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Kaivalya (कैवल्य), is the ultimate goal of Raja yoga and means "solitude", "detachment" or "isolation", a vrddhi-derivation from kevala "alone, isolated". It is the isolation of purusha from prakṛti, and subsequent liberation from rebirth.


The 34 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali of the fourth chapter deal with impressions left by our endless cycles of birth and the rationale behind the necessity of erasing such impressions. It portrays the yogi, who has attained kaivalya, as an entity who has gained independence from all bondages and achieved the absolute true consciousness or ritambhara prajna described in the Samadhi Pada.

"…Or, to look from another angle, the power of pure consciousness settles in its own pure nature." —Kaivalya Pada: Sutra 34.

"Only the minds born of meditation are free from karmic impressions." —Kaivalya Pada: Sutra 6.

"Since the desire to live is eternal, impressions are also beginningless. The impressions being held together by cause, effect, basis and support, they disappear with the disappearance of these four." —Kaivalya Pada: Sutra 10-11.


The terms kevala, kaivalya, or kaivalya-mukti are encountered in the Upanishads, including the Śvetāśvatara (I and VI) Kaivalya (25), the Amṛtabindu (29) and the Muktikā (1.18, 26, 31) Upanishads .[1]

The Yogatattva Upanishad (16-18) reads, "Kaivalya is the very nature of the self, the supreme state (paramam padam). It is without parts and is stainless. It is the direct intuition of the Real-existence, intelligence and bliss. it is devoid of birth, existence, destruction, recognition, and experience. This is called knowledge."[2]

In later Hinduism[edit]

Following the rise of Hinduism with the powerful Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century, Veerashaivism experienced growth in southern India. Some Veerashaiva scholars of the time such as Nijaguna Shivayogi (c. 1500) attempted to unify Veerashaivism with Shankara's Advaitism. His best known work is the Kaivalya Paddhati, a collection of swara cavhanas set to classical ragas.[3]

Other popular writers of this tradition are Nijaguna Shivayogi, Muppina Shadakshari, Mahalingaranga and Chidanandavadhuta.[citation needed] The Kaivalya literature was entirely in the Kannada language.[dubious ]

Vijñānabhiksu was a sixteenth-century Vedāntic philosopher. He writes about kaivalya explicitly in the fourth and final chapter of his Yogasārasamgraha.[4]

In Assam, some Hindus call their sect Kaval Dharma. In this sect, "kevali" is the highest stage at which the bhagat becomes unconscious of everything else except the one all pervading Entity.[5] Moamara and Kardoiguria Satras as the principal Satras of the Keval sect.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ P. 130 Astavakragita: The Song of the Self Supreme edited by Radhakamal Mukherjee
  2. ^ P. 130 Astavakragita: The Song of the Self Supreme edited by Radhakamal Mukherjee
  3. ^ P. 190 Medieval Indian Literature
  4. ^ P. 120 Unifying Hinduism: philosophy and identity in Indian intellectual history By Andrew J. Nicholson
  5. ^ P. 43-44 Tai-Ahom Religion and Customs by Dr. Padmeswar Gogoi