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EXPALANTION :

  • Sage Vishvamitra is one of the great sages and was seduced by Menaka who was sent by Lord Indra to break his penance.
  • He was the only Sage (AFAIK) who was seduced by lust or women.
  • Self-realized beings know everything and will be in great spiritual bliss in each moment and they will not be interested in material pleasure


QUESTION :

  • Was Sage Vishvamitra Self - realized while falling for Menaka's beauty ?
  • Can Self - realized beings also be affected by (or fall for) lust ?
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    Was Vishvamitra Self - Realized while falling in Menaka's Beauty ? - No Can Self - Realized beings can also fall in Lust ? - I don't think so. But - attaining self-realization is extremely difficult but I believe it requires constant tapas to remain in the state. IMO, if the maintenance tapas slackens, then the being may probably become fallen. Only the supreme parabramha is achyuta (one who never slips ). – user1195 Jun 29 '17 at 15:13
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Was Vishvamitra Self - Realized while falling in Menaka's Beauty ?
Can Self - Realized beings can also fall in Lust ?<br>

We find the he answers of above questions given in Valmiki Ramayana Bal-Kanda.Chapter [Sarga] 63. Where the whole story of Sage Vishwamitra is narrated in greate detail .

Background -: on Vishvamitra's performing severe ascesis Brahma accords the sageship of 'Great-sage' to him, whereas Vishvamitra's ambition is to acquire the sageship of a 'Brahma-sage' Absolute-sageship. In the meanwhile, the celestial wench Menaka arrives at that place and Vishvamitra is enticed by her beauty and spends some years with her. Later, on realising the he should have won over lust, he further undertakes severe ascesis, by which gods are perturbed

This is brief of the story -:

On seeing Menaka and falling in love with her Vishvamitra asks her to stay at her hermitage [1-63-6, 7a]

"Then after the lapse of ten year period a thought occurred to Vishvamitra that , these ten years just passed by like a single day , during which I lost may tapas and he felt humiliation. [1-63-9b, 10]

He sent Menaka away with pleasant words went to the northern Himalayan mountain for again doing ascesis. [1-63-12b, 13, 14a]

Because of Vishvamitra's ascesis for a thousand years fear occurred to gods. [1-63-15b, 16a]

All gods coming together with assemblages of sages have approached Brahma and conveyed that, 'this Vishvamitra, the son of Kushika, may duly be given the epithet of 'Maharshi, Exalted Sage.' [1-63-16b, 17a]

Then Brahma gives Vishvamitra title of Brahma-sage (Brahmarshi) " 'Oh, exalted sage, I welcome you my dear, as I am gladdened by your stern ascesis, oh, Kaushika, I bestow upon you the sublimity and supremacy among sages.' [1-63-18b, 19a]

But Viswamitra says to Brahma that he may have been called self-Realized by his tapas .

ब्रह्मर्षि शब्दम् अतुलम् स्व अर्जितैः कर्मभिः शुभैः || १-६३-२०
यदि मे भगवान् आह ततो अहम् विजित इन्द्रियः |

" 'If your Godhead had said that I am a Brahma-sage, a sageship acquired personally by my pious deeds, rather than an exalted sage, then I would have become one who is really self-conquered.' Thus Vishvamitra said to Brahma. [1-63-20, 21a]

And then Brahma tells Vishvamitra that he has not yet reached to that position because he has not conquered his sences

तम् उवाच ततो ब्रह्मा न तावत् त्वम् जित इन्द्रियः || १-६३-२१
यतस्व मुनि शार्दूल इति उक्त्वा त्रिदिवम् गतः |

"Brahma then said to him, 'your senses remain unconquered as such, oh, tigerly sage, make an effort for it.' Saying so Brahma went heavenward. VR [1-63-21b, 22a] [1-63-21b, 22a]

So its clear from the above story from Valmiki Ramayana that Sage Vishvamitra was not self-realised one at the time of he fell in love with Menaka the celestial wench.


Now lets look at how one can achieve self realization from The Mundaka Upanishad

नायमात्मा बलहीनेन लभ्यो न च प्रमदात्तपसो वप्यलिङ्गात |
एतैरुपायैर्यतते यस्तु विद्वां-स्त्यैष आत्मा विशते ब्रह्मधाम ||4||

nāyamātmā balahīnena labhyo na ca pramādāttapaso vāpyaliṅgāt |
etairupāyairyatate yastu vidvāṃstasyaiṣa ātmā viśate brahmadhāma || 4 ||

  1. This Atman cannot he attained by one devoid of strength or by excitement or by tapasdevoid of linga. But of the knower who strives with these aids, the Atman enters into the Brahman.

Shankara’s Commentary: Com.—Combined with the wish to realise the Atman, strength, absence of excitement, and knowledge coupled with Sanyasa are helps; because this Atman cannot be attained by one devoid of strength produced by concentration on the Atman or by excitement caused by associating with objects of the world, as son, cattle and the rest, or by tapas devoid of linga. ‘Tapas’ here means ‘knowledge.’ “Linga,” means “Sanyasa.” The meaning is that the Atman cannot be attained by knowledge without Sanyasa. But of the knower who, with these aids, strength, absence of excitement, Sanyasa and knowledge—strives intent after the Atman, the Atman enters its abode, the Brahman.


Conclusion - So self realization is not possible without control over senses , which at the time Vishvamitra did not achieve.And in my opinion Self - Realized beings do not fall in Lust because they do not differentiate between anything and they have gained full control over their senses. They became Brahman. Self - realized beings do not get affected by lust

  • thanks friend in many of the tamil movies claim that Vishwamitra a great sage was fallen in lust and sages also fall in lust, indirectly saying lust is the highest pleasure to obtain. With your answer it will be easily erased. – Sakthi Jun 30 '17 at 4:43
  • @Sakthi - Thank you.There are lots of other verses in upanishads which talk about self-Realized souls. What happens after that and the way to achieve that.I have just added one related verse.But if we compare those verses with the situation of Sage Vishwamitra at that time.We can definitely conclude that he was not self-realized at the time of the incident.Thanks again for appreciation. – SwiftPushkar Jun 30 '17 at 6:12

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