Living Liberation in Hindu Thought

Edited by Andrew O. Fort & Patricia Y. Mumme

Subjects: Hindu Studies
Paperback : 9780791427064, 292 pages, March 1996
Hardcover : 9780791427057, 292 pages, March 1996

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Table of contents



Introduction: Living Liberation in Hindu Thought
Andrew O. Fort


Chapter Summaries

Part I: Living Liberations in Vedanta Traditions

1. Living Liberation in Sankara and Classical Advaita: Sharing the Holy Waiting of God
Lance E. Nelson


Liberation in Sankara's Thought
Living Liberation
Jivanmukti: Difficult to Justify but Necessary for Salvation
Sankara's Justifications of Living Liberation
Is Jivanmukti Complete Liberation?
Justifications of Jivanmukti in Post-Sankara Advaita
Reservations about Jivanmukti in Post-Sankara Advaita
Isvara as a Paradigm for Living Liberation
Even Isvara Suffers Limitation


2. Is the Jivanmukti State Possible? Ramanuja's Perspective
Kim Skoog


Introduction: Ramanuja's Three Arguments
Ramanuja's First Argument
Ramanuja's Second Argument
Ramanuja's Third Argument
Analysis of the First Argument: Jivanmukti as Self-Contradiction
Analysis of the Second Argument: The Jivanmukti-Videhamukti Dispute Is Verbal in Nature
Analysis of the Third Argument: False Analogy in the Two-Moons Analogy
Basis for the Jivanmukti and Videhamukti-Only Positions
Scriptural Basis for Jivanmukti
Empirical Evidence for Jivanmukti
Doctrinal Considerations Regarding the Jivanmukti and Jivanmukti-Positions
View of the Self
Performance of Actions
Fructifying Karma
Theological Considerations


3. Direct Knowledge of God and Living Liberation in the Religious Thought of Madhva
Daniel P. Sheridan


Madhva in the Context of Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Advaita
Bondage and Liberation in Madva's Teaching
The Practical Means to Liberation According to Madhva
The Direct Knowledge of God While Living

Part II: Yoga and Renunciation in Living Liberation

4. Living Liberation in Samkhya and Yoga
Christopher Key Chapple


Knowledge and Non-Attachment in Samkhya
Later Vedantic Interpretations of Samkhya
Distinctions between Samkhya and Yoga
Yogic Liberation as the End of Afflicted Action
A Comparative Analysis of Living Liberation in Samkhya and Yoga
Possible Jaina Elements in the Yoga System


5. Liberation While Living in the Jivanmuktiviveka: Vidyaranya's "Yogic Advaita"
Andrew O. Fort


The Nature of Jivanmukti
The Jivanmukti as One with Firm Wisdom (Sthita-Prajna)
The Threefold Means to Obtain Jivanmukti
Jivanmukti and Videhamukti in the Jivanmuktiviveka
The Purposes of Attaining Liberation While Living
Renunciation and Jivanmukti


6. Modes of Perfected Living in the Mahabharata and the Puranas: The Different Faces of Suka the Renouncer
C. Mackenzie Brown


The "Empty Form" of Suka in the Mahabharata: The Revelation of Inscrutable Indifference
Suka and His Models in the Bhagavata Purana: Enlightened Idiots of Dazzle and Dirt
Suka in the Devi-Bhagavata Purana: The Reluctant Householder

Part III: Living Liberation in Saiva Traditions

7. Aspects of Jivanmukti in the Tantric Saivism of Kashmir
Paul E. Muller-Ortega


Introduction: Placing the Tradition
The Problem of Jivanmukti
Jivanmukti in Early Texts
Kashmiri Constructions of Bondage and Liberation
The Seven Experiencers
Embodied Enlightenment


8. Living Liberation in Saiva Siddhanta
Chacko Valiaveetil, S.J.


Saiva Siddhanta Literature
The Advaita of Saiva Siddhanta and the Jivanmukti Ideal
Toward Jivanmukti
The Odyssey of the Soul
Continuity of Bondage (Samsara) and Liberation (Moksa)
God's Quest for the Soul
The Spiritual Sadhana
The Descent of Divine Grace (Saktinipata)
Growth in the State of Jivanmukti
Freedom from the Bonds (Pasavitu)
Removal of the Root Impurity (Anavamala)
Removal of Karma and Maya
Attaining the Feet of the Lord
Union in Knowledge
Union in Love
Means to Persevere and Grow in God-Experience
The Conduct of the Jivanmukta
Detachment from Creatures
Life of Service of the Jivanmukta
Is the Jivanmukta Beyond Ethical Norms?
Love as the Ultimate Criterion
Injunctions for the Jivanmukta
Respect for the Sacred Emblems
Worship of God in the Temple


Conclusion: Living Liberation in Comparative Perspective
Patricia Y. Mumme


Jivanmukti: The Concept and the Term
Strong, Medium, and Weak Positions on Living Liberation
Jivanmukti and Scholastic Metaphysics
The Lord and Liberation
Karma and Conscious Experience in the Penultimate State
The Need for Enlightened Teachers
The Behavior of the Jivanmukta: Dharma, Karma, and Freedom
Conclusion: Prospects for Future Study




This book is about the state of embodied perfection often called enlightenment, self-realization, or liberation. It examines the types, degrees, and stages of liberation that are possible, with and without a body.


This book is about the state of embodied perfection often called enlightenment, self-realization, liberation, or jivanmukti. It examines the types, degrees, and stages of liberation that are possible, with and without a body.

Andrew O. Fort is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Texas Christian University. Patricia Y. Mumme is Assistant Professor of Religion at Capital University.


"In asking 'what is the nature of jivanmukti,' with all the ramifications that this entails (how does it occur, when does it occur, where does it occur, what part does karma play, and so on,) the authors not only provide the reader with a clear conceptual handle of each school's position, but also their strengths and weaknesses. " — John Grimes

"This is a challenging and informative collection of essays that addresses a fundamental problem in the history of South Asian religions: granted the possibility of some kind of ultimate perfection or liberation, is it also possible to achieve this final state while embodied? If one can achieve transcendence, what then happens to the body and situation of the liberated one? In answering these questions the authors also raise numerous fascinating issues pertaining to soteriology, cosmology, ethics, theology, and philosophy. " — Glen Hayes