I have a question, although it may sound silly. I was wondering, do enlightened beings feel sadness? Do they actually feel sick? As I look at Guruji, I see consciousness and whatever is emanating from him is just natural. Since he’s in a human form, he’s not restricted to physical or mental limitations right? Or he doesn’t choose to get sick? Does he have that perk?
First of all, it is not a silly question. I am sure there are many people out there who had this question in mind and would be grateful that you asked. We need to clear this from our heads that Enlightenment is something magical. It is not magic. It is achievable by everyone. It is just the highest possible state of awareness.
You know that your drill machine is your tool, your hammer is a tool, your car is your tool. You are not the car, you have a car. Just like that you are not the body, you have a body. You are not the mind, you have a mind. We understand this theoretically/intellectually but an Enlightened one like a Guru has realized it and has attained the highest state of awareness.
In this highest state of awareness, the Gnyani (wise one) knows that he is not the body, he is not the mind. He is in a constant state of awareness that he is the Self/Purusha/Consciousness that is using the tools called body and mind. Therefore he knows how to disassociate from the body and mind. So if there is discomfort happening to the body, it does not affect him.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
Let’s understand this better. If there is rain, the body will get wet. If there is extreme heat, the body will get hot. If there is snow, the body will get cold. This is inevitable.
But an unwise one will blow up the experience of heat/cold/etc. and crib and complain and become miserable in his mind and spreads the misery around. This is suffering. The mind creates the suffering, not the external agent of heat/cold. The unwise one is lost in the experiences of the mind and increases his own suffering.
How does an Enlightened or a Guru take pain?
The wise one learns to disassociate from the pain regarding it as “of the body” or “of the mind” and therefore he does not suffer. It can be called the “Ultimate maturing of the intellect”.
It happens to you too, though at a lesser degree. When you were a kid, you were afraid of an injection at the Doctor’s clinic. But now you are an adult and you are ready to undergo the pain willingly and be done with it. You will not scream and shout and cry for hours together like you did when you were a kid. It is the same thing. A Gnyani has achieved the ultimate maturing of the intellect!
Story time – Ramana Maharishi was very ill in the last few days of his life. A disciple asked him, “Kya dukha nahi hai? / Isn’t there pain?” Ramana responded, “Dukha hai par ho nahi raha hai / There is pain, but it doesn’t hurt”. Saint Milarepa also said the same thing when he was at his death bed.
In a Gnyani/wise man, there will still be reactions in the body but there will be NO suffering in the mind. All the reactions of the body are apparent only to the onlooker. They do not affect the Gnyani for he no longer identifies with the body.
Can I become like that?
Yes, the entire spiritual path is just an exercise to strengthen you to that extent. One must strive for it. How? Keep reminding yourself that “Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional!” Drop this identification with the body and the mind. Remember, I am not the body, I am not the mind! Neti! Neti
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