Philosophy misunderstood can easily end in the suicide of the community. The literal translation of our texts has made the majority of Hindus incompetent idlers and our religion has been criticized as glorifying idleness as a divine ideal. A Perfect Man is one who has lifted himself from the world of his mind—intellect and has awakened to his inner Spiritual Nature. As such the ordinary experiences of joy and sorrow, of pleasure and pain, which generally give the restlessness of life do not affect him. A Man of Perfection is one whose beloved object, the Self can never be apart from him. And he has no sense of attachment with any other object. Having attained the Self, the inhabitant of his heart, he has such a complete sense of fulfillment that he has no desire for attaining anything. The Self being the All, he has at once attained everything.
If we consider only the literal meaning, we will think that such a Perfect-Man is a dead corpse: “neither rejoic¬es, nor hates, nor desires, renouncing good and evil” — he lies dead 1 This is a very striking example of how the literal meanings are not at all what is to be understood in scriptural declarations. “A man who is the same in heat and cold” — ‘”heat and cold” are only the experiences of the body. And this idiom in Sanskrit, wherever it is used, in the context of philosophy, represents all types of experiences to which the physical equipment is heir. “Whose love is the same for enemies and friends”; — the estimation of our relationship with another as foe or friend is generally our own psychological reaction towards another, it belongs essentially to the heart. A Man of Perfection is one who does not identify himself with his mental or emotional estimation of things. Also to one who has won over joy and grief, and who has gained a certain amount of detachment from external objects, desire for obtaining the pleasant or the unpleasant is no emotion at all. Where there is no desire, hatred is an unknown, alien factor there; and neither is there anger against any obstacle that comes between a person and the object of his desire. A situation is judged at the intellectual level as “honorable or dishonorable” with reference to the intellects own existing values and cultivated habits of thinking. Not that the Perfect Man is immune to insults nor is it because he is not intelligent enough to understand them. It is because to a great devotee, the worldly censure or even praise ha”; no significance or importance at all. He realizes that one who is praised today will be censured by society tomorrow Praise and censure are nothing more than the passing fancy of those who express them!
The above three terms comprehend the entire possi¬bility of experiences in life: physical, mental and intellec¬tual. In all of them, a true devotee is unagitated because “he is free from attachment” to the equipments of the body, mind and intellect. It becomes very difficult to believe that a man in such a condition would feet any happiness at all—as all instruments of happiness have been rejected by him. Again it is against the very logic and rhythm of life to say that man will be satisfied by a mere emptiness, a dark cave of total negation. Every living creature roams about in all its available fields of activity seeking to gain and achieve a greater fulfillment of joy. Even the state of “complete absence of pain” — though it is a platform; of relief—is not the summit where an individual will feel contented and fully satisfied. To avoid such a serious misunderstanding among the students, the Lord has pointed out in the Geeta, the positive glow of assured Divinity when the ego rediscovers itself to be the Self as it renounces all its delusory pre¬occupations with the false and the’ fleeting. The subs¬tantial and definite experience of the solid bliss enjoyed and lived by the Self, in the Self, and as the Self has been indicated.
The seeker, in his detachment, not only withdraws himself from the world of objects outside, but also discovers in himself an ampler sense of bliss and security. His inward joy is not a rare flickering flash, but a constantly experienced factor. To him the entire within is flooded with the light of Pure Consciousness. His heart is thereafter alit with the Glow Divine.
Such an individual—who has withdrawn himself completely within, where he has learnt to enter at will and court and live in It, is the one who has come to know Brahman. In his realization of the Infinite he has come to experience the Bliss of Brahman, the smokeless Shrine of Truth.
Having thus rediscovered the Self, having thus gained the goal of all evolution, what would be the duties of such an individual in his existence, till finally, with a cheerful farewell, he drops his mortal coil down to merge himself with what he knows to be his own Self ? The general impression is that he will move about in the world like a mad, walking, stone-statue—that eats at least once a day, a threat to society, a moving bundle of contagion and a screaming pillar of despondency and despair. Such a living death is not the goal indicated in the Vedas, nor did the Hindu Rishis ever try to carve out of a man, a walking corpse!
Self-realization is not a melancholy parade, crawling to a pre-destined tomb, but it is a joyous ride to the Palace of Truth, from which man has wandered away in his own ignorance and confusion. A true prophet is one who lives, consumed in an ever reviving fire of love. He ceaselessly strives to bring out the Self from the non-Self that is veiling it, in all other forms around and about him. This is indicated by the term “engaged in the good of all beings” in chapter V, stanza 25 of the Bhagavad Geeta. Thus lokaseva becomes his recreation, his self-appointed engagement. His body, mind and intellect are offered as oblations into the sacred fires of activity and while remaining at rest within himself, the Saint lives on, in an unbroken Consciousness of the Divine, the Eternal.