Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner : If someone is behaving in a certain way, like he always remains peaceful, meditative, joyful and never shows anger etc. By observing these patterns, can we tell whether the person is enlightened or not?
Acharya Prashant: Totally depends, and ultimately the person has to answer this. You can give an actor sufficient money to enact all these roles, is he liberated? And he will perform these roles to perfection. He will display tremendous resilience, angerlessness (free from anger), patience, diligence, virtue. In fact he will be more peaceful than peace itself. He will look more meditative then a Buddha.
So only the fellow can tell whether he is liberated or not.
As long as there is somebody asking this question within, “Am I liberated?,” chances are that you are not liberated. You have to be liberated from this question, from the questioner itself, the beggar who keeps clamoring for liberation.
The question, “Am I liberated?” is similar to the question “Am I not liberated?”. Had you not been there, who would ask this question? It is the same as saying “I am not, I don’t exist.” If you don’t exist, then who is claiming liberation?
I often recall the days when we were kids, so there would be these huge quilts and on cold silent winter nights. Four, five or six kids all maximum 1.5 feet tall would sneak this inside these quilts just to have some little fun, some thrill, and the eldest of them would switch off the lights and then from beneath one would say, “I died” and other five would start shivering and say “OMG, he has died”. Then one would say “I am not (there)” and the other five would start scrambling “Where is he gone, where is he gone? He is not here.”
So it’s all very childish to say “I am not”. You are not, when you are not there to even say whether you are or you are not.
A guest has not arrived. Will he say “I have arrived” or will he say “I have not arrived”. He has just not arrived, he is not there. Neither would he say “I am there” nor would he say “I am not there”.
Watch the full video here.