What are the symptoms of a self realized person? How can I know whether I realized self or not?
Some of the quintessential qualities of an enlightened person are:
- He always observes silence. In other words, he is in a trance state most of the time.
- He is child like and most of his actions resembles those of a 6 or 7 year old kid.
- He is in perpetual ananda or bliss state mostly emanating from within and as such he rarely get angry unless otherwise severely provoked.
- Their bodies may take feminine form. This is mostly due to Estrogen level spike.
- They emanate some kind of illumination (light) and most of them are surrounded by an aura of white light which the naked human eye fails to detect.
- Most of them must have acquired supernatural powers or Sidhis and are reluctant to display the same.
- And they exude their energy (Kundalini) by Shakthipath (both by contact or non contact) and that is the reason why we feel so good in their vicinity.
In the Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna lucidly explains the qualities of an enlightened soul. Below is the excerpt;
“Bg 2.54 — Arjuna asks: O Krishna, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?
Bg 2.55 — Krishna says: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.
Bg 2.56 — One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.
Bg 2.57 — In the material world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.
Bg 2.58 — One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness.
Bg 2.59 — Though the embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.
Bg 2.61 — One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady conscience.
Bg 2.64 — But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.
Bg 2.65 — For one thus satisfied [in Krishna consciousness], the threefold miseries of material existence exist no longer; in such satisfied consciousness, one’s intelligence is soon well established.
Bg 2.68 — Therefore, O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence.
Bg 2.69 — What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.
Bg 2.70 — A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.
Bg 2.71 — A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego – he alone can attain real peace.”
And in the Gita, He further comments;
“BG 5.20, - A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is already situated in transcendence.
BG 5.21, - Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.
BG 6.29, - A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere.”
Swami Sivananda writes in "Jivanmukta Gita" page 17 -
A self realised person lives in the world but he is not of the world. He always revels in the eternal bliss of the Supreme Self. He has no identification with the body and senses. Hence he has no idea of enjoyment or enjoyer when he exhausts the residue of his Prarabdha. He has no idea of action or agent. He roams about happily without attachment and egoism, with a balanced mind and equal vision. His state is indescribable. He is Brahman Himself. He is absolutely free from egoism, doubt, fear and grief. These are the four important signs that indicate that one has attained perfection. For him, there is no distinction between a rogue and a saint, gold and stones, high and low, man and woman, man and animal, censure and praise, honour and dishonour. He beholds the one Self everywhere. He sees divinity in everyone. As he is mindless, all differences and barriers have vanished for him. He is the conqueror of mind. He is absolutely free from desires, craving, fear, delusion, pride, egoism, etc. He rests in the non-dual supreme seat. The Jnana vision arises in him. The light of wisdom will shine unobscured like the sun in the absence of clouds. He is never attracted to any worldly objects. He is absolutely free from delusion and sorrow. No difficulties or troubles can affect one who is enjoying the bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He is ever joyful and happy. He is free from Harsha-Shoka (exhilaration and sorrow). He beholds the one Self everywhere. He has no identification with the physical body.
He has cosmic vision and experience. He is one with the flower, tree, air, ether, sun, ocean, mountain and sky. He is all in all. He works for all. The whole world is his body. The whole world is his home. All hands are his hands. All eyes are his eyes. All mouths are his mouths. He says that when he is beaten by another, he is beaten by himself. He actually feels that the cobras, scorpions, tigers, bears and lions are as much parts of himself as his own eyes, nose, ears, hands and feet. His eyes are steady. His actions are perfect. His speeches are sweet, short, inspiring, forcible and impressive. His gait is magnanimous. His look is merciful. His gestures are illuminating. He explains spiritual subjects in a lucid manner with deep philosophical significance. He has clear insight and intuitive transcendental knowledge.
Eight symptoms of Jivan Mukthas are given by Chandogya Upanishad. They are apahata-pāpa, vijara, vimṛtyu, viśoka, vijighatsa, apipātā,satya-kāma and satya-saṅkalpa.
Each quality of a Jivan Muktha is explained in the following purport by Prabhupada
Śrīla Vīrarāghava Ācārya states that in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad there are eight symptoms of a jīvan-mukta, a person who is already liberated even when living in this body.
The first symptom of one so liberated is that he is freed from all sinful activity (apahata-pāpa). As long as one is under the clutches of māyā in the material energy, one has to engage in sinful activity. Bhagavad-gītā describes such people as duṣkṛtinaḥ, which indicates that they are always engaged in sinful activity. One who is liberated in this life does not commit any sinful activities. Sinful activity involves illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling.
Another symptom of a liberated person is vijara, which indicates that he is not subjected to the miseries of old age.
Another symptom is vimṛtyu. A liberated person prepares himself in such a way that he does not take on any more material bodies, which are destined to die. In other words. he does not fall down again to repeat birth and death.
Another symptom is viśoka, which indicates that he is callous to material distress and happiness.
Another is vijighatsa, which indicates that he no longer desires material enjoyment.
Another symptom is apipātā, which means that he has no desire other than to engage in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, his dear most pursuable Lord.
A further symptom is satya-kāma, which indicates that all his desires are directed to the Supreme Truth, Kṛṣṇa. He does not want anything else.
He is satya-saṅkalpa. Whatever he desires is fulfilled by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. First of all, he does not desire anything for his material benefit, and secondly if he desires anything at all, he simply desires to serve the Supreme Lord. That desire is fulfilled by the Lord’s grace. That is called satya-saṅkalpa.
One can be qualified as Jivan Muktha if and only if all the qualities are present in them.
Tejobindu upanishad, Chapter 4
He is known as a Jivan-mukta who stands alone in Atman, who realizes he is transcendent and beyond transcendent, who understands, "I am pure consciousness, I am the Brahman". He feels that there is Brahman, who is full of exquisite bliss, and that he is He, he is that bliss. His mind is clear, he is devoid of worries, he is beyond egoism, beyond lust, beyond anger, beyond blemish, beyond symbols, beyond his changing body, beyond bondage, beyond reincarnation, beyond precept, beyond religious merit, beyond sin, beyond dualism, beyond three worlds, beyond nearness, beyond distant. He is the one who realizes, "I am the Brahman, I am the Brahman, Consciousness am I, Consciousness am I".
You may or may not recognize a self realized person as they may or may not meet your exact perception of what they should be, in truth anyone can be self realized because once self realization is reached while still experiencing the body, just like before there is no limit to what they are, some may fall exactly in line with who you view them, while others may appear the complete opposite externally as they have not only realized self but that self is everything, nothing, in-between, and outside of and therefore has no true guide, they will be whatever they are because that is what they are, if you have known someone before their self realization then you may notice a change or difference but you may not know what this is. That being said, a Self realized person does not have to act like a self realized person, once self is realized and there is an indifference then it is indifferent to the person if they are behaving in anyway, a self realized person may hold everything sacred so nothing is sacred in the sense that whatever is happening is an illusional change that remains the same level of sacredness as both everything and nothing, it is only knowing of self that makes someone self realized, not what they do, although it may be common for them to be as you imagine they'd be because well, they're just being like anyone else, just with that understanding of liberation from all perception.
It’s not always easy to put this into words so if there are any slips in wording interpret this the best you can to fit what you currently believe and if it evolves any then it evolves, if it doesn’t then that’s fine, this is just how I would answer this question from personal experience.
The best way is mentioned in these four verses of Srimad Bhagwatam Mahapurana (link below):
The Gita also mentions the qualities of an enlightened person as; S/he does not allow the to harbor the material frailties of lust, anger, greed, envy, etc. Only then can the mind steadily contemplate on transcendence and be fixed in the divine. If one permits the mind to brood over miseries, then the contemplation on the divine ceases and the mind is dragged down from the transcendental level. The process of torture works in the same manner. More than the present pain itself, it is the memories of past pain and apprehensions of future pain that torment the mind. But when the mind drops these two and has to simply grope with the present sensation, the pain surprisingly shrinks to a manageable (within the limits of tolerance) size. It is well known that historically Buddhist monks adopted a similar technique for tolerating torture from invading conquerors.
Similarly, if the mind craves external pleasures, it runs to the objects of enjoyment, and is again diverted from divine contemplation. So a sage of steady wisdom is one who does not allow the mind to hanker for pleasure or lament for miseries. Further, such a sage does not permit the mind to succumb to the urges of fear and anger. In this way, the mind becomes situated on the transcendental level.
Rudyard Kipling, a famous British poet, has encapsulated the essence of answer tothis question. Here are a few lines from the poem:
"...If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same… If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"
The popularity of this poem shows the natural urge in people to reach the state of enlightenment, which Shree Krishna describes to Arjun. One may wonder how an English poet expressed the same state of enlightenment that is described by the Supreme Lord. The fact is that the urge for enlightenment is the intrinsic nature of the soul. Hence, knowingly or unknowingly, everyone craves for it, in all cultures around the world. Shree Krishna is describing it here, in response to Arjun’s question.
Enlightened souls control the intellect through transcendental knowledge. Then, with the purified intellect, they control the mind, and the mind is used to bridle the senses. However, in the materially conditioned state, the reverse takes place. The senses pull the mind in their direction; the mind overpowers the intellect; and the intellect gets derailed from the direction of true welfare. Thus, Shree Krishna says that if the intellect is purified by spiritual knowledge, then the senses will be restrained; and when senses are held in check, the intellect will not be swayed from the path of divine wisdom.
The ocean is unique in its ability to maintain its undisturbed state, despite being inundated by the incessant flow of rivers into it. All the rivers of the world constantly empty themselves into the oceans, which neither overflow nor get depleted. Shree Krishna uses the word āpūryamāṇaṁ (filled from all sides) to describe that even the rivers pouring all their water during the rainy season into the ocean cannot make it flow over. Similarly, the realized sage remains quiescent and unmoved in both conditions—while utilizing sense objects for bodily necessities, or being bereft of them. Only such a sage can attain śhānti, or true peace.
When this state of God-realization is achieved, the soul is said to be jīvan mukt, or liberated even while residing in the body. Then, at the time of death, the liberated soul finally discards the corporeal body, and it reaches the Supreme Abode of God. The Rig Veda states:
tadviṣhṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśhyanti sūrayaḥ (1.22.20) [v60]
“Once the soul attains God, it always remains in union with him. After that, the ignorance of Maya can never overpower it again.” That state of eternal liberation from Maya is also called nirvāṇ, mokṣha, etc. As a result, liberation is a natural consequence of God-realization.
Ref: Shree Krishna's reply to the very famous and beautiful question by arjuna, "sthita-pragyasya ka bhasha..." (Bh.Gita chapter #2)