realized person

Rajesh Venkataraman rajesh_venk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 2 01:59:38 CDT 1999

> Is a person who has realized the self is supposed to be equivalent
> to God?

He is not equivalent to God. He IS god himself. When we say that he IS God,
mean that God and Jiva are essentially made of the same material (Brahman).
does not become the controller of the world here.

There are two kinds of IsvarAs(saguNa- with attributes and nirguNa - without
attributes and hence formless). As it is not possible to conceptualise a
nirguNa IsvarA
viz. Brahman, IsvarA in the beginning stages of a person's spiritual growth,
Isvara is said to
have such and such form, that he will punish you if are adhArmic etc. As the
progresses he is naturally introduced to the concept of nirguNa IsvarA

Technically saguNa Isvara is Brahman with mAyA and nirguNa Isvara is Brahman
independent of anything.

Another explanation of saguNa Isvara can be as a 'karma phala dAtA' i.e. one
just distributes the results of actions(karma) of every individual. He does
not make
any decision of his own accord. If he does then he will be a partial
When it is said that he is the controller of the world he does not do
anything out of his

To answer your question a jiva can only be equivalent to nirguNa Isvara and
saguNa Isvara.

> I think the Bhagavad Gita and also some upanishads say that One
> who has known Brahman is Brahman himself, right? Does self-realization
> imply omniscience? ISvara is supposed to be omniscient. Sankaracharya says
> somewhere in his BG bhAshya that the lord vishNu is omniscient,
> omnipotent, etc.

Omniscient should not be taken in the literal sense of the word. Since
Brahman pervades
all that is in the universe, it is the supporter of the whole world i.e. no
object in the world
exists independent of Brahman. It is the substratum of everything.

Therefore when a brahmajnAni is supposed to be omniscient it means that he
knows the
substratum of all that IS, in the universe. A jnAni knows the essential
nature of
everything. The effects(nAma rUpa) are only modifications
which do not have any reality. They are mAyA. For details refer Sankara's
B.G. Bhashyam
on na jAyate mriyate vA kadAcit & nAsatO vidyate bhAvaH (B.G. 2.16)

A brahmajnAni cannot be expected to know about Quantum mechanics or
satellite technology.
For him they are just nAma rUpA and Brahman is the only reality. The outward
representations do not matter.

> In the Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, it is said that when Ramana
> Maharshi is asked whether he was teaching Sankara's advaita, he says that
> he realized the self, and he was just describing his own "experience".
> Others told him that his teaching was essentially the same as Adi
> Sankara's.

Every jIvA is essentially the same Brahman(there are no differences in
So when Ramana Maharshi was talking about Brahman and Sankara was talking
about Brahman they were referring to the same vastu(object). So the teaching
could not
have been different.

>  This implies that Ramana Maharshi, after realization, was still
> not omniscient because someone else had to tell him that his teaching was
> the same as Sankara's. Or is omniscience not a property of a self-realized
> person?
> What is the difference between a self-realized person and God/Brahman?
> (just a comparison - I think both the Buddha and the Mahavira are said to
> be omniscient, omnipotent, etc. by their followers.)

Hope these have been answered...

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam


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