Jivan Mukta

22nd May 2005
Svayam Sphuraty Krsna das

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

Generally, the liberation takes place after a soul gives up this material body. However, there are a few souls who are liberated even in this lifetime, without giving up this material body. These souls are called jivan muktas.

Srila Rupa Goswami defines a  jīvan-mukta in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu:

īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

A person acting in Krsna consciousness with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person (jīvan-muktaḥ) even within this material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities.

Now, the question is - what are the symptoms of a jīvan-mukta? As there are symptoms of a rich man, mad man, diseased man, learned man, etc,. there must be some symptoms of a  jīvan-mukta so that other living entities do not commit mistake in identifying and recognizing such souls. Srila Prabhupada explains very nicely in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 5.4.5 - the symptoms of a jīvan-mukta, which are given in Chandogya Upanishad. These symptoms are as follows:

1) Apahata pāpa: The first symptom of a  jīvan-mukta is apahata-pāpa which means that he is free from all sinful activities. One who is liberated in this life does not commit any sinful activities.

2) Vijara: Another symptom of a liberated person is vijara, which indicates that he is not subjected to the miseries of old age. (In reality, this does not refer to the body but to the heart. His heart is innocent as a child and as enthusiastic as a bubbling youth who has unlimited dreams and ambitions, except that they are all directed towards pleasing Krishna. Even though the difficulties of old age affect him, he overcomes them by intense determination to serve the Lord).

3) Vimtyu: Another symptom is vimṛtyu. A liberated person prepares himself in such a way that he does not take on any more material bodies which are destined to die. (In other words, he does not leave this world like an ordinary materialist.)

4) Visoka: Another symptom is visoka, which indicates that he is callous to material distress and happiness.

5) Vijighatsa: Another is vijighatsa, which indicates that he no longer desires material enjoyment.

6) Apipātā: Another symptom is apipātā, which means that he has no desire other than to engage in the devotional service of Krsna.

7) Satya-kāma: A further symptom is satya-kaama, which indicates that all his desires are directed to the Supreme Truth, Krsna. He does not want anything else.

8) Satya-sankalpa: Finally, a jivan mukta is satya-sankalpa. Whatever he desires is fulfilled by the grace of Krsna. First of all, he does not desire anything for his material benefit, and secondly if he desires anything at all, he simply desires to serve the Supreme Lord. That desire is fulfilled by the Lord's grace. That is called satya-sankalpa.

One may find above symptoms of a jivan mukta only in very rare souls. We can find such symptoms especially in His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and all the acharyas in the line of Vaishnava sampradaya who are undoubtedly very rare in this condemned age of Kali-yuga.

Lord Nrsimhadev is called vigna vināshaka - One who destroys all the hurdles on the path of our bhakti. On this auspicious day of the appearance of Sri Lord Nrsimhadeva (and the day our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj took sannyas), let us pray that He continues to protect us in any and every condition.

Thank you very much.
Your servants,
Svayam Sphuraty Krishna das & Radha Charan devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.