Those who are deep in meditating on God do not notice other things, and what is more, they do not feel pain. Their minds are not focused on the body, for they know that the body is different from their soul, and that it is the soul that really matters, not the body. An incident in the life of Sadasiva Brahmendra illustrates that gnanis do not feel pain.
Sadasiva Brahmendra was in a state of intense meditation. A king, who was passing by, noticed that there was a boil on the gnani’s shoulder and maggots in it.
The king wondered how the gnani could continue to meditate in that state. He then brought surgeons from the palace and asked them what could be done about the boil. They suggested that it be lanced. But even when this was done, Sadasiva Brahmendra showed no reaction.
Later, when the sage came out of his trance, the king asked him how he could have remained unflinching when the boil was removed. The answer, of course, lay in the fact that the gnani saw the body as different from the soul. Like all other realised souls, he knew that the body is not what identifies us.
The body sustains itself by eating that which is itself perishable. So, it is futile to pay so much attention to the body, Sengalipuram Rama Dikshitar said in a discourse.
In God’s creation, we are not even equal to a small atom. One day we are well; another day unwell. But to a gnani both are same.
This body is perishable, and will cease to exist one day. We might be eaten by an animal. Or we may die of other causes, and if our bodies are cremated, the body turns to ash. Why should we spend time thinking of this body and caring about it? We spend so much time choosing appropriate clothes to wear; we spend so much time adorning ourselves. Of what use is all this? Can any of these things grant us moksha?
Once we realise that we should not keep our thoughts on the body but on the soul, our journey towards liberation might be said to have begun.