The Qualities of a Free Human

The difference between bliss and joy is that joy comes and goes alternating with sorrowful and painful experiences.

Published: 10th March 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2019 05:32 PM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose.

The books of self-knowledge like the Atma Bodha of Sri Adi Sankaracharya do not leave us high and dry with just the philosophy. It shows us examples of people who have achieved such a state of mind. They are called the Jeevan Mukta Purushas, who are liberated even as they are living in this time and age. 

Jeevan muktasya lakshanani sadhakasya sadhanani. The qualities of a liberated being are the points of practice for one who wants to be that way. What does he do? By constant meditation in knowledge of the self, he drops the qualities of all his limiting adjuncts called Upadhis. That is he gives up the notion that he is just the body, the five functions of vital energy, the mind, the intellect or the changing qualities of inertia, dynamic restlessness and quiet contemplation. When we say he gives them up, it is not any physical discarding, but a mental disassociation with those qualities. 

When he disassociates with these, then what does he identify himself with? The rare revelations of the scriptural texts point out to a higher, wider and a more expansive state of existence which is called Sat-Chit-Ananda. Truly, this is our personality. Sat means: I exist, therefore I am. Chit means: I exist as the nature of consciousness of myself. I know I am.

Ananda means bliss. The difference between bliss and joy is that joy comes and goes alternating with sorrowful and painful experiences. Bliss is a constant experience of I am and I know I am. This gives the opportunity for the experience of I am bliss. Existence, knowledge and bliss is my true nature. It cannot be taken away from me, wherever I go, whatever I do and in any circumstances I may find myself. 

In our mundane world, it pays to lift our mind constantly to this state of I am, I know I am and I am of the nature of bliss. All our little knowing and little experience that give us pain and suffering either by coming or by leaving, will vanish. 

The comparison to this process is likened to a worm that is placed by a wasp in a tight mud pack home. The worm has no other experience than painfully looking at the wasp at the tiny entry to the mud home, constantly stinging it. The worm meditates and meditates on the wasp and one day develops its own wings and flies out! We are that little worm thinking we are a worm. The Guru in the form of a wasp gives us some constant stings that makes us aware of our own true self until one day we too grow our wings of freedom and fly in the vast skies of freedom.

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