Lesson 22 - Liberation
lesson 21 you learnt about Siddhis and their relevance to a spiritual
aspirant. However, Siddhis cannot be the final destination for a true seeker.
For him the destination is liberation. Freedom from the cycle of birth and
death. Union with Parama Shiva or Bramhan. In this last lesson of this series you
will learn about the physical and mental state of a self-realized person.
Self-realization is not a one step process. You may need to spend the entire
life time (or even more!) for the cause. Throughout this process a spiritual
aspirant undergoes several stage of self development and self unfoldment. Yogic
texts mention such seven progressive stages in the life of a spiritual aspirant.
They are explained next.
This is a very elementary stage. In this stage a person is still an immature
aspirant or Sadhaka. He doesn't have any idea about the Supreme Truth and he is
engaged in worldly affairs. Such a person takes the world made up of name and
form as real. He may have a slightest desire to peek into the spiritual life
In this stage a person is still an aspirant or Sadhaka but does conscious
efforts towards spiritual upliftment. Such a person may make some progress on
the chosen path but he still doesn't have any realization of Bramhan. He still
thinks of the world of name and form as real.
In this stage a spiritual aspirant makes god spiritual progress as compared
to the previous two levels. However, still he doesn't get any glimpse of Bramhan.
He still considers this world as a real.
In this stage a person is no more an immature aspirant. He becomes aware of
Bramhan and is called as Bramhavit. He has a strong understanding of unreal
nature of this world and considers Bramhan along as real.
This is an advanced stage where the person remains in the state of Samadhi.
He is called as Bramhavidvara. He lives as if he is in a deep sleep untouched by
the happenings of the world. He delves in the supreme consciousness. Once they
enter in Samadhi they can come out of it on their own. Thus they go in and come
out of Samadhi at will. Now onwards they go deeper and deeper in Samadhi.
In this stage a person can enter Samadhi on his own. Such a person is
referred as Bramhavidvarain. However, he cannot come out at his will. He remains
so absorbed in Samadhi that someone else need to "wake" him up. Some ancient
texts mention a trick to bring such a person back to awareness. The trick
involves placing a wooden stick on this head parallel to the ground and then
striking one end of the stick with another stick. His Guru or another
experienced person can use other tricks (such as chanting a Mantra in his ear)
depending on the need.
This is the final stage of the spiritual progress. In this stage a person
remains so absorbed that he cannot return to this mortal world. It is said that
only divine incarnations can come back from this deepest state. Such a person is
called as Bramhavidvarishtha.
A Yogi in the last three stages is called as Jivanamukta i.e. one who has
been liberated even while living. Externally a Jivanamukta looks and behaves
like a normal person. However, his internal attitude is totally different. He
sees Bramhan in everything and remains ever aware of the supreme consciousness.
He lives like an ordinary person only to burn out his prarabdha karma.
He lives to serve the mankind, to spread the divine wisdom. He is unaffected by
the happenings of the external world. All kind of dualities end for such a
person. Pain and pleasure, light and darkness, good and bad are all equal for
him. He attains perfect equilibrium of mind. Such a person is nothing but an
incarnation of the supreme authority. Once he finishes his prarabdha karma
he leaves his body only to get liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
His Atman permanently unites with Paramatman. His Jiva
becomes Shiva. Let's bow down to Jivanamuktas who act as a
guiding polestar to all the spiritual aspirants.
May the peace be with you.