The Mind of a Jivanmukta

Amana is a Sanskrit term which means ‘without mind’. Amanaskata is a condition where there is no mind. It is mindlessness. This is the state in which jivanmuktas or liberated beings exist.

Residual sattwa

A jivanmukta is a sage free from the trammels of births and deaths while living. Though the instinctive mind with low desires has been destroyed in him, his spiritual sattwic mind does not perish. Like flowers and fruits that are latent in a seed, a residue of sattwa, the cause of intelligence, rests always in the heart. If the mind were completely annihilated as soon as one attained jnana, the jivanmukti state would be impossible. How would the jivanmukta be able to undertake worldly dealings without the instrument of the mind? Therefore, a jnani identifies himself with the all-pervading Brahman and uses his mind and body as his instruments for worldly activities, whereas an ajnani (ignorant person) identifies himself with his body. There have been cases of jivanmuktas like Raja Janaka who attained jnana and utilized their mind and body in this manner for the well-being of humanity at large.

Sri Rama and Sri Krishna were ever resting in Brahman even when they were ruling their kingdoms. They were ever conscious of their essential sat-chit-ananda (truth-consciousness-bliss) Brahmic nature, even though they assumed human forms. They utilized their minds and bodies as their instruments when they were performing various activities.

Empirical existence and existence-reality

The world does not disappear absolutely, as is supposed, in the jivanmukti state. The empirical world ceases to exist, but this does not mean annihilation. It merely means that existence changes its form and colour, as it were, for the Absolute. It is empirical existence and not all existence that vanishes. Existence-reality remains, but its limited forms vanish. Externality has to go; spatial and temporal views of things must go; causal determination of one thing by another must go; many-ness and oneness must go. This is inevitable. However, the universe with all its reality will not go even for the liberated soul. It will merely change its form, meaning and significance. Nothing will disappear except a false view, a limited horizon, erroneous ideas and a circumscribed vision. Fact, reality, existence, however, will remain as fundamental as ever, but the viewpoint will change.

The mind of a jnani cannot be termed as mind, but only as tattwa (thing-in-itself). That which gets differentiated through diverse objects is the mind. The mind of a jnani, on the other hand, becomes stainless, like copper transmuted into gold by the alchemic process. The mind of a jnani is sattwa itself, while persons without jnana will follow the path chalked out by their minds. When a jnani sees outside, he may simply see, but the vritti may not assume the form of the object perceived as in the case of worldly-minded persons.

Just as the mind is free from identification with objects in the deep sleep state in all, it is free from any such identification in the waking state also in a jnani. The world appears to him as a mere dream. He dwells in Brahman even while working. In those that have cognized their Self, the pure vasanas with which they perform karmas will not entail them rebirths. The mind of such a jnani is called sattwic, but a mind without jnana is generally termed manas.

A perfectly balanced mind

Now, mark the nature of the mind of a jivanmukta. It is perfectly balanced under all circumstances. It is always cool and unaffected by the pairs of opposites. It is free from elation and depression. It is neither elated by enjoyments nor depressed by sorrow and grief. Without being affected by the pleasures or pains of enjoyments though moving in them, the mind of a jivanmukta becomes inured to them. Through internal contentment and freedom from pain, there will arise in the jnani equanimity of mind in all circumstances and at all places. Even when pain and the rest attaching themselves to his body exhibit on his face, his mind never writhes under them or their antithesis. It is free from impure desires. There will be no anger or craving. There will not arise any impulse of lust in such a mind. There is not the least longing for objects. His mind is above worldly things. He is not affected by the world. He need not have a separate room or seat. He need not close the eyes. He need not practise sense withdrawal. Such a mind which, though apparently enjoying the diverse objects, does not in reality enjoy them, may be stated to be Brahman itself.

Dual consciousness

An occultist learns through self-control and discipline to work on two planes at once: to be partly out of his body even as he is working on the physical plane, so that while he is writing or speaking, he may be doing other things with his astral body. When such is the case with an occultist, little need be said of a full-blown jnani who is resting in his own swarupa, essential nature. A jnani has dual consciousness. He has consciousness of Brahman as well as of the world. He sees the world as a dream within himself. A jnani is always in samadhi. There is no ‘in samadhi’ and ‘out of samadhi’ for a jnani like that for a raja yogi.

When you play on the harmonium, you adjust the tune first. It may be fixed either on the second reed or the fourth reed according to the strength and power of your voice. Then you begin to play on the various reeds. The sapta swara, seven notes, are pronounced now. You can play the various ragas and raginis. He who is aware of the main shruti, musical note, can be compared to a jnani who knows the atman or the support for this universe. He who is aware of the sapta swara only without knowing the fundamental shruti is like an ajnani who is unaware of the atman, and has knowledge of the sense objects only.

When you see an object with your eyes, you know that it is through the light of the sun that you are able to see it. You have a double drishti, vision. Similarly, a jnani always has a double drishti when he performs worldly activities. Even when he works, he knows he is not working; he is unattached. Even though he sees the world, it is all Brahman and Brahman for him.

Experience of oneness

A God-intoxicated jivanmukta sees God in a tree, a stone, boy, child, girl, cow, dog; in fact, in everything. He feels that the universe is filled with one life, that there is no such thing as blind force or dead matter and that all is alive, vibrating and intelligent. He experiences a sense of universality, a consciousness of eternal life. He who has cosmic consciousness feels that all the universe is his. He is one with the Supreme Lord, with universal knowledge and life. He acquires the celestial eye and experiences bliss beyond understanding or description.