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Who is Liberated? The Notion of Liberation While Alive in Some Selected Indian Texts


Bronkhorst, J (2010). Who is Liberated? The Notion of Liberation While Alive in Some Selected Indian Texts. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 64(2):275-290.

Abstract

This article looks at three texts—the Mānava Dharmaśāstra, the Bhagavadgītā, and a passage from the Mahābhārata that records a discussion between two self-proclaimed liberated persons—and tries to determine whether liberation in them is thought to be possible while alive. It turns out that the first two of these texts have rather hazy notions of liberation and use the terms liberation and liberated ambiguously. The third one is categorical that liberation while alive is possible, but specifies that it concerns liberation from features such as attachment. A further comparison with Jainism and Buddhism brings to light hat liberation from rebirth typically is not possible while one is alive, but liberation from certain cumbersome features is.

This article looks at three texts—the Mānava Dharmaśāstra, the Bhagavadgītā, and a passage from the Mahābhārata that records a discussion between two self-proclaimed liberated persons—and tries to determine whether liberation in them is thought to be possible while alive. It turns out that the first two of these texts have rather hazy notions of liberation and use the terms liberation and liberated ambiguously. The third one is categorical that liberation while alive is possible, but specifies that it concerns liberation from features such as attachment. A further comparison with Jainism and Buddhism brings to light hat liberation from rebirth typically is not possible while one is alive, but liberation from certain cumbersome features is.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 64 (2010) > 2
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:10 Aug 2010 08:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:13
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Related URLs:http://www.sagw.ch/de/asiengesellschaft/publikationen/Asiatische-Studien.html (Publisher)
http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=86850&vLang=D&vHR=1&vUR=4&vUUR=11 (Publisher)
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-35366

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