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I used to believe that JivanMukti; a state of liberation while still in this body was something that was specific to advaita Vedant sect only.

But I recently came across a quote by Gaudiya Vaishnav Saint and ISKCON founder Swami Prabhupada that goes something like this

A person who engages in devotional service to God is liberated while still in this body.

But in some of the discourses from advaita Vedantins I heard that Vaishnavas do not believe in JivanMukti(the saint did say that Gaudiyas beliefs are little different, but He did not elaborate).

So which sects of Vaishnavas believe in JivanMukti? Is there any difference in the jivanmukti of advaitins and Vaishnavas(if they believe)?

  • The idea of liberation is to be situated in one's original constitutional position which is devotional service to Krishna. That's why if we are engaged in devotional service to God, you are in one sense already liberated since, you are just doing the same as when you reach goloka. The difference is that for one who is not purified, bhakti is like sugarcane tasted by jaundice person and after full purification of heart, it is like sweet nectar even in this body. muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ  sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ SB 2.10.6 svarupena avasthita is more important. svarupa is to be devotional. – user16618 Nov 23 '18 at 17:12
  • Jive mkjthi is like realizing god within yourself that is called approksha ganga you to see Bimba rope bgagavangha inside your heart yes I made sampeadgata Raghavendra Swami is known Jican miktha like that many others jatatheertha vyasaraja and vadhiaja vishnu theertha vijendra swanigan like many others – Prasanna R Apr 16 at 9:18
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I'm aware of atleast two Vaishnava Sampradayas that accept Jivanmukti i.e. the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and the followers of Swaminarayan Sampradaya.

GAUDIYA VAISHNAVA SAMPRADAYA

Sri Rupa Goswami explicitly talks about Jivanmukti in His "Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu" where He states that it is achieved by devotion:

īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā girā nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

English Translation: "Anyone who, by his actions, mind and words, lives only for the transcendental loving service of the Lord, is certainly liberated within this life, even though he may appear to be actively engaging in material activities." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.187)

However, Gaudiya Vaishnavas also believe that it is possible for Jivanmuktas to fall from their liberated states. This is one big difference between the Jivanmukti of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and the Jivanmukti of Advaitins. Jiva Goswami states in His "Bhakti Sandarbha":

jīvan-muktā api punar yānti saṁsāra-vāsanām yady acintya-mahā-śaktau bhagavaty aparādhinaḥ

English Translation: Even if one is liberated in this life, by offending the Supreme Personality of Godhead he falls down in the midst of material desires. (Bhakti Sandarbha, Verse 111)

Srila Prabhupada also quotes a verse from an unnamed Purana to support this view in his commentary on the Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.8.26:

jīvan-muktāḥ prapadyante kvacit saṁsāra-vāsanām yogino na vilipyante karmabhir bhagavat-parāḥ

English Translation: Even Jivanmuktas may fall down into material desires but those who are fully engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead are not affected by such desires.

SWAMINARAYAN SAMPRADAYA

Sahajanand Swami is recorded to have advocated for Jivanmukti through Bhakti towards Sri Hari and the constant company of holy saints, various times in the Vachanãmrut. Some of such instances are:

The bhakta should firmly keep his mind at the holy feet of Bhagvãn. Just as an iron nail that is firmly affixed to an iron surface can never be separated, similarly, a person’s mind should be fixed firmly at the holy feet of Bhagvãn. When the bhakta has kept his mind at the holy feet of Bhagvãn in this way, he does not have to die to attain the dhãm of Bhagvãn – he attains it while still alive.” (Vachanãmrut, Gadhadã III, Chapter 7, Verse 4)

“Therefore, even after attaining this satsang – which is rare for even Brahmã – affection for objects other than Bhagvãn still remains. This is because the person has not developed as firm a belief for the pratyaksha svarup of Bhagvãn as he has for the non-pratyaksha svarup of Bhagvãn. That is why the Shrutis state, ‘If a person develops belief in his guru – who is the pratyaksha svarup of Bhagvãn – in the same way that he has belief in the non-pratyaksha devs, then as a result, he attains all the purushãrths (dharma, arth, kãm, and moksh) which are described as attainable’. In fact, when he attains the company of such a sant, he has attained He who was to be attained after death, while still alive; he has attained that which is called moksh or kalyãn, while being alive. (Vachanãmrut, Gadhadã III, Chapter 2, Verse 8)

“If a person is able to think about Bhagvãn in his antah-karans in this way, and if he were to die while still holding such a desire for Bhagvãn, he would definitely not have to take another birth. If he engages in such dhyãn of Bhagvãn, he has certainly attained Akshardhãm while alive. In addition, he can be said to be in the process of becoming a niranna-mukta just like the niranna-muktas in Shvet-Dvip. Such a person performs the bodily activities that are necessary without effort. In fact, a person who is able to think about Bhagvãn’s svarup like this has become fulfilled and has nothing more left to achieve. (Vachanãmrut, Gadhadã II, Chapter 48, Verse 3)

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    Thanks. I'm surprised that Swaminarayan sect believes inn jivan mukti. ShriVaishnavas as long as I know don't admit Jivan mukti. In any case do Dvaitins accept jivan mukti? BTW the jivan mukti of Gaudiyas is completely different from advaitins. State of jivan mukti is highest state for advaitins.... infallible – Vishal prabhu lawande Apr 16 at 15:24
  • Btw I think I recall somewhere that even Ramanandis believe in Jivanmukti. Will update the answer if I find the necessary references. @Vishalprabhulawande – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Apr 16 at 15:30

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