[Advaita-l] The Four kinds of 'Mukti' compared with the 'Kaivalya' of Vedanta

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 17:10:33 CDT 2010

श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः


Most of us have heard of these four kinds of mukti:  sAlokya, sAmeepya,
sArupya and sAyujya.  There are varying definitions of these but generally
we can understand them to be:

1.sAlokya - going to the 'loka' of the deity worshipped

2. sAmeepya - being in the proximity of the deity worshipped

3. sArUpya - taking on the form that looks alike the deity worshipped

4.  sAyujya - getting into the 'body' of the deity worshipped

All these types of 'mukti' are only relative liberation and not the real
liberation intended in the Vedanta characterized by non-return to samsara
अपुनरावृत्तिः.   About this we have a sentence from the commentary of Sri
Chandrashekhara Bharati SwaminaH for the Viveka chUDAmaNi verse 2 (end):

तेन सालोक्य-सामीप्य-सारूप्य-सायुज्यानां मुख्यमुक्तित्वाभावश्च सूचितो भवति ।
सगुणविषयकतया तेषां चतुर्णामपि मिथ्यात्वात्,
परिच्छेदत्रयशून्यत्वरूपब्रह्मत्वस्य सगु्णेऽसंभवात् ।  ब्रह्मात्मना संस्थितिः
अवस्थानं कैवल्यमेव मुक्तिः, ....

The salient features of the above sentences can be enumerated thus:

   1. The four kinds described in the beginning are not the 'real' muktiH.
   2. They  pertain to the saguNa Brahman
   3. They are therefore mithyA
   4. Because, the Vedantic ultimate Brahman-nature of being free of the
   three kinds of limitations of space, time and objects is impossible in the
   SaguNa Brahman.
   5. 'To remain established as Brahman Itself' is the goal of Vedantic
   6. This is characterized by:
   7. Freedom from association with all the erroneously imagined limiting
   adjuncts like body, mind, etc.
   8. Ever-Free, Ever-Pure, Ever-Conscious
   9. Non-different from the innermost Self (Atman)
   10. ParipUrNa-svarUpa
   11. This is called 'Kaivalya' as different from the four types saalokya,

Thus, in Vedanta, the four types have no primary status as mukti.  They are
only relative.  Elsewhere, the Acharya, in this very commentary (I think)
has stated that the case of Jaya-Vijaya returning from Vishnu loka, VishNu
sAmeepya and VishNu sArUpya (any or all of these) types is a case to prove
that these types of mukti-s are not free from the characteristic of absolute
non-return to samsara.  The following points are about these four types:

   1. A 'bheda', difference, between jiva and Ishwara
   2. Things like 'closeness', 'same residence', 'similar form' presuppose a
   finite form for the jiva
   3. This is contradicted by the svarUpa defined for the Atman, for
   example, in the Bhagavad Gita second chapter as 'all pervading'.
   4. The Ishwara too that is different from the jiva will be finite as
   bheda is to be maintained
   5. This is also against the 'all pervading' nature of Ishwara
   6. Many all-pervading atma-s cannot co-exist.  Also one or many
   all-pervading atma-s cannot coexist with the all-pervading Brahman.
   7. When 'closeness', etc. are to be admitted, there has to be admitted
   space, aakAsha.  [There is a table and a chair is placed very close to it.
   Both are in space, limited, produced and perishable.  This will be the
   situation of a moksha where atman is different from Brahman and resides
   'very close' to Brahman.
   8. The presence of AkAsha is characteristic of PrakRti
   9. The 7th Chapter of the Gita teaches that AkAsha, etc. are evolutes of
   the aparaa prakRti, jaDa prakRti
   10. Thus, these types of mukti do not guarantee freedom from the
   influence of jaDa prakRti
   11. This gives rise to other problems like 'icchA, dveSha', etc. that are
   also features of PrakRti, kshetram (Gita 13. 5,6)
   12. Freedom from these mental states is not attained in these types of
   13. This is evidenced by the story of Jaya-Vijaya who gave room to
   14. Possibility of curse is also not ruled out in these types of mukti as
   evidenced by the above story
   15. Since many people reside in such loka-s, all saamsaaric problems will
   be there.
   16. Also, all these, being the effects of the three guNas of prakRti,
   sattva, rajas and tamas make these loka-s where these types of mukti are
   obtained no different from any other created loka.  This is evidenced by the
   Gita verse 18.40:  There is no object in all the three worlds that is free
   from the operation of the three guNas of prakRti.
   17. This shows that even the loka-s like VaikunTha, Kailasa, etc. are
   only created ones, coming under the purview of the JaDa prakRti
   18. Attaining these loka-s for attaining any of the four types of
   mukti-s  will entail subjection to jaDa prakRti
   19. This is not moksha at all
   20. It is only samsara experienced in a different loka.
   21. Since such mukti-s are attained owing to puNya, the rule: kSheeNe
   puNye martya lokam vishanti is inevitably applicable
   22. The word 'mukti' attached to these four types is only relative; it is
   like the word 'amRtatvam' found in the Kathopanishad 1.1.13 - स्वर्गलोका
   अमृतत्वं भजन्ते [people in the swarga loka experience immortality] This
   immortality in swarga is only relative to the short span of life in this
   human loka.  All that it means is that in swarga people will live for a very
   long time.
   23. The Gita teaches that all loka-s upto and including Brahmaloka are
   temporary.  VishNuloka and Shiva loka are no exceptions.
   24. In  the अनात्मश्रीविगर्हणम् Sri Shankaracharya says: धातुर्लोकः
   साधितो वा ततः किं, विष्णोर्लोको वीक्षितो वा ततः किम् ? शंभोर्लोकःशासितो वा
   ततः किं ? येन स्वात्मा नैव साक्षात्कृतोऽभूत् ।
   16) The world of Brahma has been acquired, the world of Vishu has been
   seen and the world of Shiva has been ruled over - all these,verily, are in
   vain to him by whom the Self has not been realized.
   25. If one has to 'go there' to attain mukti, then that loka is not here,
   now.  That means it is finite.  That means it is only created and therefore
   The following are the characteristics of Kaivalya:
   26. The Moksha taught by Vedanta, Kaivalya, is right here and now; it is
   the very svarUpa of everyone.  It only requires to be realized.
   27. Going to another loka for mukti is against the Shruti: न तस्य प्राणा
   उत्क्रामन्ति Brihadaranyaka Up. 4.4.6 which teaches the Jnani's subtle body
   does not leave the physical body at all upon death.  So, there is no
   question of his traveling to some other loka for moksha.
   28. Brahman is realized here itself and the jnani is Brahman Itself:  रसो
   वै सः says the Taittiriya Upanishad.  महान्तं विभुं आत्मानं मत्वा धीरो न
   शोचति says the Kathopanishad.  The Infinite Atman is 'known' by the Jnani.
   वेदाहमेतं पुरुषं महान्तम्....नान्यः पन्था विद्यतेऽयनाय says the Purusha
   sUktam:  'I have known/realized that Infinite Purusha....there is no other
   path than this for moksha.  These teach that the Ultimate Reality, Brahman,
   is realized.  There is no partial realization of Brahman possible.  Brahman
   is without any parts.  तत् त्वम् असि says the Chandogya Upanishad:  You
   'are' That.  It does not say: tat tvam bhaviShyasi (you will become That).
   By this declaration the Upanishad teaches: 1. You are already That and 2.You
   are not any part of That.  You are Wholly That.   यत्साक्षादपरोक्षाद्ब्रह्म
   says the Br.Upanishad:  Brahman is directly immediately intimately avaialble
   as the very innermost self of everyone. No doubt needs to be entertained as
   to whether one will be able to realize Brahman 'fully' or not.  Such doubts
   are unvedantic thoughts that are only impediments to moksha.
   29. Real Moksha of the Vedanta is complete freedom from prakRti and
   30. This is called 'Kaivalya'
   31. This is characterized by abheda, kevala bhAva.
   32. This does not imply 'svarUpa naasha' of the jiva.
   33. In abheda, aikyam, the jiva's svarupa is impossible of nAsha.  The
   Gita teaches the Atman as 'nityaH sarvagataH sthANuH'  ’अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि
   येन सर्वमिदं ततम्. [Know that Atman to be imperishable and that which
   pervades all this].  So, where is the question of the Atman perishing or
   attaining destruction?  The Brihadaranyaka Up. teaches: न हि द्रष्टुः
   दृष्टेः विपरिलोपो विद्यते, अविनाशित्वात् [The consciousness of the seer will
   never go out of existence, because it is indestructible.]
   34. Any mukti that is a result of attainment of a loka or a rUpa or a
   status is time-bound
   35. There is a maxim:  संयोगाः वियोगान्ताः -  all conjoinings last only
   as long as they are not disjoined
   36. And a mukti that is a result of going to some place and being with
   someone and taking some form is all characterized by a beginning and
   therefore will have an end.
   37. Only that mukti taught as the supreme one in the Vedanta that is
   nothing other than realizing that  one is nitya mukta svabhaava is the
   ever-lasting one
   38. In this, one is already ever-free, never-bound; only not realizing
   this owing to ajnAna.  And thinking that one is bound.
   39. When owing to the Guru-ShAstra upadesha and sadhana one realizes
   this, the ajnAna is dispelled and one comes to know that one has ever been
   free and that it is one's true nature
   40. This 'coming to know' is not to be mistaken as any 'beginning of a
   state' and its end feared; it is only a figurative expression to denote the
   dispelling of avidya
   41. The dispelled avidya will not return as there is no power that can
   cause its return.
   42. There is no going to any other loka, taking any other form or being
   with any other different entity
   43. Thus, there is no finittude of any kind in this moksha and therefore
   this alone is the real one.


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