Krishna sums up the yogi’s awareness thus: ‘To him who
yields to his senses, the world is like daylight. To him who
has conquered the senses, the awareness of Brahman is like
daylight.’ The yogi’s mind is unable to relish anything
worldly and revels only in the awareness of Brahman.
Nobody knows for sure how this state of mind is achieved by
some Mahans. Neither is it possible to guess what kind of
penance could bring about such a result that is characterised by tranquillity and peace of mind. The passions are subdued and the mind is engrossed only in Brahman.
In a discourse, Sri Kesava Dikshitar drew attention to the
lives of great people such as Appayya Dikshitar, Sadasiva
Brahmendra, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana
Maharishi and others who have striven in this path and
attained realisation. Appayya Dikshitar, a great yogi, a bhakta and a scholar and exponent of Advaita who belonged to the 16 century, is said to have tested the intensity of his devotion in a novel way. He was a staunch Siva devotee engaged in the worship of Siva. But he was unsure whether he really prayed or was pretending.
It is said that he once swallowed the datura seed which
could cause intoxication since he believed that one’s inner
yearnings surface without inhibitions in the mad state. He
then got his disciples to record whatever he uttered. This
turned out to be an exquisite poetic work of devotion in 50
stanzas and came to be known as the Atmarpana Stuti. It is
also known as Unmatta Panchasati and is noted for its
mysticism. The verses reflect the nature of true and ripe
devotion. Mystic awareness that reflects the inner mental
state of a great devotee in whom the ego has become fully
extinct leads to salvation.