View Full Version : Sadyo mukti, Krama mukti, jivan mukti and videha mukti

09 September 2007, 04:50 AM
The term sadyomukti refers not to liberation at the instant of physical death. sadyaH means immediate, at once, at the very moment. The moment referred to here is the instant of full, right knowledge of Brahman-Atman. Of course, the embodiment of this knower can continue, but what happens at the moment of physical death? The bRhadAraNyaka upanishad gives the answer - na tasya prANA utkrAmanti, atraiva samavanIyante. In other words, there is no travel by devayAna/pitRyAna for the sadyomukta, there is no question of reaching brahmaloka and there is no question of any further step in liberation.

In as much as such a knower can continue, for however long, in an embodied state, it should be clear that the sadyomukta can also be called jIvanmukta, but not all those who are called jIvanmukta-s are sadyomukta-s. The sadyomukta has infallible knowledge, but there are those who even after a glimpse of right knowledge need strengthening of their knowledge by tapas, vairAgya and saMnyAsa. In such cases, there can be a residual tendency away from knowledge. SankarAcArya describes this situation too, in the bRhadAraNyaka commentary 1.4.7. Such knowers can also be called jIvanmukta-s. Also, those who perform upAsana of saguNa brahman can become jIvanmukta-s and after physical death, travel through the devayAna to reach brahmaloka. This is not called sadyomukti, but videhamukti and can be considered a step in krama-mukti.

In summary, not all jIvanmuktas are sadyomuktas, but sadyomuktas can be called jIvanmuktas. jIvanmukti is a much more elastic term, encompassing a range of meaning, but sadyomukti is a very definite term.

In summary:

sadyo mukti = Infallible knowledge about one's own identity with Brahman. No fall from samAdhi is possible.

jivan mukti = Falliable or infallible knowledge of the Atman. A jivan mukta may have knowledge of either Saguna or Nirguna Brahman. If his knowledge is that of Saguna, he will proceed to Brahma Loka upon death. A jivan mukta may also experience fall from samAdhi and also suffer from effects of prArabdha karma.

videha mukti = physical death of the mukta; After videha mukti, the mukta may either head for Brahma Loka via devayAna or in the case of a sadyo mukta videha mukti has no meaning.