Characteristics of a True Sage in Hinduism

What is a sage

Signs of a True Sage

Many times people ask, what is a sage or who is a sage?

So, today in this article I shall share with you the life sketch of an elevated sage whose life is in alignment with this statement of the Ramcharitmanas.

The Ram Charit Manas says the following about true sages.

The axe cuts the sandalwood tree into pieces. 

But in return, the sandalwood gives its fragrance to the axe.

This is the generosity of the sandalwood tree.

The tree loses its existence but still grants its perfume to the axe that cuts it.

In the same lines, a true sage is one who shows compassion on the person who tries to harm him.

The sage is ever concerned for the welfare of other people and is ready to give himself up, for the sake of society.

There was such a sage who lived in the Himalayas.

The Himalayan Yogi

He was such a sage, that he would forgive all the wrong-doers and accept them with open arms.

One should remember that although a sage forgives the wrong-doer, the Lord does not pardon such a wrong-doer easily.

This is because the sage lives in the heart of the Lord and the one who hurts the sage is the sworn enemy of the Lord.

Such is the Lord’s disposition against the wrong-doers who harasses a sage.

The Lord never tolerates a single word spoken against His devotee because the Lord is extremely possessive about His lovers.

The Quality of Forgiveness in a Spiritual Teacher

There was a certain man who spoke ill about the Himalayan Sage.

He spoke and wrote maliciously against the sage and spread rumors about him.

On knowing this, the great sage simply smiled and forgave the wrong-doer unconditionally.

The sad part was that the Lord never forgives such a wrong-doer.

The mother of the wrongdoer was a devotee of the great sage and never approved of her son’s wrongdoings.

Once, the mother and son entered into a scuffle and in the fight that followed, the mother sprinkled acid on the son’s face, out of anger.

The son became blind, as a result of the acid attack.

Here was a man who was punished by the stick of Providence, at the hands of his own mother.

But, the Himalayan Yogi was such that he would always praise his enemies.

He would remember only their good habits or actions and praise them, instead of showing them down.

The sage did not praise his enemies as a tactic, but his behavior simply reflected what was in his heart.

Many times, owing to this habit of the Himalayan Sage, many wrongdoers changed their path and gave up their vile character.

So, the Himalayan sage’s words and actions often had a transformational effect on the people.

Signs of a True Guru


Once, a vile character picked up goods from a shop in the name of the Himalayan Sage.

This man would tell the shopkeeper, ” I am picking up the goods from here, on the instructions of the Himalayan Sage residing on top of the Mountain.

So he shall pay your bill.” He repeated this act many times over.

Whenever the shopkeeper visited the sage’s monastery and asked the Sage about the bill payment, the sage would pay up the bill without further delay.

The sage would carefully collect small donations of the village folk and keep them at the temple inside his small monastery.

Whenever this shopkeeper came by and asked for money, he would pay up without raising any concern against the wrong-doer.

This went on for a while.

The vile man would cook up new stories and pick up the goods from the shop and place the bill on Sage’s head.

The Himalayan Yogi (Sage) would promptly pay up the shopkeeper without any complaints.

But somehow, the truth became evident.

The shopkeeper then narrated the incident to the vile man and gave him a piece of his heart, as he praised the kind, Himalayan Yogi.

He reprimanded the vile man for all his wrongdoings and said that the Lord would never forgive him for harassing a Sage.

The vile man felt ashamed for his deeds after this incident.

He made himself available at the Monastery and fell prostrate at the Himalayan Sage’s feet and begged for forgiveness.

The Himalayan Yogi’s  Experience with his Guru


The Himalayan Yogi was blessed to receive initiation at a very young age from his Guru.

His Guru took  special interest in serving mendicants, sages, Yogis and spent most of his time in Sadhu Seva.

His monastery reverberated with the sweet mellows of Love.

On one such occasion, his Guru invited him to join him to his own Ashram.

Both the Guru and disciple spent some great days of Sadhu Seva together.

His Guru introduced him as his favorite disciple, to all the assembled guests, especially the Bairagis, Mendicants, and Sadhus being served at the Guru’s Ashram .

He also traveled to Delhi with his favorite disciple (The Himalayan Yogi) and also introduced him to another sage who was an adept Yoga Teacher.

That other sage was an advanced Yoga Teacher, training and guiding people on the spiritual path.

He was always drowned in the ecstatic experiences of the Kundalini Awakening Process and would undergo many Kriyas or automatic gestures of Yoga.

The Sage receives Priceless Possessions

He wrote down his personal experiences of Deep Meditation, and shared his spiritual experiences in his personal diary.

He handed over a copy of that personal book to this Himalayan Yogi.

This priceless transcendental work filled the Himalayan Yogi with Pure Bliss.

The Himalayan Sage could not measure his good fortune and mercy conferred on him, unasked.

He writes ” The documented experiences that I have received from the elevated Yoga Master is my wealth.

I am a miser trying to hoard this infinite wealth conferred on Me as it reveals the secrets of energy channels to enter the Infinite spiritual energy field.

I try to count this wealth carefully, penny by penny, safeguarding myself from the vision of the World.”

He also received personal guidance on Kundalini Awakening and Yoga also from his own spiritual preceptor, guru.

In return for his services rendered to his guru, he received the footwear of his guru, which is considered as a venerable article in the spiritual field.

Thus, throughout his experiences with his guru and the Yoga Teacher, the Himalayan Sage got his senior’s articles that could accelerate his own  journey towards enlightenment.

Final Instructions of  the Guru


The Himalayan Sage received special instructions from his Master (Guru), that he should go to the Ashram of the Advanced Yoga Teacher,  located in Delhi.

This was the same Ashram that he visited along with his Guru.

So, very frequently he would go to the ashram where he got to associate with the Yoga teacher.

There he learnt the Secrets of the Universe and Enlightenment.

The Sage’s Guru Departs

Once when he had returned from the Ashram to his monastery, at night, he saw his spiritual preceptor in a dream, addressing him.

His Guru said, ” I am going to take Mahasamadhi.

Always follow my instructions and spend time meditating and doing your spiritual practices.

Try to spread this secret of Yoga and enlightenment to as many people you meet.”

After saying these words, his Guru disappeared.

This vision disturbed the Himalayan Sage.

His Master was very well on the earthly plane, so why did he get such a dream?

He did not feel inspired to contact his Guru.

But on the third day of the dream, he received the news of His Guru’s departure, Mahasamadhi.

So, the grieved Himalayan Sage arrived at his Guru’s Ashram and held celebrations, on the occasion of his master’s ascension.

It is customary in the Indian Tradition that when a Sage departs, there are celebrations all around.

People are happy at one level that their Master has joined the Lord in the Spiritual realm.

Quite the contrary, people weep, when an ordinary relative dies, because there is no surety as to where this entity has gone.

This man is gone forever.

But, for a sage, his after-death destination is known before time. This then is the time to rejoice for the disciples.

So, these are the qualities of a true sage.

Thanks for reading!