opinion. Otherwise, if we take 
the literal meaning of these slokas, it would imply that those people who 
worship Lord Krishna are considered to be the best devotees while others are 
not. But actually this is not what Lord Krishna’s intension is. Here, when 
Lord Krishna says best devotees in his opinion, it means that here Lord 
Krishna is concerned about those devotees who has divine experience. In the 
next couple of slokas, Lord Krishna tells Arjun how to reach to that state. 
This comes under sadhana, and is common for either type of worshippers. 
Therefore, divine experience is the criteria to decide which soul to get 
salvation by which way. One may argue here that a saguna worshipper will get 
divine experience in saguna form, where as divine is nirgun in absolute 
sense. How come the ‘saguna divine experienced devotee’ attains the absolute 
nirguna divine without this particular experience? The answer is that for 
‘saguna divine experienced devotees’, the experience about absolute nature 
of divine in nirgun form will get slowly in that very life itself, if the 
sadhaka is alive, as per Gita 10/10 (… dadami buddhi yogam…). However, if he 
dies before this experience, then he will travel by 8/24 path of Gita, and 
gets this experience at Brahma Lok before pralaya. The subject that who will 
get which type of salvation is very complex and depends on many factors like 
karma, divine experience, intensity of sadhana, death etc. Therefore, this 
is not so easy to say that this particular salvation is for such worshippers 
and this is for these people like that.

>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.

Badisa: Here, two different things are tried to club together. First thing 
is about reaching of soul to Brahma Lok by Archiradhi marg. The second thing 
is jeevan mukta. We will see how these are different. Previously it was 
mentioned that a jeevan mukta is a person who has experienced the divine 
while living. If this definition stands correct, then how come it is applied 
in case of a person who failed divine experience while living (and if able 
to follow 8/24 path by becoming karma rahita while on earth)?  When this 
person did not get divine experience while living, then where is the 
question of mukti for him? The term jeevan mukta is only applied to those 
persons (nirgun or sagun worshippers) who experienced divine in the very 
life it self.  Divine experience is the prerequisite to call a person a 
jeevan mukta. Therefore, a person (whose soul in near future will follow 
8/24 path) while living cannot be called a jeevan mukta. This term is very 
specific and is associated with divine experience when living.

>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.

Badisa: ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ is the state of a divine experienced person, 
called a jeevan mukta. He understands by experience that ‘he’ is verily 
I could not follow the meaning of, ‘ the instant the guru imparts the sruti’ 
. I could not follow it because with what standpoint it was quoted here. If 
it is implied here to denote that by imparting the knowledge of sruti to 
sadhaka by Guru ji, the sadhaka fully knows immediately that he is 
“brahmAhamasmi” , then, it may not be correct in my opinion. Because, after 
imparting the knowledge of sruti to sadhaka, the sadhaka won’t become ‘Aham 
Brahma Asmi’ immediately. But he needs to translate this knowledge into 
experiencing of divine by intense spiritual sadhana. Then only, the above 
quote is applied. Otherwise not.


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