Difference Between Liberated and Realized Souls
[Shri. G. Lakshman asked about the difference between the realized soul and the liberated soul.]
Swami Replied: Realization is theoretical knowledge of the concept where as liberation is the practical implementation of the same concept. These two words can mean knowledge of some concept and the process of releasing of something bound by some other thing respectively. Realization is used in general as the knowledge of some forgotten truth and liberation also can mean release of an animal from the chains by which it is bound. In the spiritual knowledge, these two words have to be applied to the required context about which you are concerned. The causal body (soul) is superimposed on the external gross body and the internal subtle body. When the soul gets rid of these two superimpositions and realizes its own nature of pure awareness, it is called as realization according to the Advaitin. The Advaitin is concerned only about the realization of the self and hence you cannot use this word in any other context. Similarly for the Advaitin liberation means the release of the soul from the illusions of the superimpositions of itself on the subtle and gross bodies. The Advaitin is limiting himself to these contexts only and hence these two words cannot be used in any other context. For an ignorant villager these two words are limited only to his specific context. For him realization means finding out the location of an agricultural tool, which he had forgotten some time ago. For him liberation means releasing the cow from its chains and sending it into the field. You cannot bring the context of the Advaitin to the context of the villager and vice versa. Therefore the realized soul and the liberated soul stand for certain specified contexts as per the scope of the observer. However, if you are interested in knowing these two words in the context of the final spiritual knowledge, the meanings are different. In the final level of spiritual knowledge, the realized soul is that soul which realizes that the unimaginable God is in a particular living human form. Realization means the knowledge of some forgotten concept. But God is always unknowable and hence there is no point of forgetting and realizing the forgotten nature of the God. Only in the case of a knowable item does the word realization have its application. Therefore, realization of absolute God is impossible and hence, words like the knowledge of Brahman (Brahma Jnana) or education about God (Brahma Vidya) are meaningless in the absolute sense. But these words exist and the sense of such words is to be explained. The unknowable God enters and charges the medium like electric current entering a metallic wire to give the knowledge about His existence and not to give the knowledge about His nature. Hence these words must mean the knowledge of the medium in which the unknowable Brahman exists (Astityeva…—Veda). Brahman or God always enters the common medium of human beings so that God can mix freely with and also preach to human beings through the human body. Therefore, the knowledge of the existenceof Brahman in the living human body of a particular incarnation is Brahma Jnana or Brahma Vidya, which is complete only when the contemporary human incarnation is recognized. Therefore, realization means the recognition of the contemporary human incarnation alone. To please the Lord in such a living human form, practical devotion (service) is necessary. Such service is seen in your family bonds [You practically serve your family in this manner]. The service in the family bonds shows your real attraction to those bonds. When your service is diverted from the family bonds to God in the living human form, you are a liberated soul and the liberation is from your family bonds. For such liberation, the realization of the living human form of God must be the reason (Before all this, you must be liberated from the illusion that your own self is God). Without this reason, if the soul is liberated from the worldly bonds, it is just in the state of a stone. All the Advaitins who fix themselves in the state of pure awareness or life-energy without mind (subtle body) are just like plants in human form. All the Avadhutas who are just in the state of deep sleep without even a trace of awareness of anything are just stones in human form. All these are souls who are liberated from worldly bonds but since they are not realized souls, there is no use of such liberation. Such permanent liberation from the worldly bonds and such permanent realization of the self is again due to your constant prayer to God in which you rigidly requested Him to grant such permanent liberation and He finally granted His grace. God grants your request since you are rigid in your foolish desire. Otherwise, such liberation and such realization without the grace of God are only momentary. Shankara also stressed on God’s grace to get such permanent realization, which was called as a vasana (Pumsam Advaita Vasana). The word vasana here means the strong and permanent feeling of realization. The realized soul without liberation is an incapable theorist and a liberated soul without realization is an inert practical example [or lifeless model]. Both are useless. Hanuman and the Gopikas are real realized and liberated souls who recognized the contemporary human incarnation and they were liberated from the worldly bonds for the sake of such living human forms of God. Realization without liberation is like lameness and liberation without realization is like blindness. Duryodhana was neither realized nor liberated soul. Dhritarashtra was a realized soul, who recognized Krishna as God but he was not liberated from the bond with his son. The Pandavas were realized souls who recognized Krishna as God but their liberation from worldly bonds was almost complete, but not fully complete. The reason for the little deficiency in the liberation was only a little deficiency in their realization. Therefore, if the realization is without any doubt, determination will result in practice and the liberation will become complete. Dharmaraja knew that Krishna was the incarnation of Lord Narayana. His concept was that Krishna was one percent human being and ninety nine percent Narayana. According to Dharmaraja, Narayana was hundred percent justice. When Krishna asked him to tell a lie, Dharmaraja thought that the one percent human being is asking him to tell the lie. According to him, Narayana is hundred percent sattvam, which is good quality. Therefore, Narayana is hundred percent good. Krishna is also good everywhere except in this instance. Therefore Dharmaraja thought that Krishna is only ninety nine percent Narayana. Therefore he refused to tell the lie. This little fault in the realization, led him to slip a little from full liberation and hence he could not liberate himself from the bond of justice. The reason for this deficiency is in the knowledge about God and also the knowledge about the qualities. No single quality can have isolated existence. God is beyond all the three qualities. He is beyond sattvam also and therefore beyond justice (Sarva dharman…—Gita, Punya Pape vidhuya…—Veda). Thus realization becomes complete only when the divine knowledge is perfect and therefore God in human form (Satguru or Guru Datta) is giving stress on the propagation of the true divine knowledge. In fact Krishna was hundred percent Narayana and one percent human being. (Manushim Tanumaashritam) This means that the full Lord Narayana entered into the human being and therefore the total Krishna is hundred plus one and not hundred. Since the one percent human being is relatively true, in the absolute plane, Krishna is also hundred percent Narayana. Even in Narayana, Rajas and Tamas co-exist as traces, which can also predominate whenever it is required in the divine game. For example the same Lord Narayana became Narasimha in whom Rajas (anger) came out to almost hundred percent. In fact Narayana is also hundred plus one because the hundred percent God entered the one percent human energetic form. Since energy and matter are one and the same according to science (E=mc2) the human body or the energetic body is only one percent.
At The Lotus Feet of JagadGuru Dattaswami!!!