Lesson 22 - Liberation

In lesson 21 you learnt about Siddhis and their relevance to a spiritual aspirant. However, Siddhis cannot be the final destination for a true seeker. For him the destination is liberation. Freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Union with Parama Shiva or Bramhan. In this last lesson of this series you will learn about the physical and mental state of a self-realized person.

Self-realization is not a one step process. You may need to spend the entire life time (or even more!) for the cause. Throughout this process a spiritual aspirant undergoes several stage of self development and self unfoldment. Yogic texts mention such seven progressive stages in the life of a spiritual aspirant. They are explained next.


This is a very elementary stage. In this stage a person is still an immature aspirant or Sadhaka. He doesn't have any idea about the Supreme Truth and he is engaged in worldly affairs. Such a person takes the world made up of name and form as real. He may have a slightest desire to peek into the spiritual life style.


In this stage a person is still an aspirant or Sadhaka but does conscious efforts towards spiritual upliftment. Such a person may make some progress on the chosen path but he still doesn't have any realization of Bramhan. He still thinks of the world of name and form as real.


In this stage a spiritual aspirant makes god spiritual progress as compared to the previous two levels. However, still he doesn't get any glimpse of Bramhan. He still considers this world as a real.


In this stage a person is no more an immature aspirant. He becomes aware of Bramhan and is called as Bramhavit. He has a strong understanding of unreal nature of this world and considers Bramhan along as real.


This is an advanced stage where the person remains in the state of Samadhi. He is called as Bramhavidvara. He lives as if he is in a deep sleep untouched by the happenings of the world. He delves in the supreme consciousness. Once they enter in Samadhi they can come out of it on their own. Thus they go in and come out of Samadhi at will. Now onwards they go deeper and deeper in Samadhi.


In this stage a person can enter Samadhi on his own. Such a person is referred as Bramhavidvarain. However, he cannot come out at his will. He remains so absorbed in Samadhi that someone else need to "wake" him up. Some ancient texts mention a trick to bring such a person back to awareness. The trick involves placing a wooden stick on this head parallel to the ground and then striking one end of the stick with another stick. His Guru or another experienced person can use other tricks (such as chanting a Mantra in his ear) depending on the need.


This is the final stage of the spiritual progress. In this stage a person remains so absorbed that he cannot return to this mortal world. It is said that only divine incarnations can come back from this deepest state. Such a person is called as Bramhavidvarishtha.

A Yogi in the last three stages is called as Jivanamukta i.e. one who has been liberated even while living. Externally a Jivanamukta looks and behaves like a normal person. However, his internal attitude is totally different. He sees Bramhan in everything and remains ever aware of the supreme consciousness. He lives like an ordinary person only to burn out his prarabdha karma. He lives to serve the mankind, to spread the divine wisdom. He is unaffected by the happenings of the external world. All kind of dualities end for such a person. Pain and pleasure, light and darkness, good and bad are all equal for him. He attains perfect equilibrium of mind. Such a person is nothing but an incarnation of the supreme authority. Once he finishes his prarabdha karma he leaves his body only to get liberated from the cycle of birth and death. His Atman permanently unites with Paramatman. His Jiva becomes Shiva. Let's bow down to Jivanamuktas who act as a guiding polestar to all the spiritual aspirants.

May the peace be with you.


Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant and trainer by profession specializing in Microsoft web development technologies. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he is also a yoga mentor, meditation teacher, and spiritual guide to his students. He is a prolific author and writes regularly about software development and yoga on his websites. He is programming, meditating, writing, and teaching for over 27 years. To read more about him go here. More details about his Kriya and Meditation online course are available here.

Posted On : 13 June 2007

Tags : Yoga Patanjali Raja Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Meditation Courses