Clarity of vision

Relationships, such as father, mother, son or relative in

the home atmosphere, or master, servant or colleague

in theworkplace, form the basis of an individual’s

experience. But just as a dream sequence is lost on

waking, these are cut ofwhen one gains jnana, says

the BrihadharanyakaUpanishad. This is the viveka

jnana spoken of by Adi Sankarawhen he urges people

to see theworkings of samsara in the proper light and

asks in the Bhaja Govinda, “Who is the wife? Who is

the son?” Such probing alone can dispel Avidya and

make one see all relationships as illusory and nonexistent.

But statements or sentiments that nullify

human relationships uttered by individuals in anger or

intense feelings are not to be confused with that of a

jnani, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a

discourse. In the Ramayana, Sumantra is entrusted

with the task of driving Rama, Sita and Lakshmana out

of Ayodhya to the banks of the Ganga, fromwhence

theywould begin their period of exile.With great

anguish, Sumantra parts with them and carries their

messages back to sorrow-stricken Dasaratha.

Lakshmana’s message in this context is of an unkind

nature to the king.

Lakshmana does not mincewords to express his

anger and disappointment towards Dasaratha.He

claims that Dasaratha is no longer his father and that

this relationship is null and void. It is obvious that

Lakshmana is not speaking from the state of a jnani or

a jivanmukta at this point. The mind is the link

between the states of jnana and ignorance. Like a drop

ofwater on a lotus leaf, a jnani remains detached from

thisworld.He is said to be a realised soul.