ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥: Ehaa bhagati jan jeevat marai (sggs 365).

Jeevanmukta (also spelt Jeevanmukat , Jeevan mukta , Jeevan Mukat etc. ) means to become liberated or dead while incarnated or living in this world.

But the question is: Liberation or death from what? Also, how can one be living as well as dead the same time? Liberation (Mukti) can simply be defined as freedom from the material consciousness (Mayaic Budhi...), resulting in dissolving of the instinctive or Mayaic mind or false ego (Haumai) — death from Maya, or death from fear of dying, etc. That is to say, to attain a blessed state of the Jeevanmukta is to overcome mental delusion and recover one's Divine Identity as Pure Consciousness (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa). Hence to attain perfect liberation while living, or Realization of the Mool within needs to be brought through into every aspect of life and every atom of the body via Undesratnding the real meanings of the Gur-Shabad and than applying that Understanding to daily life.

  • ਏਹਾ ਭਗਤਿ ਜਨੁ ਜੀਵਤ ਮਰੈ ॥: Ehaa bhagati jan jeevat marai (sggs 365).

An ordinary mortal or a conditioned Jeeva (the Saakat or the Manmukh) is continuously stirred up by Mayaic intellect while witnessing his day-to-day life. But a Jeevanmukta (the Gurmukh) observes the play of the life through the prism of the Pure Consciousness — without any desires, emotional attachment, restlessness, prejudices and agitations of the mind. The teachings of the Gurbani are intended to awaken this Pure Consciousness within. This Unconditioned Consciousness (Joti-Svaroopa) is our True Nature, which can be linked to by fully roasting the seed of ignorance in the fire of the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom, Gurmat...). As indicated in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), thus alone one becomes a Jeevanmukta or living liberated in this very life while still in the human body.

  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਜਿਸੁ ਵਿਚਹੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਜਾਇ ॥੬॥: Jeevan mukatu so aakheeai jisu vichahu houmai jaai ||6||(sggs 1009).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋ ਆਖੀਐ ਮਰਿ ਜੀਵੈ ਮਰੀਆ ॥: Jeevan mukti so aakheeye mar jeevai mariya (sggs 449).
  • ਆਪੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਮਨੁ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਹਰਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Aap pachhanai manu nirmalu hoi. Jeevan mukti hari paavai soi(sggs 161).
  • ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਛੁਟੈ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੋ ਹੋਇ ॥: Gur parsaadi haumai chhutai jeevan muktau so hoi(sggs 948).
  • ਜੀਵਤ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਮੋਖ ਦੁਆਰ ॥: Jeevat paavahu mokh duaar (sggs 343).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਜੀਵਤਿਆ ਮਰਿ ਰਹੀਐ ਐਸਾ ਜੋਗੁ ਕਮਾਈਐ ॥: Nanak jeevatiaa mar raheeai aisaa jogu kamaaeeai (sggs 730).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋ ਹੋਈ ॥: Jeevan mukatu gurmukhi ko hoee (sggs232).

Thus, in nutshell, becoming the Jeevanmukta simply means getting rid of the false ego-sense (Haume), and living a liberated or Enlightened Life - the Divine Life or the Gurmukh Lifestyle.

The need to become a Jeevanmukta has been stressed in the Gurbani. Why it's so important?

As the Gurbani repeatedly reminds us, if one is not free from the time-bound consciousness while living in the body (unenlightened existence), then he will be unable to free himself from the cycle of repeated suffering. In other words, Liberation or Mukti is not an after death phenomena. As the Gurbani indicates, it must be achieved and demonstrated "here" and "now" while still alive!

Becoming Jeevanmukta also means closing of the bodily "Nine Gates" (senses absorbed in material consciousness - Maya), and opening of the "Tenth Gate" (Mool...). With the "Nine Gates" open, one is unable to enter the Spiritual Consciousness. In other words, the process of becoming Jeevanmukta involves separating the consciousness from Maya. It is a total merger or union with one's True Nature (Mool, Joti-Svaroopa...) from which the Jeeva (individual) never returns.

  • ਜੋ ਖੋਜੈ ਸੋ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥: Jo khojai so bahuri n hoee (sggs 342).

Symptoms Of A Jeevanmukta

How can one tell if he is a Jeevanmukta or getting close to becoming one?

The Gurbani time and again reminds us that Maya and its three Gunas (material qualities: Saatav, Raajas, and Taamas) are the entanglement. In order to become Jeevanmukta, one must transcend these three modes of material nature (or Maya). As long as one is caught in Maya's triple-trap or bondage, he can not be Jeevanmukta or liberated.

The state of Jeevanmukta does not mean committing suicide, abandoning one's duties, remaining inactive, running away from the family or the world, or neglecting one's responsibilities of life. On the contrary, the life of a Jeevanmukta is full of actions — actions that are non-Mayaic or Mool-oriented, actions that are beneficial to everybody in the world, actions that do not create new seeds of earth-binding Karma (ਲੇਖਾ), etc. Hence to be a Jeevanmukta simply means detaching from the mundane consciousness.

The following symptoms describe the behavior, life, and activities of a person who has attained the blessed state of the Jeevanmukta. As revealed by the Gurbani, a Jeevanmukta is:

  • Free of false ego and its functions — lust, greed, anger, emotional attachment, pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, ignorance, desires, selfishness, and so on.
  • Free of the idea of "I, Me, Mine, and Your".
  • Free of the delusion of personal doership (i.e., he accepts God's Hukam or Will).
  • Free of lamentation and hankering for material objects.
  • Ever aware of his identity with all beings.
  • Remains undisturbed through reactions of the material qualities (goodness, passion, and ignorance); for he is risen beyond the tripple-qualitied Maya.
  • Ever situated in the Mool (Source, Origin, Reality...).
  • Always in Samdrishtee — unaffected by physical death and birth; unaffected by the duality or pairs of opposite (such as pain and pleasure, praise or insult, honor or dishonor, desirables and undesirables, etc.); no longer concern about bondage or liberation; alike to both friend and enemy; unaffected by a lump of gold or a lump of dirt (looks upon both with an equal eye); and so on.
  • Always in possession of Divine Virtues such as humility, unselfishness, purity, kindness, fellow-feelings, true contentment, compassion, forgiveness, etc.
  • Remains imbued in Naam (Shabad, Aatam-Giaan...). This is his pastime.
  • Remains full of Spiritual Wisdom (Divine Knowledge, Aatam Giaan).
  • Knows the Truth and leads a truthful living (the Gurmukh Lifestyle).
  • Remains undisturbed by the world of flux....

Developing These Symptoms

The Gurbani shows us how to develop these symptoms. Therefore, the ultimate aim of the reading or listening to the recitations of the Gurbani is to Reflect on the Gurmat (Teaching of the Gurbani, Gur-Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom...). It helps us understand the significance and real purpose of life, here and NOW.

The human life is meant for linking with one's godly status within - his Mool (Source, Origin...). The Gurbani acts as the Lighthouse and guides us to Realize this ultimate goal of life. It urges all men to exhaust their reincarnation-making power by engaging in soul-redeeming activities such as selfless contemplation on the Naam, Love, Shabad-Vichaar, introspection, truthful living, abidance in Hukam (Bhaana...), etc. These activities, in turn, become a purifying Spiritual Fire in which all mortal blemishes (false ego, pride, bondage, Bikaars, etc.) are burnt. A true Jeevanmukta, turning within to the imperturbable Bliss of his Soul, does not get emotionally involved with the mirage like world-appearance.

  • ਮਾਨ ਮੋਹ ਦੋਨੋ ਕਉ ਪਰਹਰਿ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਕੇ ਗੁਨ ਗਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹ ਬਿਧਿ ਕੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੨॥: Maan moh dono kayu parhar Gobind ke gun gaavai. Kahu Nanak ih bidh ko praanee jeevan mukti kahaavai ||2||2|| (sggs 831).
In order to become a truly Jeevanmukta on earth, the destruction of all desires and fears is must. To put it otherwise, to become a living liberated, one must rise above his material consciousness (the Manmukh lifestyle). The Gurbani tells us that the Lord is always with us, instructing us from within and from without so that we may become Transcendentally situated in the Mool within.
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਭਗਵੰਤੁ ॥: Jeevan mukti jis ridai bhagvant (sggs 294).
  • ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੀ ਆਗਿਆ ਆਤਮ ਹਿਤਾਵੈ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਸੋਊ ਕਹਾਵੈ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਹਰਖੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੋਗੁ ॥ ਸਦਾ ਅਨੰਦੁ ਤਹ ਨਹੀ ਬਿਓਗੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਸੁਵਰਨੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਉਸੁ ਮਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਤੈਸੀ ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਟੀ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਮਾਨੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਅਭਿਮਾਨੁ ॥ ਤੈਸਾ ਰੰਕੁ ਤੈਸਾ ਰਾਜਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਵਰਤਾਏ ਸਾਈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਓਹੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥੭॥: Prabh kee agya atam hitaavai... (sggs 275).
  • ਸੋਈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਅਨਦਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਵੈ ਸੋਇ ॥: Soee mukti jaakou kirpaa hoi. Anadin hari gun gaavai soi (sggs 1261).
  • ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਜੋਗੀ ਸਾਚੇ ਰਹਹਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧੨॥੧॥੧੦॥: Kahai Nanaku mukati hovahi Yogi saache rahahi samaai ||12||1||10|| (sggs 909).
  • ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਮਨਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਸਾਏ ॥: Jeevan muktu mani Naam vasae (sggs 412).
  • ਮਨਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਭਾਉ ਗੁਰੁ ਕਰੇ ਪਸਾਉ ਜੀਵਨ ਮੁਕਤੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਈ ॥: Mani hari hari Bhaaou Guru kare pasaaou jeevan muktu sukhu hoee(sggs 447).
  • Vedic scriptures also reveal that: "Muktir htvaanyathaa-roopam svaroopena vyavasthitih mukti: Meaning, Mukti is liberation from the contaminated consciousness of this material world and situation in Pure Consciousness.
— T. Singh