Remembering a Jivanmukta

The Upanishads say that the realization of the self through the realization of the supreme power that controls this universe is the ultimate goal of human existence.

The path to this realization is a long and arduous one, with innumerable pitfalls. But pre-eminent knowledge, wisdom and bliss await the resolute practitioner at the end. Liberation from all worldly afflictions and the endless cycle of birth and death while still embodied is the reward for touching this acme of perfection.

Sadguru Chandrashekara Bharathi of the Sringeri Sharada Peetam whose 56th death anniversary is being observed on the seventh of October was one such 'Jivanmukta", one who reached the pinnacle of spiritual attainments while still in human form.

His life was a demonstration of the vedic truism that the Lord himself incarnates on this earth to show to humanity the way to redeem itself through a life oriented towards all that is true, good and holy. As head of a venerated religious institution with a hoary and glorious heritage, he was a living embodiment of the virtues enshrined in the vedas, the fountainhead of Indian spiritual thought.

Radiating peace and bliss, he spoke but rarely, with devotees finding themselves immersed in an inexplicable sense of happiness, with all inner conflicts melting away as butter before fire.  By precept and example, he raised the tone of society, with emphasis on moral certitude. It was the sublime spirituality of his being that enthused people to take to a better way of life.

To borrow Paul Brunton's  words," the presence of men like (him) ensures the continuity down history of a divine message from regions not easily accessible to all. One must accept the fact that such a sage comes to reveal something to us, not to argue anything with us".

A saint with ideas far ahead of his times in their all encompassing universality, he strictly forbade religious conversions, criticism of other religions and bigotry of any kind. As his deep immersion in the bliss of meditation intensified, he gradually withdrew from all worldly interactions. It must be remembered that this metaphysical quest by such immortal souls sets the roadmap for us lesser beings to better our lot through a life of spirituality and peace.

Such a one who has conquered his passions and is at peace with himself and the world , whose words are a benediction, whose mere physical presence fortifies men to face the vicissitudes of life with equanimity, who showers grace and fortune without conscious effort, who remains a shining beacon of hope for all times to come is a true "Jivanmukta."

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