Jivan-mukti-viveka of Swami Vidyaranya has 9 ratings and 2 reviews. Aravind said: I began reading this book after a basic introduction of Advaita from Ka. I have just received notification of the webinars which are being run by Chinmaya International Foundation. These are conducted on-line with. This book is a new translation of Jivanmukti Viveka by Vidyaranya by Swami Harshananda, Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore. This translation is.

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Tookaram Tatya of Bombay who has spared no pains to organise the Theosophic Publication Fund requested me to render the work into English, and I gladly com- plied with his request making over the copy-right of this first edition to the useful Fund he has devoted to the service of Theosophic Literature.

I am sure the following pages will be found substantially useful to the earnest Vvieka in search of something practical as an aid in the noble line of his inquiry. He is known to have written on almost every important branch of literature, in his time, with such grasp and finish as would surprise the most-accurate writer of the present day.

He lived in the fourteenth century. He was minister of the king of Vijayanagara Bukka Raya to whom he has dedicated his best work the elaborate scholia of the Veda. He has compiled this work after he renounced all concern jivsnmukti the world.

His life spent in the midst of varied activity at the court of Bukka Raya was con- cluded in the quiet bliss of supreme spiritual exhaltation.

Vidyaranya or Sayana is an illustrious example of the true Brahmana and his very life nobly illustrates the truth of his teaching.

He, indeed, found ” Liberation-in-this-life,” and ” The Path ” he points us is, no doubt, the surest road to eternal peace and happiness, while yet in the world.

Though the following pages are largely compiled from several authentic works, they would be simply lifeless without the living nexus supplied by the sage Vidyaranya. The author, himself a sannyAsin, begins and ends his book with the technical inquiry whether Renunciation Sannyasa is the sine qua non of Liberation or not?

The Path of liberation according to Vidyaranya is indicated in one word Renuncia- tion. Though this word has received a number of different shades of meaning from several writers, old nd new, Vidya- ranya would not understand it without the vivekaa orthodox sense in which the Brdhmanas principally employ it.

He divides Renunciation into two kinds. One he calls Rennnciation. The first is, in fact, a preliminary stage of the second. One may apply himself to study, contemplation, and assimilation jivanmuktti the Vedanta with or without the first kind of Renunciation.

But having found the Light, Renunciation of the second kind must surely follow. The first, if at all it comes about, must he done after the orthodox fashion ; the second is bound by no ” injunction or prohibition. The cosmo- politan nature of his inquiry may best be judged from a side- issue he raises at the beginning as to the eligibility of women to the formal kind of Renunciation.

He decides in favour of the other sex, supporting his argument by examples from ancient scriptures. The question, however, remains how a life of entire Isolation and Indifference can ever be identified with Liberation ; can ever, in fact, be the end and object of existence? Would it not be more adequate, in this age of humanitarian ideals, to say with Lord Krishna “Sages know jivanmuki Renunciation the relinquishment of works-with-desire. He does, no doubt, imply ‘ relinquishment of works with desire,’ but he would have none of ‘ work ‘ jjvanmukti even the sense of duty, which ‘ work ‘ though it be without desire, implies, to remain after Renunciation or Liberation to which Renunciation leads.

If the Liberted is ever oppressed with any the least sense vvieka duty ‘ he is just so many vive,a away from gnosis.

jivanmukti viveka | Advaita Vision

He himself is all good, all bliss, all purity, all holiness ; his very being, his very ty-eath is the efflorescence of everything good and great. His sphere of doing good is so far widned as to put him in possession of a power which accomplishes its results without the correlation of means and ends by which mankind is Vll known to work.

He is not nnoften likened to the Sun who though he illumines all spots equally, is reflected more elearly and even intensely in a glass than in a piece of earth. He jivanmumti Atman, Brahman, the soul and substance of the universe.


Jivan-mukti-viveka of Swami Vidyaranya

And while speaking of Renunciation and Liberation we may conveniently take occasion to correct an error into which some of the best informed minds are often mislead. Since the spiritual re-awakening of the last twenty-five years application to ancient scriptures has been known in many instances to create very perverted notions of true Liberation and Renunciation. Minds saturated with materialistic learning fail to appreciate the worth of everything not put to them in terms of chemical combinations and mechanical foot-pounds.

That such applicants often come to grief goes without saying. Vidyaranya does not deny the possibility of ‘ powers ‘ such as these, but he express- ly describes them as mere curiosities for which the Liberated feels no interest.

Jivanmukti Viveka – Vidyaranya

They have lost all interest in everything, and absence of interest is the true renunciation which leads to Liberation. The good that is in Liberation is not through or by any powers whatever. Nor is possession of powers jivqnmukti sign of that condition.

Whatever is known as the highest and best in holiness, purity, charity, sacrifice, morals, is fully. The fragrance is wafted on every breeze that passes. The exhilarating soothing power of its invisible essence is imperceptly helping the relief of many heart-burn- Vlll ings and much weariness. Power juvanmukti as we understand is entirely out of question. The liberted works without the correlation of means and ends ; he works, as it were, with the very breath of Nature, in the rain that nourishes, in the Sun that scorches, in the storm that extinguishes.

He is the All. Power and desire for power has all to be entirely renounced before even a glimpse of uivanmukti spiritual exhaltation called Liberation can dawn upon one’s intelligence.

Freedom neither bodily nor mental, but true freedom of the spirit the spirit that is the All. That this freedom might not be understood in the sense of that abuse of freedom whiph is often passed off under the name of freedom, Vidyaranya has in the fifth chapter of his book laid particular stress upon asceticim as the. That this ascetism does not consist in physical exercises or formal observances he has definitely shown several times in the body of the book.

Vidyaranya variously explains the view of Liberation and Renunciation here set forth, in his characterestically lucid, analytic manner.

He touches upon several minor points of importance as ways and means to realization jivanmukit this noble object. A brief analysis of his book will help us to understand these things much better.

The first chapter opens [with a discussion on the nature of Renunciation, and the two devisions we have already touched upon have been described and justified by scriptural texts and ancient examples. Then is explained the nature of Jivan. It is described as Freedom from bondage. The impressions vdsand which ‘ action and enjoyment ‘ create and leave behind as fruitful source of future ‘ action ‘ should IX be neutralised in their effect. The question whether the accomplishment of such Freedom is within human possibility leads the author into a discussion of jkvanmukti nature of Necessity and Free-will.

He decides in favour, of the latter and points the jivanmukri to this Freedom by a dialogue between Kama and Vasishtha. The argument on the jivanmykti of Jivanmukti is closed with the following: Such a one is called Jimnyiukta” Discussion as to the nature of Jivanmukti leads to a descrip- tion of the nature of Videhamukti, liberation after death. Vivekw chapter ends with illustrations from several scriptures to bear out the author in his arguments on the nature of these two degrees of Liberation.

The second chapter begins with mention of the means to acquire the condition of Jivanmukti. The whole question of Liberation is easily solved if we once acquire firm grasp of the nature of vasand and understand the means to destroy it.

The second chapter deals with this most important question in a thoroughly practical manner, and the earnest student is sure to find here what he may elsewhere seek in vain. The aim and object of all methods of the higher spiritual exhaltation have Life-of the-High-Self as the ideal they invariably point to ; and purification and enlargement of the heart is inculcated as the most important practical step towards this realisation.

How this could be done is thus set forth ” The mind severed from all connection with sensual objects, and prevented from functioning out, awakes into the light of the heart and finds the highest condition. Conquer this latent desire and Jivanmukti is within easy reach. Act without the action and find this place of peace beyond the disturbance of mind and desire.

Latent desire is described in all its various subdivisions ; and methods are shown as to how one desire may be set to destroy another and how finally the light of Self may be used to dissolve even the last remnant of this desire. The whole of this subject is best read with sufficient clearness in the original. Life, learning, world, all are set down to vdsand as objects one should try to extricate himself from ; and thus ”giving up all attachment from within” one should acquire that “limitless expansion of heart’ which is the secret royal road to Jivanmukti.


The third path of Liberation is Dissolation of mind. The third chapter fully deals with this subject. Mind is made up of latent desires of kinds.

These two, mind and desires, act and react upon each other and destruction of vdsand is never con- firmed without dissolution of mind. The two methods of dissolving the mind are then described ; the physical and the mental, preference being given to the latter. Several methods have been very clearly and fully pointed out with a view to prevent all mental activity. Then are discussed the obstacles in the way of ecstatic-trance, the true condition of the Liberat- ed-in-this-life.

All this, however, need not create the impression that Liberatian is a condition of mindlessness, akin to that of material objects. For, the word ‘ mind ‘ is here used in a sense different from the one attached to it in the text.

The mind is only that function of inner activity which correlates the doer with the thing done, through the sense of egoism, and creates the illusion of meum and tuum which makes up the world. This sense of separateness being merged into the XI vastness of that inconceivable whole which has no parts what- ever, mind is said to be dissolved for ever, and the condition of sublime bliss realised for all eternity.

The next chapter therefore aptly opens with the question what is the aim or use of Jivanmukti. These aims are five: The fifth chapter concludes the original inquiry into the nature of Renunciation, the true Path. The Renunciation described in this chapter is, however, Renunciation-of-the- Accomplished. Renunciation which is an optional condition preceding the realisation of Jivanmukti ripens into that true Renunciation which is known as the condition of the Parama- Hamsa.

Parama, means Great and Hamsa, as interpreted by the Lord S’ankara, means the destroyer of all] Avidya, viz. The fifth chapter closes with a description of the condition of such a Being, and concludes the inquiry about The Path of Liberation in this Life. Such sober study on the nature of Liberation and the means to realise it is indeed refreshing in these days of quack prescriptions of kinds for the acquisitions of spiritual bliss.

Living the Higher Life of universal peace and love is a notion not within the grasp of any prescription of regulating the breath or acquiring any skill in the working of mesmeric or spiritual phenomena. The Higher Life is all the work of internal thinking with a view to purify the mind and melt it away in the Great ‘ Self.

And the use of this word Self suggests a difficulty which appears in certain quarters to have created a misunderstanding as to the nature of Advaita liberation. It is no exhaltation of individual selfishness that Xll is aimed at in this philosophy, the self in the sense of indi- vidual is rather the thing principally aimed at for entire suppression and dissolution. The self that is the living centre or source of consciousness in all individuals, is the same throughout in its transcendent character, and what is in- culcated as worth striving after is that life which realising this universal nature of the Self rests in the peace and love which are or ought to be its characteristics.

I bow to the Supreme, Vidyatirtha, whose breath is the Vedas, who evolved the whole cosmos from the Veda. I describe henceforth preliminary renunciation vtiidishdsannyasa as distinguished from ripe renunciation vidvatsannyasa ; the former being the cause of ‘ liberation after freedom from the body ‘ videhamuktiand the latter of liberation before. The canse of renunciation in general is non-attach- ment ; and as the S’ruti enjoins ‘ one must renounce the world the very moment he feels complete non-attachment.

Non-attachment is of two kinds: Sharper non-attachment makes the sannyasin a kamsa, and this ripens into the condition of the paramahamsa, the real path to direct self-realization.