Sri Ramakrishna on Jivanmukta
Sri Ramakrishna : "Have faith. Depend on God. Then you will
not have to do anything yourself. Mother Kali will do everything for you.
"Jnana goes as far as the outer court, but bhakti can enter the inner court.
The Pure Self is unattached. Both vidya and avidya are in It, but It is
unattached. Sometimes there is a good and sometimes a bad smell in the air,
but the air itself is unaffected.
"Once Vyasadeva was about to cross the Jamuna. The gopis also were there.
They wanted to go to the other side of the river to sell curd, milk, and
cream. But there was no ferry at that time. They were all worried about how
to cross the river, when Vyasa said to them, 'I am very hungry.' The
milkmaids fed him with milk and cream. He finished almost all their food.
Then Vyasa said to the river, 'O Jamuna, if I have not eaten anything, then
your waters will part and we shall walk through.' It so happened. The river
parted and a pathway was formed between the waters. Following that path, the
gopis and Vyasa crossed the river. Vyasa had said, 'If I have not eaten
anything'. That means, the real man is Pure Atman. Atman is unattached and
beyond Prakriti. It has neither hunger nor thirst; It knows neither birth
nor death; It does not age, nor does It die. It is immutable as Mount Sumeru.
"He who has attained this Knowledge of Brahman is a jivanmukta, liberated
while living in the body. He rightly understands that the Atman and the body
are two separate things. After realizing God one does not identify the Atman
with the body. These two are separate, like the kernel and the shell of the
coconut when its milk dries up.
The Atman moves, as it were, within the body. When the 'milk' of
worldly-mindedness has dried up, one gets Self-Knowledge. Then one feels
that Atman and body are two separate things. The kernel of a green almond or
betel-nut cannot be separated from the shell; but when they are ripe the
juice dries up and the kernel separates from the shell. After the attainment
of the Knowledge of Brahman, the 'milk' of worldly-mindedness dries up.
"But it is extremely difficult to attain the Knowledge of Brahman. One
doesn't get it by merely talking about it. Some people feign it. (Smiling)
There was a man who was a great liar; but, on the other hand, he used to say
he had the Knowledge of Brahman. When someone took him to task for telling
lies, he said: 'Why, this world is truly like a dream. If everything is
unreal, then can truth itself be rea1? Truth is as unreal as falsehood.'"
Sri Ramakrishna sat with the devotees on the mat on the floor. He was
smiling. He said to the devotees, "Please stroke my feet gently." They
carried out his request. He said to M:, "There is great significance in
this." (The stroking of his feet) Placing his hand on his heart, the Master
said, "If there is anything here, then through this service the ignorance
and illusion of the devotees will be completely destroyed."