Adi Shankara lays down the basic postulate that a person who has understood the secret doctrine of Brahman – Brahma-tattva – will no longer have the kind of family attachment he had before. Conversely, a person who continues to have such attachment (and lives like most others) will not have assimilated the Brahme-tattva. (Sloka 441)
One who gets a Jeevanmukta-avastha gives up all family attachments as he will have known the Brahman and the tattva and will be living like the Brahman himself, with a physical frame!
True knowledge of the Brahman
The above doctrine is further amplified here. (Sloka 442). A valid reason is given as to how a person who has understood Brahma-tattva will face family situations. Does he get overpowered by the speed and impulses attributable to praachina karma and continue family life as before or get lost in the tumultuous conglomeration of humanity? No, he does not. On the other hand, as a result of the absorption of the subtle Brahma-jnana and non-discriminatory and non-dual nature of the Brahman, the odour of family attachment vaporizes into oblivion. It follows therefore that those who pursue the Vignana of the Brahman which constitutes truth and knowledge, will be able to free themselves from the attachments of Samsara. They do not get entangled and entrenched despite the impulsive force of past attachment.
Finally, the Acharya says (in Sloka 443) that even for the one who is most acutely stung by desire, there is an instantaneous backward motion of the mind; in the same way, for the knowledgeable one (jnani) who comes to understand all about the Brahman, in the matter of family attachments and involvements, the mind pulls him away from them.
One of the most attractive qualities of a Jeevanmukta is that he radiates peace. A question that often arises is as to who is a Mahatma? The answer should be obvious. He, in whose presence we get peace is indeed a Mahatma. A Jeevanmukta is a living divinity and Mahatma. Undoubtedly, he radiates peace, tranquility and knowledge.
Shuka- Jeevanmukta, always peaceful
Jeevanmuktas, like Shuka, radiate peace wherever they are, as they themselves are intensely peaceful within. Sapta Rishis like Kashyapa describe Shuka Maharshi’s peaceful frame as “Jeevanmuktam sadaa shantam’’. Bharadwaja is referred to as an extremely peaceful personality – “mahaashantam’’. Kandeepa a rishi and his Guru Kashyapa are called “shantam” Shuka himself refers to Vishwamitra as “Kumudvati patim shantam’’ – as the peaceful consort of Kumudvati. Jamadagni was a picture of peace as he had conquered the six internal enemies. Similarly, Atri was an epitome of peace, Gautama a paragon and Vasistha a personification of peace.
Kashyapa Maharshi, the foremost among the Sapta Rishis, says that the five paramount qualities of a Jeevanmukta listed by him in his Shuka Ashtothara (108 names) go to constitute what he calls the Pancha-Mahapurusha Yoga i.e., five-fold qualities present in a great personality like Shuka.
The five-fold virtues are:
Shuddha dehascha – Pure body
Shuddha Vaakyascha – Pure speech
Shuddha dheehi – Pure intellect
Shuddha bhavaha – Pure thought, and
Shuddha Kaaryaha – Pure (irreproachable) deeds
The five-fold combination of pure sensory perceptions – shuddhendriya samutchyaha – is hailed by the rishis.
If “Jeevanmukti” is the blissful period of life between Brahma Sakshatkara and Videha-kaivalya (videha-mukti) – between God realisation and fall of the physical body – then during such period, the Jeevanmukta will be enjoying his divine life through pure actions and reactions when he opens his eyes from otherwise constant thoughts on the Brahman. Jeevanmukti is therefore the exalted state of a rare one and is the vanishing point of ignorance, misery, early pleasures and bondages that plague the ordinary man.
Jeevanmukta according to Brahma Sutras
The commentary on Brahma Sutras written by Adi Shankara categorically asserts that a Jeevanmukta is virtually the supreme being even while he is alive; he is verily the Brahman even though possessed of a physical body that withers away.
Sri Sadashiva Brahmendra Saraswathi Says:
Even if the fiery Sun suddenly cools down or the moon warms up or the flames of fire move downwards, the Jeevanmukta is not surprised and remains unmoved. He looks upon these abnormalities as spells of illusion. “Even if Mithila is burnt’’, Vasishta says, ‘’I will not be affected’’.
Bhaja Govindam of Sri Shankaracharya
The ninth sloka in the dwadasha-manjari, “Bhaja Govindam’’ composed by Sri Shankaracharya, epigrammatically and tersely lays down the chain of qualities and characteristics leading one to Jeevanmukti state;
Satsanga (Good association or company) leads to Nissangatvam (detachment), detachment to nirmohatvam (non-delusion), to nischalatattvam, unwavering conception of reality and such knowledge of reality to Jeevanmukti or liberation during lifetime.