The goal is experienced by the Mahatmas as Existence, Consciousness and Bliss—Bliss (as Shankaracharya says) undisturbed by any pain or sorrow whatsoever.
The full realization is depicted in the poems of Swami Rama Tirtha in clear and direct terms, without any ambiguity whatever.
The poems show in life and direct experience what has here been only theoretically sketched in.
If any one wants to know what is the experience of the Mahatmas, let him read the testimony of one of the greatest of them, which is embodied in the following poem.
The breeze of Spring has turned the buds into blossoms ;
The clouds have passed by
Having sprinkled the earth with raindrops ;
The roses are caressed by the light of the moon.
A youthful woman, full of enchanting grace and joy
Meets me in the solitude
And approaches smiling, looking at me.
But the magic of beauty and youth
Make no impression on the Yogi
Who has burn up pleasure-desires in one great thought.
How could she hold a candle to the sun ?
She withdrew covered with shame.
I am the life of all youth ;
I am the beauty of the sun and moon.
Thousands had come to worship and to serve,
The King was waving the fan over my head,
The Ministers lovingly washed my feet—
Many adorers were there.
“You are the greatest incarnation,
” they cried ; I laughed at their adoration ;
“ Not only great but small too am I,
I am all—do not limit me.”
They assail me with their pleasantries,
They hurl veiled invectives,
They throw stones at me.
My face bleeds, my head is wounded,
But still a smile plays on my lips ;
For I am the life of this play,
I support this game as well.
Mid-night in January ; darkness everywhere ;
The Himalayan snows cover the land.
A fresh storm breaks—it ceases
And the strong, cold biting wind blows.
My body shakes like a willow,
But there is strength in my heart and laughter in my eyes,
For I am the life of the cold,
I am the energy of the elements.
A lovely forest, full of wonders !
In search of food I gaze around me, and lo !
My eyes fall on a wandering lion ;
I look at him steadily—he turns quietly away.
Divinity expresses Itself through the eye.
I am the energy of lions,
I am the life in all.
The boat is caught in a storm ;
The wind races with tremendous speed ;
Breakers crash to right and left,
and lightening strikes here and there.
I stand smiling, holding the mast like a flute,
courage ruling my heart,
I am the life of the storm ;
I am the foundation of the elements.
Dysentery and fever shake the body,
But like a rare wine the spiritual experience revives me.
I sing, defying illness,
The body is a line on water,
If it dies I am not affected,
Because I am the water.
I am the forms and figures of the world,
I am Rama, the life of all.