One who has seen that the whole of life is a process of death has also seen that death is not tomorrow but now, this very moment – “I am already dying in this very moment. How to see, how to realize this happening of my death this very moment?” If one is able to see, then one does not lust for life. Buddha has said that one who does not lust to live is a jivanamukta. One who does not demand that he should get more life, one who does not desire to live more, one who has no lust to live more, one who will accept death gracefully if it comes now, one who will not ask death for even one moment more – “Wait, let me tidy up matters” – one who is ever ready to live every moment, that person is a jivanamukta.
One whose lust to live is finished can be free from life. One who becomes free from life becomes a jivanamukta – then he is liberated while living. Then here and now he is with us but he is not like us. He too is sitting, rising, eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, but the very quality of all these activities is transformed. Doing everything as we do, he is still not doing what we do. This world as we see it remains the same but it looks different to him – his angle of perception is changed; the center in him that is seeing is changed; for him the whole world is transformed. The definition of and indications about such a liberation while living is in these aphorisms. We shall try to understand them one after the other.
One who never knows any difference through intellect between jiva, the embodied soul, and Brahman…
…Those few friends who are under the influence of coughing should leave from here immediately. Or else stop coughing and remain seated. But both things together won’t do.
One who never knows any difference through intellect between jiva, the embodied soul, and Brahman, or between Brahman and nature, the creation, is called a jivanamukta, the one who is liberated while living.
The first characteristic: one who does not see through his intellect any difference between the soul that is hidden within oneself and the Brahman that is hidden within creation, is a jivanamukta.
There are two things in it. “No difference is seen through intellect.” All differences are made by the intellect, the mind. The intellect is the mechanism which enables us to see things as different. Just as when we dip a stick in water the stick appears bent – pull it out of the water, and it looks straight again. Put it back in the water, it appears bent again. The stick does not become bent in water, it only appears bent because the path of the rays of light in the water and outside the water are different. In the medium of water the rays become bent and so the stick appears bent.