Concepts of Jeevanmukti

Srimad Shankara Bhagavatpadacharya devotes an entire chapter (68) in His “Vivekachudmani” to describe the qualities of a Jeevanmukta, i.e., one who is in the state of bliss having been liberated during his lifetime. As many as 20 Slokas extol the virtues of a Jeevanmukta. “In the whole Bhu-loka’’, Adi Shankara says, “there will only be one rare and fortunate one who always remains an introvert dwelling in the Brahman and stays in the form of the Brahman; he will be oblivious to external things and appears (stationary) like one who is asleep; he will just enjoy like a child the material things given to him by others; he looks upon the world as he would see in a dream; rarely, if ever he becomes a conscious extrovert, but he is endowed with an infinite amount of punya; in Bhu-loka, he alone is deserving of thanks (dhanya) and worthy of worship (manya)’’.

The Yati who merges his antahkarana ever in the Brahman and stays in a state of bliss, bereft of distortion (vikara) is a Sthitaprajna, who displays constant awareness and unwavering faith and disposition to strike (after due analysis and verification) an identity of Jeevatman with the Paramatman who is the subject of the spoken words like “Tat” and “Tvam”.

Whoever has an unfaltering prajna and whoever enjoys constant bliss and who appears to have virtually forgotten the world, is to be called a Jeevanmukta.

In addition to merger of the propensities of intellect in the Paramatman, whoever is free from the associated action of Jaagrad-avastha (awakened state) and is fully awake and conscious and whose knowledge is bereft of the contaminations of worldly desires, is to be called a Jeevanmukta.

Whoever is endowed with peace on the domestic front devoid of worries, and whoever, despite being possessed of the bodily organs, functions as though he is without them, and being possessed of the mind, displays as if he is without it – suggestive of physical non-involvement and mental inaction or external detachment – is to be called a Jeevanmukta. Though possessed of the physical instincts and the urges, he is totally withdrawn, being immune to propensities of passion, pride or prejudice.

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