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.