What is a jivanmukta’s experience? (Part 1)

Dennis: “The body is inert. How can it do anything unless Consciousness is enabling it to do so?”

Rick: “Are fully realized and liberated jivanmukti conscious during deep sleep?”

BGB 2.69, which is considered to be the quintessence of the Bhagavad Gita, and arguably all of Advaita, sheds light on these questions. Three translations of Sankara:

“And all organs of knowledge (pramanas) are so called because they ultimately lead to a knowledge of the Self. When the knowledge of the true nature of the Self has been attained, neither organs of knowledge nor objects of knowledge present themselves to consciousness any longer.” – A.M Sastry

“Surely, after the realization of the true nature of the Self, there is no scope again for any means to, or end of, knowledge. The last valid means of (Self-) knowledge eradicates the possibility of the Self becoming a perceiver.” – Gambhirananda

“Once Self-realisation is won, it is no longer possible to discuss the distinctions between the means of knowledge and their objects. The last means of knowledge indeed liberates the Self from its status as a knower” – A.G.Krishna Warrier

3 thoughts on “What is a jivanmukta’s experience? (Part 1)

  1. Dear Venkat,

    You know that the fact that a translator/commentator says something is not always a guarantee that this is what was said by the source material. (I give a number of examples in the first volume of ‘Confusions’, including one from Gambhirananda.) What does Shankara ACTUALLY say in BG 2.69?

    My understanding of all this is simply that, having gained Self-knowledge, it is now known that everything that is seen is simply a form of Brahman. Furthermore, all the related shabda pramAna is no longer a source of knowledge. Its purpose having been served, it is now redundant (and just another form of Brahman). There is no distinction (OTHER THAN name and form).

    Best wishes,

    P.S. Regarding your Part 2, this seems to be opening the subject of ‘world disappearing’ again. Nothing will induce me to join in that again. 😉 I have dealt with it in very great detail in Vol. 2 of ‘Confusions’. (Unfortunately, the publication of this is on hold, since the publisher wants me to condense Vols. 2, 3 and 4 into two volumes. And I am currently writing an entirely new book.)

  2. Hi Dennis,

    Anticipating the challenge – I provided 3 different translations of two different slokas. Feel free to provide an alternative translation of each of the two slokas.


  3. Hi Venkat,

    When something seems contrary to reason, I don’t trust ANY translation. I ask: “What does Shankara actually say?” (in Sanskrit) And then ask someone who knows Sanskrit to give me a literal translation. If you provide the Devanagari or Romanised translation of a key sentence, then we can argue about it.

    Best wishes,

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