Mukti Defined: Emancipation and Attainment of Salvation

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Mukti Defined: Emancipation and Attainment of SalvationDefinition of Mukti

Mukti is a derivative of the root word Mukt which can mean absolution, deliverance, emaciation, freedom, liberation, pardon, release, or salvation. In Sikhism, mukti generally refers to liberation from the bondage of five influences of ego. Egoism is believed to be the cause of ceaseless transmigration with the soul caught in a never ending cycle of birth, death, and re-birth of incarnation and re-incarnation.

Other Usages

  • Mukat (Mukt) - Absolution, emancipation, freedom, liberation, pardon, release, remission, or salvation. The achievement of becoming finally happy at last.
  • Mukta - (1) Abundant, ample, plentiful, sufficient. (2) An invisible Gurmukhi vowel alluding to the state of liberation.
  • Mukti - (Past Tense of Mukta) - Absolved, delivered, emancipated, freed, liberated, pardoned, released, saved. Fully and forever blessed.
  • Mukte - Plural

Phonetic Pronunciation and Spelling of Mukti

The transliteration of Gurmukhi using English letters may vary as there is no standard phonetic spelling.

Phonetic Pronunciation: Muk-tee. The first syllable u in muk represents the Gurmukhi vowel Aunkar and has a short sound like the oo in book, or look. The first syllable k represents Gurmukhi consonant Kakaa and is spoken with air held back.The second syllable t represents Gurmukhi consonant Tataa and is pronounced behind upper teeth with air held back. The second syllable i represents Gurmukhi vowel Bihari and has a long sound like the double ee in free.

Phonetic Spellings: Mukt or Mukat, Mukta or Muktaa, Mukti or Muktee are all acceptable spellings.

Common Misspellings: Mukht, Mukhat, Mukhta, or Mukhti. The kh indicates aspiration and is an incorrect phonetic spelling as it signifies a different Gurmukhi character than does k alone.


Chali Mukte - 40 liberated ones: A very famous incident of martyrdom in Sikh history illustrates the concept of mukti. Deserters rejoined Guru Gobind Singh in a crucial battle. Sacrificing their lives, they resisted the Mughal forces so fiercely, that their enemy turned back in retreat. The last one of the guru's warriors alive, requested the guru to forgive them for their desertion. Guru ji tore up the papers they had signed renouncing him in exchange for safe passage, and promised the 40 martyrs spiritual emancipation from the endless cycle of transmigration.

Jiwan Mukat - Emancipated while yet alive: Those who live a life of utter devotion to the divine, break their attachment to the world and the bondage of egoism. Such ones are considered to have died while living, thus becoming liberated from death before dying, having achieved salvation during their lifetime. such a one is believed to be capable of liberating their entire lineage of both ancestors and descendants.

The Sikh scripture of Guru Granth Sahib has many passages which reference Mukt in its various phonetic forms and usages, mukti, mukta, mukat, and plural muktae:

  • "Sae mukat sae mukat baa-e kin har dhiaa-i-aa je tin toottee jam ke phaasee ||They are liberated, they are emancipated who remember Thee, O Sire Lord, for the noose of death is cut away." SGGS||11
  • "Mukta sae-ee bhaalee-eh je sachaa naam samaal ||They alone are considered to be liberated who remember the true name in contemplation." SGGS||43
  • "Kehan kehaavan ehu keerat karlaa ||
    Telling tales, chattering on and on about Him, they consider to be praising God.
    Kathan kahan tae muktaa gurmukh koee virlaa ||The one above indulgence in tale telling, and mere prattle, is the ward of the Enlightener and is rare indeed." SGGS||51
  • "Naanak so sooraa varee-aam jin vichhu dustt ahankaran maariaa ||
    Nanak brave is the warrior who conquers himself with and and subdues the vicious ego.
    Gurmukh naam saalaaeh janam savari-aa ||
    The pious ward of the Enlightener praises the name reforming his life.
    Aap hoaa sadaa muakat sabh kul nistaar-iaa ||
    That one is forever liberated and emancipates his entire lineage.
    Sohan sach duaar naam piaariaa ||Beautiful appear they at the gate of truth whom, for the name, have love." SGGS||86
  • "Sohan bhagat prabhoo darbarae||
    Beautiful appear the devotees of The Lord's court.
    Mukat bha-e har daas tumaarae ||
    Emancipated O Lord are the slaves of Thine.
    Aap gavaa-e terai rang raatae andin naam diaaidaa ||2||
    Eradicating self conceit with Thy love are they imbued, as night and day upon Thine name they contemplate." SGGS||1034...
    "Aapae mukat daan mukteesar mamtaa mohu chukaa-i-daa ||14||The Lord of liberation Himself grants liberation eradicating possessiveness and worldly attachment." ||14|| SGGS 1035
  • "Gurmukh hoveh sae bhandan torreh muktee kai ghar paa-id-daa ||8||Who becomes the ward of the Enlightener, breaks their bonds and attains the home of salvation." SGGS||1062

By Sukhmandir Khalsa