[Advaita-l] A Perspective 17-2 (Litmus Test)

Sundar Rajan avsundarrajan at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 7 00:15:02 CST 2010

Litmus Test
Shri Sadananda-ji in the article http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2010-January/045338.html 
discusses a litmus test to test for realization
Is there a litmus test to test myself, whether I have realized or not?  ..
Hence the ups and down in the world are only play of maayaa and a realized master 
never gets affected by world or by the praarabda that comes as ups and down affecting his BMI.
According to scriptures, Liberation can be conceived of in two ways – the first is the cessation or absence of sorrow and 
the Litmus Test provides above is an example of the absence of sorrow while living in the world or being unaffected by the world. 
While this is a great test, we also see normal people, due to purva janma punya (merits) go thru life like a breeze essentially not affected by it. 
This does not however make them self-realized and so ‘unaffected by the world’, IMHO, is not a conclusive proof of self-realization.
The scriptures fortunately talk about the second aspect or fruit of liberation: attainment of unsurpassable bliss. 
For example, in ‘Talks with Ramana Maharishi’, Ramana says : “Bliss is overpowering and the experience is very clear”, 
“If the wrong identification ceases, there will be peace and permanent untellable bliss.”
While absence of sorrow may be a common experience even for ajnanis due to their previous merit, the same cannot be said of 
'overpowering bliss'. 
Another possible ‘litmus-test’ is Sarvatma Bhava. Since all human beings from birth identify themselves with their limited body, mind complex,
‘identity with all’ will be unique and unmistakable. There are many instances in the bhAshya-s where Sankara 
refers to sarvAtma-tva  as the the fruit of brahman-knowledge. For instance in Br Up IV.iii.20, 
Sankara says that Sarvatma Bhava is synonymous with liberation: 
Therefore, when ignorance is eliminated and knowledge reaches its perfection, the state of identity with all, 
which is another name for liberation, is attained.
- Sundar Rajan

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