Liberation (mukti) and its Types
Liberation (mukti) has been described as the attainment of the jiva's natural state and function by relinquishing its otherwise imposed state and function.
mukti can be attained during lifetime (jivan mukti) as well as in the disembodied form, ie after death (videha mukti). There are five kinds of videhamukti:
- sālokya, being in the same plane with God
- sāmipya, nearness to God
- sārupya, likeness to God
- sārsti, equaling God in glory
- sāyujya, absorption (lina) in God
bhakti superior to mukti
Assam Vaisnavas do not look with favour, nay thoroughly reject, sāyujya mukti where complete absorption in God deprives jivas of the sweetness and bliss associated with bhakti. The very fact that the Vaisnavas discard the sāyujya form of mukti because it deprives them of the devotional pleasure and vision of the beatific form of the Lord, proves clearly that Assam Vaisnavism prefers bhakti to mukti.
Assam Vaisnavism recognizes jivan-mukti
One can attain to salvation in the mundane body even if one's account of past virtues and vices (prārabdha karma) is not closed, when one becomes detached from all the objects that the mind or subtle body (linga -sarira) runs after, and absolute knowledge (paramārtha jnāna) dawns on one's heart. This state is called jivan-mukti. Arjuna is stated to have attained it after Krishna's Departure (Kirttana Ghosā).