A Sage is one, who is perfectly established in Sanatana Dharma. Just like there are symptoms of disease in a person; just like, from the mannerisms of a person, his lifestyle and behaviour patterns are known, we can make out that the person is a wealthy man just by the talk of a person; or we come to know through the walk of a person that he has consumed alcohol, one may also be able to recognize a sage symptomatically. However it is not possible to understand any true sage entirely. Sages are mystics and the common man is not wise or incisive enough to estimate the wisdom of the sage. How can the stars estimate the magnanimity of the sky? How can the fish estimate the dimensions of the ocean? Similarly although the common man can see that the sage is elevated, he cannot fathom the glory of a sage. There are a few symptoms of the sage, which any man can look for, in a sage. Here are some symptoms, one can look for
(1) The sage is never interested in matters relating to the world. He does not worry about anybody’s personal matters and refrains from matters related to body.
(2) The sage always keeps his attention on the Lord. His words and mannerisms will only reflect the glory of the Lord.
(3) Other than topics of self-realization and the Lord, the sage shall not have any other interest, although depending on the foolishness of the man assessing, the person may misinterpret the actions or words of the sage and feel that the sage is interested in some matters of the world!
(4) The sage will never associate with people in positions of power, for the sake of his institution or any other social welfare activity.
(5) The sage shall wholly depend on the Lord and shall only be interested in the service of the Lord.
(6) Other than the service of the Lord, the sage has no other intentions within the world.
(7) A sage will speak and interact with people only for the pleasure of the Lord.
(8) The sage is never interested in position, possession and above all, he is not interested in extending his disciple base.
(9) The sage shall serve as a guide to people, if at all, as a matter of service to the Lord and he has no vested interests.
(10) A sage shall never involve himself in social matters or social functions like marriage or holding spiritual programs etc.
(11) A sage is one with immaculate wisdom and understanding. He is capable of providing solutions to problems, but the solutions will always be in line with spirituality wherein truth shall never be compromised with.
(12) The humility of a sage in unparalleled. The sage never displays pomp and splendor and always considers himself as a servitor. This is his greatest virtue.
(13) A sage is essentially a person without any personality. His personality is formless and he can change his persona based on time, place and circumstance. However this aspect of the sage is mystical and ordinary souls can never fathom this nature of the sage-mystic.
(14) The sage is utterly selfless and without any personal agenda. He never considers anybody as his own and hence has an equal eye for all beings.
(15) The sage is a person, whose only commitment is to Truth. He has no favorites and is against none. He is utterly motiveless.
(16) The sage is the master of his senses. He is unmoved by lust and at the same time very vigilant with his senses. Any person who shows a bent of interest or expresses enthusiasm to interact and influence others, can never be a sage.
(17) The A class sage is not interested in promoting God. The sage established in the Self gets involved with activity, only by the will of the Supreme Lord. Evangelism or promotion of God, cannot be the occupation of such a sage, although the sage’s intentions and prayers shall be to see that every living entity as a devotee of the Lord. The sage may however take up tasks by the inspiration of God for the satisfaction of the Lord. This is also a point of mysticism. Only another elevated being who is directly connected with God can read the sage. In these matters, the sage cannot be understood by the common man.
(18) Although the sage is intuitive, sharp and shrewd, compassion is inherent in him. His eyes and mannerisms shall only convey the language of love and well-being.
(19) When one talks with a man and the man is absolutely disinterested in any matter and yet presents himself in utter humility, which moves one’s soul, one should understand that one is in conversation with a sage.
(20) A sage is a being of utter renunciation. The sage is undeterred and cannot be influenced by the forces of this world of matter and materialistic emotions.
(21) A sage cannot be identified by his dress or decorations on his forehead. However when one is reminded of God and the uselessness of the world of matter on meeting a stranger, it will be safe to conclude that one is meeting up with a sage.