From this, the Subala Upanishad quoted here and the Virodhaparihara, mentioned here, ALL three, the technical meaning of Kaivalya I understand is one of the 4 purusharthas which involves meditating on and experiencing the bliss of only the atma (kevalam atmani kaivalyam) without getting affected by Samsara; and those who don’t stick to that discipline, can also swerve back to samsara. As per the Virodhaparihara, however, it can be used interchangeably with moksha (to a small extent as far as it relates to separation of atma from samsara) because in a sense, though denoting something bigger and different, moksha too involves freedom from karma, Jada Prakriti etc., which leads to the question - What then is moksha and what happens after samsarik bondage is destroyed? Do you just float around?

This is answered by the Puranas which talk of 5 alternatives or 5 kinds of moksha:

A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation — sālokya, sārṣṭi, sāmīpya, sārūpya or ekatva (sayujya) — even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
-ŚB 3.29.13

Depending on certain circumstances, the above finalities are obtained after one realises Brahman and samsara bondage is cut off, the answer to the above question. The Vedic texts too have statements such as, after release from samsara (kaivalyam), there’s a step further (the final one), where one goes to the Parama Purusha beyond the sun.

Now, since the Puranas are extensions of the Vedic knowledge, besides the sun statement, the above finalities after bondage severance too would have some basis in Vedic texts, as explained in the Shiva Purāṇa:

This is called Sāyujya (complete identity) by persons well-versed in the Vedas and Āgamas
-Vidyeśvara-saṃhitā 18.23

And much rightly so, there is a reference from the Taittiriya Upanishad, which can be categorised as salokya (or samipya?):

he that finds Him (Brahman) hidden in the cavern heart of the being; in the highest heaven of His creatures, lo he enjoyeth all desire and he abideth with the Eternal
-Anandavalli Verse 1

Please quote Vedic texts (preferably principal Upanishads) describing, if not in name, at least the concept of the 5 different kinds of finalities attained after separation from jada samsara (kaivalyam).

Also commentaries by Sri-Vaishnava acharyas or other theistic sampradayas, explaining how those verses refer to the 5 different kinds of moksha would be much appreciated.

Note: not a duplicate of: Which Astika schools mention different types of Muktis - my question is not concerned with any philosophy or school, but directly the Vedas.

  • 1
    These forms of muktis are not in the śruti with name, nor in the detailed explanation as they are known in bhakti tradition. But they are mentioned in some of the commentaries of the Upaniṣads such as of Taiitirīyopaniṣad and Muṇḍakopaniṣad as elaborations of the nature of liberation discussed in the Upaniṣads.
    – Bingming
    Dec 1, 2022 at 12:04


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