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Mukta Purusha

The concept of a Mukta Purusha, or a liberated individual, is central to Hindu philosophy and spirituality. In Hinduism, it is believed that the true nature of the individual, the Atman or soul, is inherently free. However, due to identification with the body-mind complex and the influence of desires and attachments, the individual experiences suffering and undergoes the cycle of birth and death (samsara). Liberation (moksha) is seen as the ultimate goal, wherein the individual transcends this cycle and realizes their true nature.

The Katha Upanishad (5.1) and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.4.7) both affirm that a liberated individual, known as a mukta purusha, is entirely devoid of desires. Additionally, several other Upanishads proclaim that a liberated soul remains completely unaffected by any form of sin, whether grave or minor, as stated in the Kaushitakii Brahmanopanishad 3.1.

The characteristics of a Mukta Purusha are described in various Hindu scriptures, including the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, and secondary texts like the Puranas. While different philosophical systems within Hinduism may offer varying perspectives on the cause of bondage and the path to liberation, the descriptions of a liberated soul share common themes.

One key aspect of a Mukta Purusha is the freedom from desires. They are no longer driven by cravings or aversions and have transcended the dualities of pleasure and pain, likes and dislikes. Instead, they abide in a state of inner peace and contentment, immersed in the bliss of the Atman. The liberated individual sees the world as a manifestation of the Absolute (Brahman) and recognizes the underlying unity in all existence.

Various terms such as 'jivanmukta' (liberated while living), 'sthita-prajna' (one with steady wisdom), 'bhakta' (devotee), 'gunatita' (beyond the qualities), 'brahmana' (one who has realized Brahman), and 'ativarnashrami' (beyond the social orders and stages of life) are used to describe such individuals in different contexts.

Works like the Laghu Yoga Vasistha (5th sarga), Bhagavad Gita (2.54-64; 12.13-19; 14.21-26), Mahabharata (Shantiparva 245.12-24) and Suta Samhita (Muktikhanda 5.9-42) provide detailed descriptions of the state of a Mukta Purusha, emphasizing their inner peace, wisdom, and freedom from worldly attachments. These descriptions serve as guiding principles for spiritual seekers on the path to liberation within Hinduism.