What is a Jivanmukta? (Integrated, Holistic Person) (115)


Lesson 115 continues listing traits of perfected being called a jivanmukta. He or she is a contributor in society, while also knower of truth. How does he respond to challenges? Heart like a rock and flower. Doesn't provoke agitation in others. Isn't agitated by world. Free from over-excitement, jealousy, fear, emotional dependence on external factors.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 15, 16


  • Revision of some characteristics of jnani…
  • Jñāni is a perfect devotee. Question is WHAT does Krishna consider the perfect devotee? Attributes are given below…
  • Adveṣṭā Sarvabhūtānām: Lack of hating.
    • What is it? A prolonged dislike. Strengthens in time.
    • Thus Sanskrit word for dislike & hate is the same: dveṣa (dvi + viṣam: poison).
    • How expresses? Anger in speech, violence (passive aggressive). Many angry hearts = war.
    • SOLUTION: Have a purpose/role in life.
      • How to discover the role (svadharma)?
        1. See what you already value. Start from there.
        2. Do present actions with an attitude SHIFT, and see what thoughts come.
    • Hate also indicates stage of one’s spiritual progress. EG:
      • L1: Hates opposing beliefs.
      • L2: Sees divinity only in idols. Lack of hate for those who share SIMILAR beliefs.
      • L3: Practicing: Sees divinity in spiritually mindful. Indifferent to saṃsāris (yet to grow out of need for preyaḥ)
      • L4: Best: Capable of objectivity towards all levels. Neither love nor hate.
    • What are benefits of relinquishing intense dislike (hate)?
      • Energy is saved.
      • Can’t be happy nor enjoy virtue with hateful thoughts in background.
  • Maitraḥ: Sees everyone as a friend. Experiences concern/empathy. Sensitive and assertive if can do something. STORY: Ratnākara tied Sage Nārada to tree. Demanded money, else kill. Nārada gave advice. Thus Ratnākara become Vālmīkī.
  • Kṣamī: Forgiveness/Accommodation. Meaning “I don’t feel the other has wronged me, because of:
    • (1) unknown factors
    • (2) misinterpretation on both sides
    • (3) noone chooses to be ignorant, thus ignorance alone hurts and never the instrument of the ignorance.
  • santuṣṭaḥ: Complete. Puts things in the right perspective, meaning “My essence lacks nothing. While this BMI instrument is given for short time to be used wisely”.
    • Vidyāraṇya says (alpa bhogena tuṣyati): To be content with little is sign of wisdom. Happy with whatever you have.
    • How to use this advice in our life? Apply asaktiḥ (lack of claiming ownership of objects).
      • NOT an issue: Possessing an object. It’s a fact that it’s in your possession.
      • An ISSUE for correction: What I possess, I claim ownership of.
        • What kind of DISTORTIONS does ownership create?
          • Self-image becomes tied into the object. Then look down on others who don’t have the same object.
          • In reference to Advaita pramāṇa: I have a non-dual perspective, you don’t!
          • Political figures or family member unable to relinquish position.
        • RESULT: Can’t enjoy the owned item, because item enters your bubble of expectations (should-ism).
        • This is why Vedas prescribe vānaprastha (reflecting on what you’ve done and repriorizing life).
          • Then comes saṃnyāsa (realizing I’m still empty despite having a decent life. Thus fundamental questions begin).
          • What is sannyāsa per modern times? Reflecting the fundamental questions, while actively participating in your world duties.
      • What is SOLUTION to relinquishing ownership (which denies proper perspective)?
        • Convert ownership to Trusteeship. Meaning you’re endowed with this Body for a limited time according to the grand order. Thus use it responsibly and intelligently for playing out your part in the world.
        • This attitude relieves us from making statements we don’t mean, like “Everything is Ishvara / Nothing belongs to me (pseudo)”.
          • You don’t mean this when it comes in reference to your house/money/spouse.
      • Therefore convert Ownership into Trusteeship. And in reference to BMI, contribute what can within your sphere of influence.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 15:

yasmāt na udvijate lokaḥ lokāt na udvijate ca yaḥ ।
harṣa-āmarṣa-bhaya-udvegaiḥ muktaḥ yaḥ saḥ ca me priyaḥ ॥ 12-15॥

He by whom the world is not disturbed, who is not disturbed by the world, and who is free from elation, envy, fear, and anxiety is dear to Me.

  • DOESN’T DISTURB: Paramarthananda Metaphor:
    • 2 types of people:
      • Heart like a rock.
        • PRO: Any criticism bounces off.
        • NEG: However produces insensitivity. Can unknowingly hurt others through language, inappropriate timing, not paying attention to feelings of people.
      • Heart tender like a flower.
        • PRO: Overly sensitive. Highly considerate and careful handling matters. Takes extra care to not hurt others feelings.
        • NEG: Easily hurt by causal things. Emotion stays for days.
      • Jñāni type:
        • Like a flower handling people (considerate and friendly).
        • Like a rock receiving experiences (objective and factual).
          • Because the more sensitive, the more conscious of other’s insensitivity.
            • EG: Professional guitar player keeps adjusting the strings. To beginner, it sounds the same.
          • Therefore jñāni has learned to be accommodative (kṣamī) by the sight of others immaturity.
  • Therefore jñāni is, yasmāt lokaḥ na udnijate: One who doesn’t provoke agitation in people (by being sensitive), and who doesn’t get disturbed by worldly affairs (knowing everything undergoes 6-fold modifications).
    • Making this personal to you:
      • If agitated by others OR concerned what others think, it’s likely because of:
        • My projections onto them, intolerance, limited conclusions.
        • Agitated by own narrative, and mistaking environment as cause.
      • If world is agitated because of me, it’s either because:
        • Person is projecting onto me. Pray for them.
        • Own behaviour may be the cause.
      • Why else doesn’t jñāni create disturbances in world? Generates little activity in world.
  • INNER FREEDOM FROM: harṣa-amaṛsa-bhaya-udvegaiḥ, internal freedom from:
    • Harṣa: free from over-excitement. Which is being so excited that one loses discriminating power.
    • Amarṣa: freedom from intolerance (restlessness, impatience, irritability).
      • Understanding everyone has to grow in own pace. Everyone has faults.
      • Intolerance can also come in reference to seeing others success OR happiness. Because it makes one feel small in contrast. Jealously.
        • Jñāni is free of jealously because knows that every skill/talent resolves into Īśvara. Thus it’s My glory also.
    • Bhaya-udvegaiḥ: free from fear of failure, punishment by God, ridicule, loss. Because jñāni appreciates his/her interconnectedness with the grand order. If aligned with it, there’s no question of fear/loss, only gratitude for being a participant while alive.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 16:

anapekṣaḥ śuciḥ dakṣaḥ udāsīnaḥ gata-vyathaḥ ।
sarva-ārambha-parityāgī yaḥ mat-bhaktaḥ saḥ me priyaḥ ॥ 12-16॥
That devotee of Mine who is independent, pure, resourceful, efficient, impartial, undisturbed, and a renouncer of all actions is dear to Me.

  • NON-DEPENDENCE: Anapeksaḥ: Not emotionally dependent on any external factors.
    • Cognitive understanding:
      • We always depend on things external to the body. Noone undergoes emotional dependence to their own tongue, because tongue belongs to Me (assuming body is taken as “I”).
      • Thus to depend on external objects for emotional well-being, implies I haven’t yet come in terms with this entire universe.
        • Examples of emotional dependence:
          • Wanting to know lots of relative knowledge (of universe, news).
          • Checking email/comments to see what reply you got.
          • Certain response from the teacher/friends when you say something.
          • Spiritual sādhana / induced psycho-active substances.
          • Spiritual videos or self-growth audios to remain “high”.
          • Expecting beloved to treat you like a princess/king 24/7.
          • Insisting everything you say to have an impact.
          • Wanting to be treated in certain way.
    • Jñāni understanding:
      • All THIS is My own glorious māyā śakti. Just like a lucid dreamer, says “All THIS is power of My own Mind”.
      • METAPHOR: The cleaner the water (mind) in the bucket, the more sunlight can penetrate it.
        • Sunlight is like ātmā (whose nature is fullness, which is manifested in the mind as cheerfulness).
    • Homework:
      • If I was locked up in a dungeon, what objects/people/experiences/privileges would I miss?
      • What is the nature of THIS object (I’m using as my emotional support)? Limbs, molecules, 5 elements, intelligence, consciousness.

VERSE 16 will continue next session…


Keywords:  amarsa, amarsha, asakti, devesa, dvesha, harsa, harsha, ksami, kshami, narada, ratnakara, samnyasa, sannyasa, valmiki, visam, visham

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 2 March, 2021


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