Tandavamurthy Swami wrote Kaivalya Navaneetha, which
shows us how to attain mukti. Kaivalya Navaneetha talks
about jivanmuktas and puts them in four diferent categories
—Brahmavid, Brahmavara, Brahmavarya and
Brahmavarishta, elaborated Malayaman in a discourse.
The Brahmavid never wavers from performance of his
duties. He performs his duties for the benefit of others,
seeking nothing for himself. He is like water on a lotus leaf,
with regard to worldly matters. Just as water rolls of a lotus
leaf, so is he unattached to the material world. He is not
given to extremes of emotion, and is always passive. He does not reveal the depth of his knowledge and is silent, giving people the idea that he is ignorant or incapable of speech. He is unsurprised by anything. Even if a dead man were to come alive, the Brahmavid will remain unperturbed. Even if he were to experience a momentary passion or emotion, it vanishes soon. All this is due to the inward bliss that he experiences, by virtue of being a realised soul.
The Brahmavara seeks food in order to keep alive. The
Brahmavarya eats what his disciples or others provide. The
Brahmavarishta does not go in search of food; nor does he
care for what is provided by others. He remains unaware of
the body. The Brahmavid may sometimes experience
feelings like misery, but the other three remain unaffected
and are in a state of samadhi. But this does not mean the
Brahmavid does not gain liberation. He has knowledge of
Brahman and therefore gains liberation.
Talking of karma, Kaivalya Navaneetha says that just as
cotton is burnt in fire, so is accumulated karma burnt by the
fire of gnana. Saint Tirumular said that karma is destroyed
by the grace of Lord Siva.