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How A Self Realized Person Faces Death Of Family Member?

Sri Ramakrishna spoke of a great jnani who lost his only son. He was known to be very fond of the boy and always treated him with great love and kindness. But when the son died, to the great astonishment of his wife and friends, the jnani showed no signs of sorrow and regret. At last his wife asked him how he could be so hard-hearted as not to shed a tear at the burial of his only child. And then the jnani said, ‘Why should I give way to grief?

Last night I dreamt that I was married and had six beautiful and loving boys. They were the joy of my heart, my greatest treasures. While we were living happily together an epidemic broke out and carried off my sons, one by one.

Then I awoke. And now I have been wondering whether I should lament the death of my six sons or that of my one son. As last night’s experience was a dream, so is this life but a dream.’ As the waking state destroys the dream and reveals it as a delusion, so in samadhi we wake up from this life-dream and its delusion is destroyed.

This is the strength of the jnani. But that is not possible for the ordinary man, who identifies himself with the mind and the body. Only a sage can feel this strength — a sage who has realized the unreality of everything that is not the Spirit, and who has known himself to be that Spirit. He who knows that he is neither the body nor the mind, has seen himself as separate from these — only he is free and beyond sorrow. Freedom and bondage are both in the mind. In the same body man is free and man is bound. The free man and the bound man are both living in the same body. The Real man and the apparent man are both in us. They are one and the same really, the one being only a reflection, as it were, of the other.