|May 09, 2003 |
A mukta is a liberated soul, free of any attachment. While both a jeevana mukta and a videhee mukta are liberated, there is a distinction between the two. Shukdevji is referred to as a jeevana mukta. His master Janak Raja is referred to as a videhee mukta. Both types have their special qualities and limitations.
In Vedaras, Swaminarayan Bhagwan has ranked a videhee mukta above a jeevana mukta [ref. section 1, titled Nirlobhi]. Swaminarayan Bhagwan states, "Do not even see negative in a kusangee because the yogi who sees negative in a kusangee has: (1) bheda-drashti - with respect to the gross level, to consider [one self] 'superior' and [another] 'inferior', (2) krutya-drashti - an awareness of following the panchvartamaana or five vows [and another not following them], and (3) abhimaana-drashti - an ego of one self worshipping God [and another not worshipping God]. Such bhedas (differentiations) do not befit a yogi who has taken the refuge of brahmavidyaa (divine knowledge). Because of these three bhedas, he remains as a jeevana mukta, but does not attain the videhee mukta state."
A jeevana mukta is a saint who has renounced the world, and has become liberated from day to day activities. Immediately after being born, Shukdevji left his home and assumed a completely detached lifestyle. When King Parikshit faced imminent death in seven days, Shukdevji guaranteed the king's liberation. Shukdevji said he would liberate Parikshit in a mere three days! Vyasji, his father, advised that though he was extremely elevated, in order to become complete, he should go meet Janak Raja. Though Shukdevji preferred a secluded life in the jungles, he acquiesced to his father's advice. In Janak Raja's kingdom, Shukdevji learned that Janak lived in a supremely elevated state, despite being a householder and a powerful king.
A videhee mukta however has limitations also. A jeevana mukta prefers to live separate from the world. A videhee mukta is involved with the world. When the time comes, a jeevana mukta is able to separate from body consciousness more easily. The videhee mukta gives more importance to purity at the subtle level.
In Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 20, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "With regards to the strength of the eendriyas (senses), one who practices yoga along with austerities, nivrutti dharma, and vairaagya (detachment) attains yogic powers like that of Shukji." On the other hand, for the person who follows the path of pravrutti dharma, "Although he may experience samaadhi, only his gnyaana (knowledge) will increase, but the strength of his indriyas does not increase and he does not attain yogic powers. In fact, even though a person may possess gnyaana like Janak Raja, those who follow the path of pravrutti do not attain yogic powers in the manner of Narad, the Sanakaadik, and Shukji." Further, "One who has attained yogic powers can travel to God's abodes such as Shvetdvip, etc. in his very body, and can also travel to all places in this loka (realm) and beyond. But for those who follow the path of pravrutti, only their gnyaana increases - like Janak Raja." Gunatitanand Swami explains this in Swami Ni Vato 5/99. In reply to Manjibhai's question, does some vaasanaa (attachment) remain in a gnyaanee, Swami states, "Shukji flew, but Janak could not...In pravrutti, gnyaana gains maturity, and the antahkarana (subtle facutlies) become pure, but due to the association [of the world] the indriyas do not become pure." In reply to Nathu Patel's question, is there a difference in the praapti (attainment) [between one following pravrutti and one following nivrutti], Swami states, "No, the praapti is the same."
The gunaateeta mukta neither lives separately nor is he touched by the world. He remains careful and is totally purified at both the gross and subtle levels. We want to make the goal of a jeevana or videhee mukta, and ultimately become a gunaateeta mukta.