(153) Existence after realization
This morning after Veda Parayana, a gentleman who came a few days ago, enquired of Bhagavan Ramana, “Swami, it is said that though a Jnani (a realised soul) appears to be doing all the routine things, he really does nothing. How can that be explained?”
Bhagavan Ramana: “How? There is a story about it. Two friends while travelling on business slept the night somewhere, and one of them had a dream that he and his companion had gone together to several places and had done various things.
On rising in the morning, the other man had nothing to say, for he had slept soundly. But the first man asked his friend about the various places they had seen together during the night, but the second man could say nothing about them, having had no dream like the other. He merely said, ‘I have gone nowhere; I have been here only’. As a matter of fact, neither had gone anywhere; but the first man had only an illusion of having gone. Similarly, to those who look upon this body as real, and not unreal as in a dream, it may appear real, but, strictly speaking, nothing affects the Jnani.”
Remarked some other person: “It is said that the eyes of a Jnani appear to look at things, but in reality they see nothing.”
Bhagavan: “Yes, the eyes of the Jnani are likened to the eyes of a dead goat, they are always open, never closed. They glitter but they see nothing, though it seems to others that they see everything. But what is the point?”
The devotee continued: “It is also said that for such adepts, siddhas, there is no conditioning or limitation (upadhi) of space and time.”
Bhagavan: “That is right. It is true that there is no such thing as conditioning or limitation, but the doubt then arises as to how the day-to-day work is done. It has therefore to be said that they have limitation. It is also stated that the limitation will be there in a subtle way until there is deliverance from the body (videha mukti). It is like a line drawn on water; the line appears while it is being drawn, but is not there immediately after.”
The devotee: “If that is so for emancipated souls (siddha purushas), there will be no upadhi (support) after their mortal body falls away. But Bhagavan himself has said that there
are several emancipated souls on this hill. If they have no support (upadhi) how could they remain in existence?”
Those who have attained complete emancipation (jnana siddhi) merge with the universe after their bodies fall off, just as milk merges with milk, oil with oil, water with water.
In the case of lower souls, because of some samskaras or latent tendencies remaining unexpired, they stay in this world, taking whatever form they please, and ultimately become merged.
Viveka Chudamani, verse 567
The devotee: “Why does that difference arise?”
Bhagavan: “It arises because of the strength of their desires (samkalpas).”