Behaviour of the Enlightened- Part 1 -What the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures say

Asanga's picture

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Since there is an interesting debate on about a well known spiritual master's being enlightened or not, I thought of putting up some excerpts from Indian Scriptures on the subject...

Let's take a look at the Gita.

"Chapter XVI ...Stanzas 1-3 list twenty-six ennobling qualities, as follows:

1: Fearlessness (abhayam)
2: purity of heart (sattva samshuddhi)
3: Steadfastness (jnanayogavyavasthithi)
4: Almsgiving (dana)
5: Self-restraint (dama)
6: Religious rites (yagnas)
7: right study of the scriptures (swadhyaya)
8: Self discipline (tapas)
9: Straightforwardness (arjavam)
10: Noninjury (ahimsa)
11: Truth (satya)
12: absense of wrath (akrodha)
13: Renunciation (tyaga)
14: Peace (shanthi)
15: Absence of fault-finding and calumny (apaishunam)
16: Compassion toward all beings (daya)
17: Noncovetousness, absence of greed (aloluptvam)
18: Gentleness (mardavam)
19: Modesty (hri)
20: Absence of restlessness (achapalam)
21: Radiance of character (tejas)
22: Forgiveness (kshama)
23: Patience or fortitude (dhriti)
24: Cleanness of body and purity of mind (shaucha)
25: Nonhatred (adroha)
26: Lack of conceit (na atimanita)

It may not be out of place to mention here what the first Sankaracharya said about a teacher and his method of teaching.

Upholding the true spirit of righteousness, the first (Adi) Sankaracharya, the great monist and Vedantist, mentioned in his book Vivekchudamoni that the true Guru has four signs, or qualities:

1. He must be self-realized.

2. He must practice every day.

[Although he does not need to practice, yet he sets an example before his students and continues to practice; and that is natural because, due to his long-standing habit of practice, his system never stops but rather switches to spontaneous practice.]

3. He must be compassionate to all.

[He is especially compassionate to his students, that is, he does not compromise liberally in guiding his disciples to develop the righteous way of meditation and lifestyle so that they can attain eternal Realization of the ultimate Self.]

4. He must not take charges for his teaching.

Also, in the Upanishads, five signs of satguru (true guru) are mentioned.

In the presence of the satguru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyana raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukha kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukha aavirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan).

SIGNS OF A JIVANMUKTA (One who is liberated while alive)-SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

The Jivanmukta or liberated sage is absolutely free from egoism, doubt, fear, and grief. These are the four important signs that indicate that one has attained perfection.

The Jivanmukta has perfect contentment, unruffled peace of mind, deep abiding joy and bliss, possession of supersensual spiritual knowledge, and ability to clear any kind of doubt of aspirants. Doubts vanish when one remains in his company.

The Jivanmukta does not care even for the wants of the body. He is not afraid of death. He has no longing to live also. Maya or Prakriti (Mother Nature) is his obedient and sweet nurse. She attends upon him carefully. Bodily wants come by themselves. Prakriti arranges everything for him beforehand. This is her look-out.

Balanced mind, equal vision, indifference to pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain, censure and praise, heat and cold, success and failure-these are the marks of a Jivanmukta. Jivanmuktas are not frightened or astonished at any unusual occurrence in nature. They will never be disconcerted even should the sun grow cold, or the moon turn hot, or the fire begin to burn with its flame downwards, or the course of the river begin to rise upwards. The Jivanmukta is not perturbed under any condition. He is undistracted amidst distractions.

Jnani - Self-realised
The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Edited by David Godman

Question:Does a jnani have Sankalpas (desires)?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The main qualities of the ordinary mind are Tamas (sloth, inertia) and Rajas (passion, excitement); hence it is full of egoistic desires and weaknesses. But the jnani’s mind is Suddhi-Sattva (pure harmony) and formless, functioning in the subtle Vijnanmayakosha (the sheath of knowledge), through which he keeps contact with the world. His desires are therefore also pure.

Question: What is the relation between the pure consciousness realised by the jnani and the ‘I am’-ness, which is accepted as the primary datum of experience?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The undifferentiated consciousness of pure being is the Heart or Hridayam, which is what you really are. From the Heart arises the ‘I am’-ness as the primary datum of one’s experience. By itself it is completely pure (suddha-sattva) in character. It is in this form of pristine purity (suddha-sattva-swarupa), uncontaminated by Rajas and Tamas (activity and inertia, that the ‘I’ appears to subsist in the jnani.

Question:In the jnani the ego subsists in the pure form and therefore it appears as something real. Am I right?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The existence of the ego in any form, either in the jnani or ajnani, is itself an experience. But to the ajnani who is deluded into thinking that the waking state and the world are real, the ego also appears to be real. Since he sees the jnani act like other individuals, he feels constrained to posit some notion of individuality with reference to the jnani also.

Question: How then does the Aham-Vritti (‘I’ thought, the sense of individuality) function in the jnani?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: It does not function in him at all. The jnani’s real nature is the Heart itself, because he is one and identical with the undifferentiated, pure consciousness referred to by the Upanishads as the Prajnana (full consciousness). Prajnana is truly Brahman, the absolute, and there is no Brahman other than Prajnana.


Enlightened part-1

You have very nicely chosen stanzas 1 to 3 from chapter 16 of Gita alongwith the relevance from Vivekachudamani, Upanishads for the submission of qualities which make the character of spiritualist and these virtues may also be in the natures of gurus but the recognition of a self-realized soul has been a matter of very, very inner entity because outwardly both the realized and unrealized seem the same; recognizer must be oneself self-realized soul to recognize other self-realized soul. There are many persons in the form of saints, gurus, enlightened who are outwardly(artificially) showing these qualities for the cheating the innocent people but their inner is very, very wicked.

NIDHI PARKASH | Tue, 02/02/2010 - 17:03
Asanga's picture


I have no way to gauge, like you...
I have relied upon my own inner intuition...
Sometimes, I have found, sometimes I have lost...
Mostly, I have found love, acceptance, joy, peace and silence...
I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Tue, 02/02/2010 - 17:20
MAI's picture

This is a beautiful description of how it should be.

The true understanding however arises when one sometimes notices discrepencies between how it "SHOULD " be and how it "IS".

Then the last of the concepts { mind made images and ideas }also start to drop away as an acceptance of what IS is no longer super imposed with mind made images.

Confusing a self realized master's human side is our projection of how we have identified ourselves.We then stand exposed to ourselves -or rather who we think ourselves to be....!!!


MAI | Fri, 05/18/2012 - 02:43
Asanga's picture

What the scriptures say 'should be', may not be what 'is'...

As mentioned right at the beginning, this is what Hindu scriptures say... My own opinion is immaterial here.
I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Fri, 05/18/2012 - 09:32