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The Saint, the Jivanmukta and Ramji
Arlindo: A jivamukta or a mahatma is still a jiva while alive. His sense of identity has shifted from being a conditioned jiva to being the unconditioned self/pure consciousness. To be a jiva is equal to be operated by one’s vasanas. Life in mithya is but vasanas in operation. Jnanis and saints are both just following their nature, their vasanas. Conflicts and arguments are part of the experience of jiva-hood. But a saint is not necessarily a jnani or a jivamukta (a jiva with firm self-knowledge.)
The jivamukta lives in the world of duality while holding the firm knowledge of non-duality. Duality produces diversities of all kinds. All apparent differences, including the ones of ideas and preferences, will sooner or later surface in a relationship because wherever there are “two” there is a potential for conflict and disagreement. But in the case of the jnanis these small conflicts are not owned, and therefore they don’t stick to them. You may see them apparently angry one moment and apparently loving the very next moment. They know mithya to be mithya!
But since in mithya everything is constantly modifying and changing, the vasanas of the jivamukta will also be subjected to a great deal of modification as further nididhyasana naturally takes place. Self-knowledge and moksa have a huge impact on one’s vasanas and samskaras, and almost invariably the new set of modified vasanas of the jivamukta will be harmonized with dharma. As a result, to a certain degree the jivamukta will live an apparently less and less conflicting lifestyle and a more and more saintly life.
But the most important point to be understood is that regardless of how pure a saint or a jivamukta may be, a jivamukta with firm self-knowledge, with extensive knowledge of the scriptures and with the ability to teach Vedanta in its purity, is Isvara’s greatest gift to humankind. Sainthood alone will not save you. Only knowledge will do, and self-knowledge needs to be properly taught in its purity by a qualified teacher.
Besides his great knowledge and wisdom, what I greatly admire about my teacher (Ramji) is his courage to totally expose his jiva with no reservation – no pretension! Every time I see him doing that before the camera (sometimes almost like a child), I feel more respect and love for him. Is there anything more honest and noble than to accept and love your jiva (Isvara’s gift) so openly and fully? Is there a freedom greater than not having anything to omit or hide? Only then freedom is really free!