This Chapter is taken From The Book ”Guru Ramana – Memories and Notes” by S.S.Cohen
The Jnani, also known as the Awakened, the Enlightened, the Self-Realised is he, who, although like every other person, uses a body, has broken the illusion that the body is himself. After lives of strenuous search, he found the Heart and realised himself to be none other than the Supreme Sadasiva Brahman, the Absolute Consciousness, without qualities or forms. Evolution, Karma, Rebirth, have ceased to have any meaning to him. Although he has a body, he sees it as in a dream, or as he sees any other inanimate object around him, outside, yet not outside his being. The world neither attracts nor repels him, nor has any power to destroy him. He is the pure Void of Awareness, which sees yet does not see; acts yet does not act. He is neither bound nor free, neither God nor man, nor in fact anything – he is only himself.
His state baffles imagination. One wonders how the Cosmic, Pure Mind, wraps itself with a frail human body, which appears to eat and sleep, act, become diseased, tired and hungry. It is a mystery of mysteries. Hence Sri Bhagavan used to be assailed by questions about the Jnani’s mental state. Although the questions refer to him, the questioners took care not to put them in a personal form. They never addressed him as “you” or “yours”, but always as “Bhagavan”, or the “Jnani’s“. The following answers will give a remote idea of his sublime state.
C. Does he who is in Sahaja Samadhi feel any physical pain, say, of a sting or a cut?
Bh. All pains, even physical, are in the mind. Everybody feels the pain of a cut or a sting, but the Jnani, whose mind is sunk in bliss, feels it as in a dream. His resembles the case of the two lovers in the story who were tortured together but did not feel pain because their minds were in ecstasy, gazing at each other’s face.
HIS SIDDHIS (psychic powers):
C. Do Jnanis who, before Jnana, had siddhis, preserve them
after merging with the Absolute?
Bh. Yes, siddhis are acquired by prarabdha karma and are not
a hindrance in Mukti. They are a hindrance on the way to Mukti.
* * * *
A North Indian visitor asks whether the Jnani automatically acquires siddhis or whether he has to strive for them separately if he desires them.
Bh. Who is the Jnani? If he is the body you see, then his siddhis will be shown to other bodies. But if he is pure awareness, from where will he get the siddhis and to whom will he show them?
Both the Jnani and the Bhakta (devotee) do not desire or work for siddhis; the former because he sees himself the All, and the latter because he sees his Ishta Devata – his favourite God – the All; even his own action is done by this God; he has no will of his own at all to impel action on his own initiative. Yet siddhis follow them both like their shadows. What greater siddhi is there than that of the Sage, who by merely sitting on his couch, attracts thousands of people from the four corners of the earth, hundreds of whom change their old modes of life and some even attain Godhood?
People see many things which are far more miraculous than the so-called siddhis, yet do not wonder at them, simply because they occur every day. They do not see miracles in the man who comes almost from nothing and, when born, he is not bigger than this electric bulb, and then he becomes a giant wrestler, or a world-famed artist, orator, politician or Sage, but they are wonder-struck if a corpse is made to speak.
* * * *
Mr. C. asks if the Jnani dreams.
Bh. Yes, he does dream, but he knows it to be a dream, in the same way as he knows the waking state to be a dream. You may call them dream No. 1 and dream No. 2. The Jnani being established in the 4th state – Turiya, the Supreme Reality – he detachedly witnesses the three other states – waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep – as pictures superimposed on it.
* * * *
C. Does a Jnani have sankalpas (desires)?
Bh. The main qualities of the ordinary mind are tamas and
rajas (sloth and excitement); hence it is full of egoistic desires and weaknesses. But the Jnani’s mind is shudda- sattva (pure harmony) and formless, functioning in the subtle vignanamayakosha (the sheath of knowledge),
through which he keeps contact with the world. His desires are therefore also sattvic.
* * * *
A visitor asks Sri Maharshi whether desire does not destroy Jnana.
Bh. The desires of a Jnani are external to him like other objects and cannot taint him.
V. The Puranas say that Jnanis warred against Jnanis. How is that?
Bh. Yes, Sri Krishna fought against Bhishma. The Jnanis view all as Brahman, yet they fight.
* * * *
15th June, 1938
HIS VIDEHAMUKTI (after death):
The “Vision” (of Anandashram, Kanhangad) for June
contains an article by Sri Bhagavan. It is a Preface to his translation into Tamil of Vivekachudamani of Sri Shankaracharya which has been translated by Mr. S. Krishna into English for the “Vision”. Mr. C. reads it to himself in the Hall. Struck by the following statement, he reads it aloud to Sri Bhagavan: “The liberated man is free indeed to act as he pleases, and when he leaves the mortal coil, he attains absolution, but returns not to this birth which is actually death.”
C. This statement gives the impression that although the Jnani takes no birth again on this plane, he may continue to work on subtler planes, if he so chooses. Is there any desire left in him to choose?
Bh. No, that was not my intention.
C. Further, an Indian philosopher, in one of his books, interpreting Shankara, says that there is no such thing as videhamukti, for after his death, the Mukta takes a body of light in which he remains till the whole humanity becomes liberated.
Bh. That cannot be Shankara’s views (he opens Vivekachudamani and points to verse 566 which reads that after the dissolution of the physical sheath the liberated man becomes like “water poured into water and oil into oil”). It is a state wherein there is neither bondage nor liberation. Taking another body means throwing a veil, however subtle, upon Reality, which is bondage. Liberation is absolute and irrevocable.
(Note: In his Atma-Bodha, stanza 53, Shankara says the same thing as in verse 566 of Vivekachudamani – S.S.C.)