The Vedas recognise the existence of the phenomenon of Jeevanmukti. Kathopanishad proclaims that a person freeing oneself from the bondage of “eeshanas” will attain salvation. Transcending the crushing and visible bondages of desire, anger and the other inimical forces will mean putting him on the threshold of complete liberation. A Jeevanmukta’s life is one of fulfillment of the purpose of life viz., the ideal of knowing what is bliss, of reaching the transcendental principle which has no second and attaining the Brahman. He is always full, satiated and peaceful, having known what is to be known.
Upanishads say you are the Brahman. The vanishing point of all desires dear to one’s heart is a prelude to the onset of immortality.
Sruti characteristically describes such a person carries on as if he is a blind one though possessed of eyes, a deaf one despite the ears, mindless though armed with the faculty of mind.
Smriti also variously describes a Jeevanmukta as a sthithaprajna, ativarnasrami transcending the best qualities of ordinary persons.
Vasishta, a Vedic Rishi and a venerable Sage, was a Jeevanmukta himself. A person who, despite being wedded to external association in worldly matters, finds the world seemingly vanishes but chit-akasha remains, comes to be called a Jeevanmukta. Just as at the time of the deluge the whole universe gets lost in the Brahman so also in the case of a Jeevanmukta, the visible world he lives in appears to vanish because of the withdrawal of sensory perceptions. Virtually, therefore, a Jeevanmukta has no material world.
Whoever is immune to this pangs of suffering, to the pleasures of happiness and the pitiable state of poverty or impecuniosity and whoever takes physical care of himself by just what he gets without an effort – is to be called a Jeevanmukta.
Whoever is awake in “Sushupti” state and as a result of the absence of sensory perceptions and functions in “Jagriti” state and whose jnana is devoid of ‘Vasanas’, is a Jeevanmukta. A Jeevanmukta’s passion is Brahman himself!
A Jeevanmukta’s inner frame is totally transparent, like the blemishless blue sky. Armed with this quality of purity, he may react to needs of food like others, he may be indignant towards those who have missed the righteous path or exhibit fear or apprehension to wild phenomena; all the same these do not detract from the charms of a Jeevanmukta. Some of those propensities are at worst to be looked upon as insignificant parenthesis between two sessions of samadhi state. By his inner nature like the sky which is not basically affected by the dust, storm or cloud, he remains alien to them.
Whoever even if engaged in karma or duties or refrains himself therefrom and whoever is devoid of the feeling “I am the doer” which is attributable to ‘Ahamkara’ and whose intellect does not get polluted accordingly, is to be called a Jeevanmukta. The feeling of subjectivity of the order is a quality of manifestation of “ahamkara” not seen in a Jeevanmukta.
Whoever finds that the world does not move faster by reacting to his own action or approach, whoever finds that he does not react and move fast to the world or events and whoever is immune to the provocations from others – is a Jeevanmukta.
Whoever has dissolved all the worries and foibles of family life, whoever despite being well versed in all the arts is detached from the sense of attainment of such fields, whoever is a picture of peace in all these worldly matters and mentally renounced despite endowed with the best mental powers is a Jeevanmukta.
Whoever despite involvement in every conceivable worldly affair has a disinterested approach and whoever is cold to the materialistic value like one indulging in humanitarian service for advancing one’s spiritual goal – such a fortunate person is a Jeevanmukta. In all these apparent involvements and ostensible attachments, the reality being perfection and oneness with the Brahman and constant communion therewith, the Jeevanmukta displays total absence of real attachment.
Videhamukti, according to Vasishta, takes place when the body of the Jeevanmukta falls and attains immobility likened to air rendered absolutely motionless. It is bodiless mukti.