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Durable Link to this BlogSaturday, June 20, 2009

Liberated Man

Hindu Religion: The Liberated Man

In Hinduism the highest ideal, the goal of life, has been held to be the attainment of total freedom even in this life, from the clutches of ignorance and all its products: egotism, hatred, craving and sorrow. This total freedom is attained by the transformation and expansion of consciousness and the final realization of the oneness of the Self with Brahman. This is a state to be attained not after death but right here in this world while one is alive. A man who has attained this state is called a Jivanmukta -liberated in life. Shankaracharya in his famous work "Vivekacudamani", speaks about such a blessed man in the following terms;

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A man is said to be free even in this life when he is established in illumination. His bliss is unending. He almost forgets this world of appearance. Even though his mind is filled with Brahman he is fully awake, free from the ignorance of waking life; fully conscious but free from any craving. For him the sorrows of the world are over. Although possessing a human body he remains united with the Infinite. Such a man is said to be free even in this life. Good and evil seem to exist, persons and objects appear to be distinct from one another, nevertheless, he has come to realize that there is no difference between mankind and the supreme Reality, for he knows that all is one in Brahman; he makes no distinctions. That is how we recognize the man who is free. Men may honour him, men may insult him, but his feelings remain the same; just as rivers flow into the ocean but the ocean is not disturbed, so sense objects flow into his mind but he feels no reaction, for he lives in the consciousness of the one Reality. Such a man is free indeed, even in this life.

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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