There is no difference between body and mind, and the difference would be subtle; in other words, the body exists on a grosser level than the mind. The mind, which also matters, exists on a more subtle level.

Being composed of matter, the mind and the body are necessarily governed by the three Gunas. The Sanskrit words for the three Gunas, or the three elements which govern all nature and natural existence, are Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. When we discuss nature, we will realise that there is birth, development, decay and death within the realms of nature. These aspects of life and death exist within nature, and embodied beings or realised men like Buddha, Ramakrishna, and Ramana Maharshi. These people are subject to the laws of nature. In other words, their minds and bodies are subjected to the various workings of nature. As human beings, we who are embodied and have a bit of the mind, as far as we know it, are also subjected to the same things that the enlightened ones were subjected to.


Regarding enlightenment, the reference is put more on the third aspect of man, the spiritual part. In other words, man has the body, he has the mind, and he has the Spirit.

For the enlightened being, his residence, his entirety, is mainly based on the spiritual level, whereby he would not care to any significant degree about his mind or his body. He lives in a state of its own which we could call the transcendent state. One thing is sure the transcendent state, which is the Spirit, does permeate the mind and the body, but the permeation must go through these various facets of nature and the elements that govern nature.

In our eyes, these enlightened people seem to neglect the gross body because they live on a much higher plane than the person living in the body itself. By that, we mean that when a person lives in the body only, he lives in the sensual body. The sensual body is the body which is expressed by the five senses we have – seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and hearing. But these enlightened beings do not care for the sensual self. The sensual selves of their beings are of no importance to them or assume no significance whatsoever. That is the difference between the ordinary average man and the enlightened man. The typical average man lives within his senses only, primarily on a finer level of the mind or on the physical level. The enlightened being has gone beyond the requirements of the senses and the workings of the senses. His existence, the enlightened being, is beyond mind and body. The enlightened person finds that the workings of nature are transient; they are temporary, while the life he lives in the transcendent, in the Spirit, is permanent. He has found within himself the calmness of the ocean, beneath the sea, deep down in the ocean, while the workings of nature are nothing but the turbulence which forms the waves on the sea.


He, too, has gone through the waves that are on the surface and has gone deeper down into the realm, or the depths, where the workings of the Gunas, Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva are not important. For us, they are essential because Tamas, Rajas and Sattva, the three elements which compose nature, have to be there for us and to aid us in our evolution. In evolution, we are not eradicating or destroying Tamas, which could be called inertia. We are not destroying Rajas, the activating factor, and we are not destroying Sattva either. We are trying to allow Sattva, the finer element of nature, in other words, the Light, to dominate our lives. By Light dominating the lives, the inertia or darkness, in other words, Tamas, is not destroyed but subdued.


That is the average man on his path to progression, on his path to reach his maker. This is the path the average man has to travel until he has reached the finest sattvic value, the finest light value, the finest relative value of his life. Then he goes beyond that finest relative to become one with the Absolute, which is his Spirit. The enlightened man typically lives in that plane beyond Tamas, Rajas and Sattva or somewhat beyond the workings of the laws of nature. He is beyond all nature. Sometimes, we call enlightened beings a law unto themselves. When a person becomes a law unto himself or beyond all laws that govern the physical or the material universe, he ceases to care for his body.

From our eyes, Ramakrishna or Ramana Maharshi, who both suffered from cancer, might seem in great pain. Still, they might be experiencing the finest ecstasy or the most profound ecstasy, which we call Bliss. They were suffering from our point of view, but from their point of view, the suffering was just a play. They were the ocean, and the suffering was just waves upon the surface because they had transcended the surface waves and become one with the ocean’s depths, which is the core and true nature of every human being.


I have always said that the nature of man is Divine. Those enlightened beings are called enlightened beings because they have reached Divinity and live in it. When you have tasted of supreme Bliss, when you have tasted nectar, which in Sanskrit is called Amrit, then these little teaspoonfuls of sugar do not matter because the teaspoonfuls of sugar also contain another element. To recognise the sweetness of sugar, you have to know something bitter. To know pleasure, one has to know pain. To understand what is white, one has to know what is black. To know sunshine, one has to know rain. This necessarily presupposes the law of opposites. All these things are still within the realms of nature, and all these laws of opposites compose what we know as nature.


These enlightened beings are beyond the law of opposites and dwell in Bliss’s absolute plane. Because they have gone beyond the very law of opposites, this same law of pleasure and pain becomes non-existent to them.

The human body is composed of various chemical substances, and it is composed of billions and billions of cells which obey these multiple laws. So, the one that is beyond the law of opposites and experiences bliss, why should he be concerned with the law of opposites? Whatever happens to the body is not essential to him or assumes no importance whatsoever because he does not feel the heat and does not feel the cold. He does not feel the pain, and he does not feel the pleasure because he is now in that state which is Bliss, the indescribable state of Bliss.


So, we find that these enlightened men do not care for their bodies, having gone beyond the law of opposites. For example, you put on a suit, and the suit might find a tear on the coat or the pants or whatever, and you are not going to be disturbed by it so great; you say it is torn, and you put on another suit. To them, this body and this mind which is part of the material existence, assume no importance. They know that the value of mind and body is very transitory. Once a person dwells within the eternal and becomes eternity itself, what is the value of the transitory, the secular, and the impermanent? Once you have a million pounds in the bank, you will not stand in the street begging for pennies. To the enlightened man, the mind and body do not matter. To the mind, the body does not matter, and to the body, the mind is of no consequence whatsoever. That is why we find that people in the enlightened state do not suffer at all, and they throw their bodies to the wind. In other words, by throwing the body to the winds, they maintain that that which is composed of natural elements, the material field of existence is subjected to life, birth, decay and death. And being beyond that, it is of no concern whatsoever.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1976 – 10