A Jagadguru extols qualities of a Jeevanmukta

His Holiness Sri Sri Bharatitheertha Swamigal of Sringeri Sharada Peetam says that the subject of Jeevanmukti has been particularly discussed in Advaita Siddhanta; the Vedas, he reiterates, assert the essence in many ways as with such authoritative passages as “Atra Brahma Samsrute”. In clear terms he describes Jeevanmukti as attaining liberation while this body lasts.  Sastras say that this is attained when the mind and vasanas have been destroyed following a deep observance of sravana, manana and nidhidhyasana (hearing, contemplation and meditation) (“Tattvaloka” June/July 1987, P.7)

Among the many qualities of a Jeevanmukta, the Jagadguru quoting Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra and Janaka, rightly emphasizes the primary quality of remaining unruffled, whatever the disturbing situation or provocative circumstance.  Sadasiva Brahmendra says he does not get surprised even if the sun gets cold or the moon turns hot or if contrary to the natural phenomenon, the fire burns downwards! This is exactly what Janaka means when he says that he is not bothered if Mithila is burnt! The reason is that a Jeevanmukta’s preoccupation is not with chillness, fire flame but with the Brahman.

The Acharya says that the Jeevanmukta remains unaffected by showers of praise or shots of accusation.  He hates none.  He is ever calm, cool and collected, displaying the exemplary firmness of mind and devotion to God.  No wonder such a person is very dear to God.

Is there a duty cast on a Jeevanmukta?

Peace and tranquility, silence and satisfaction that descend on a Jeevanmukta can be carried to the point of logical conclusion as Vidyaranya has done in Jeevanmuktiviveka!

“Jnanaamritena thruptasya
kritakrityasya yoginaha
Naivaasti kinchit kartavyamasti
chaenna sa tattvaith”

The yogi surcharged with the mental resolution of the Vedic proclamation Aham Brahmasmi achieves the true end and aim of life – liberation even before the body withers away.  He attains fulfillment by jnana-amrita.  The above mentioned authority also says that no duty is cast on a yogi.  Even as he is silent, all that he does is to radiate enlightenment by dispelling doubts that are engendered in the mind of the seekers after truth.  He has no duties but his presence is a benediction.  He may choose to do nothing but a beam of light emerges from his frame and drives out the darkness of ignorance around him.  A Jeevanmukta’s grace is not only the vanishing point of ignorance giving way for enlightenment but also the starting point of fulfillment of all purushaarthas (dharma, artha, kama and moksha).

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