What is a god-realised person? What is their state, their awareness of life in the veil of the cosmic illusion? Do we have body-awareness when god-realisation comes? How is it achieved? Saga Vashishtha answers the questions of the youthful Lord Rama.
jiva: an individual, person, spark of the Divine Atma
jiva: individual soul embodied as a person. Soul with a body.
jivanmukta: one who is liberated from maya or the cosmic illusion while living in a body.
jivanmukta: permanently god-realised, having no identification with the body;
videhahmukta: liberated; having no body feelings nor body-consciousness; without body consciousness;
rupa (ruupa). Form, figure, appearance.
rupa-laya (ruupa-laya). Dissolution of form.
Maha Ramayana: (literally) The Great Book of the Acts of Rama; in fact, the title of this book (Sri Yoga Vashishta).
Question 81: Sir, which is the supreme scripture that promotes the knowledge of Atma and brings relief from sufferings by its study?
Answer: Ramji, the Maha Ramayana that I am presently narrating to you is the supreme among all the scriptures, as it promotes the highest understanding. It includes numerous examples and anecdotes, understanding which your illusion of the universe will vanish and you will attain liberation. He who studies and reflects over it with love and devotion, will also attain the highest knowledge; this you must not doubt. The highest state is attained neither through a boon nor through a curse; this state is realised when one practises with contemplation. The Atmic state is attained neither by penances (tapa) and charities (dan) nor by reading the Vedas (scriptures); it is attained only by concentration on Atma, whereafter a jiva attains the states of jivanmukta and videhamukta.
Question 82: Sir, what are the attributes of a jivanmukta and a videhamukta?
Answer: Ramji, he who undertakes mundane functions just overtly, but is free from duality within, is a jivanmukta. Knowing well the illusory character of the material objects, he remains indifferent about them, and is always alert and awake in the Atmic state. He is neither happy nor unhappy with pleasant or unpleasant objects. He is absorbed in Atma and is always in an even state. He who is superficially happy and unhappy in favourable and unfavourable conditions, and is in peace and equilibrium within, is a jivanmukta. Notwithstanding his participation in any activity, he remains free from attachments within, and is not entangled in any external object. He whose mind is above honour and dishonour, fear and anger, and who is absorbed in Atma is a jivanmukta. He is neither hurt by anyone nor does he hurt anyone. He is free from joy and sorrow and fear and hope, and is without anger. He discriminates between the Truth and the untruth and his intelligence is pure; he appears active overtly but his mind is extinct and he leads a desireless life. Such ajivanmukra is always established in Atma and he realises the world as an aspect of Brahmam (Brahmswaroop).
Spiritual calm is exemplified by Emperor Janaka of the Upanishadic texts. He was known as Videha, without body, not because he was disembodied, but because he lived in utter forgetfulness of the body and its needs. He saw, heard and spoke only from the Atmic plane of consciousness. 6-10-1981
The Jivi can realise itself only by the destruction of all limitations. The mind is the greatest of these. The mind undergoes two stages while being destroyed, Rupa-laya, annihilation of patterns of the mind and Arupa-laya, annihilation of the mind. The agitations of the mind stuff are the Rupas. Then comes the stage of equilibrium where there is the positive Ananda of Sath and Chith; where also the Arupa or formless Mind disappears. The annihilation of mind is of two kinds, namely, the mind pattern and the mind itself. The former applies to sages, liberated while still alive; the latter to Videhamukthas. Now, only the Rupa-laya is possible. This makes the person enjoy the Bliss derived from the experience of the Identity with Brahmam.