A Sage is one, who is perfectly established in Sanatana Dharma.
Like a diseased person displays symptoms of disease; a wealthy man speaks influentially, an alcoholic stumbles while walking, a sage too displays some striking signs.
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 their wisdom.
How can the stars estimate the magnanimity of the sky?
How can the fish estimate the dimensions of the ocean?
Similarly, the common man although blessed to know the glory of sages, cannot fathom their enitre powers.
There are a few signs of a true sage that can help us differentiate between the bogus sages from the truly enlightened ones.
Here are some 21 Most important signs one can look for-
(1) A Sage is never interested in worldly matters.
The world is just an amalgamation of distorted thoughts, opinions, and contradicting viewpoints.
One person’s view always cuts the other’s opinions and viewpoints.
Hence, after realizing the fallacy of the world, which is basically fuelled by deranged thoughts a sage consciously withdraws from worldly matters.
Thus, transcends the abode of matter.
When devotees approach him with material problems, he is least interested.
However, out of grace, a sage might show guidance to living beings, gripped by Maya.
This trait might coincide with that of bogus gurus. But, the difference lies in their intention.
A bogus sage might fan the greed levels and prompt the seeker to approach his time and again.
But, a genuine sage shows him the right path and advises him/her to just perform the Karma.
‘Leave the rest unto God’, a genuine Sage says.
Hence, he does not worry about anybody’s personal matters.
Instead, he refrains from matters related to body, wealth, property, business, etc.
(2) The Sage always keeps his attention on the Lord.
A true sage, as discussed earlier has no interest in worldly affairs.
But, the mind is such that it cannot remain without thoughts!
This might be a personal experience for you as well.
Having thoughts is not at all bad. But, having the wrong thoughts can cause great harm.
In contrast, a person who is always dawned with thoughts of Bhagawan His devotees, pastimes, glories, abode, name, etc is a sage.
It is not the other way round, that a sage always thinks about God.
Instead, anybody who thinks about God is a sage!
Going by this definition of a sage, even a householder can be a sage.
He can outpass a sanyasi who constantly looks for profits from his disciples and acquaintances.
Such a sanyasi instantly loses the position of a renunciant.
Now, let me tell you that it is difficult to become a sage in this modern world, where there are so many material objects.
In fact, even those who consciously live in Ashrama for their entire lives might not necessarily be true sages.
If worldly objects enamor such a person and even for a moment if he deviates from God, he immediately loses all the benefits of living in the renounced order of life.
His Tapasya (austerity) of living in seclusion stands rejected as he fails to walk towards his aim.
On the other hand, a true Sanyasi or a Sage is the one who realizes the futility of the world and constantly engages in the service of the Lord.
This service he might personally do for his deities or through Manas Pooja (or mental worship).
(3) A Sage cannot be gauged by ordinary living beings.
Only a clean-hearted seeker can get a glimpse of the true nature of a sage.
Otherwise, no mortal on earth can estimate the nature of a true sage.
Hence, Sadhana is the only common cord, that keeps a sincere seeker attached to the benevolent sage.
On the other hand, if a person approaches him with selfish motives, he will immediately face rejection and probably humiliation.
Such materialistic people can never get to realize a sage.
Instead every time they meet him, they shall only come back home with bitter experiences.
Sages might look different for different people. But, in reality, all of them only connects with that one supreme reality.
He has nothing to do with the world.
(4) A Sage never hankers for Power, Name, and Fame.
These trio, Power, Name, and Fame are signals of doom for a sage.
If a sanyasi or a sage, if associated with any institution where this trio are freely available to him, then know for sure, that the spiritual powers are on the verge of declining.
In a short span, the sage will no longer hold importance in the domain of God.
Common folks might celebrate him as an enlightened sage.
But, a true seeker and the Lord strongly object to such a fallen sage, saint, or a sanyasi.
Name, fame, and power are symbols of deep attachment.
They are hallmarks of the 6 vices: Lust, Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Envy, and Attachment.
Hence, instead of renouncing these vices, the mesh of Maya Devi, the Illusory Potency of the Supreme Lord, entraps him without breathing space.
He no longer remains a sage.
He becomes a businessman.
(5) A True Sage expects Support from the Lord Alone
Seva, done for a sage by a devotee, benefits the latter and not the sage.
It is done to accumulate Sukriti (or spiritual merit).
A sage is not looking for protection and support from the world.
He solely depends on God and His promise made in the Gita.
In the Gita Sri Krishna promises His dear, surrendered devotees thus:
” If a person, accepts that I am the Supreme and unconditionally surrenders unto Me, he shall no longer worry for his sustenance.
Because I take complete ownership of my surrendered devotees.
In no manner should they worry, as I take complete responsibility for their upkeep”
A pure sage is one who trusts and has potless, unshakeable faith in the Lord and His promise made to him.
Hence, he worries not the least about his upkeep.
(6) A Sage interacts by the Lord’s Will.
A true Sage is employed by the Lord Himself.
He works for the Lord’s cause
This might sound confusing to you.
Let me ask you a question now.
What balances the world and when shall imbalance occur?
The answer is: The world is still in the balance as along with evil and good people, spiritual people also exist.
Good people may either turn bad or become spiritual. They are at the transition phase.
But, bad people only become worse and spiritual people only progress in spirituality.
These form two extreme poles of the world.
Hence, retaining the balance, the sage helps the Lord.
But, in the progressing age of Kali, the rapid decline of spiritual people has become a growing concern.
Hence, by the Lord’s Will, some enlightened sages interact with society.
However, the above criteria, still remain intact.
Even though a sage might interact with society, materialism, desire, or passion, never linger around him.
The vices shall no way attract his attention.
He will never try to impress society as he constantly tries to satisfy the Lord.
Such a pure sage never rises to peaks of fame such that he disengages from the service of God.
This shall never happen. If this happens, we must conclude that it is a calculation of Karma and he needs to rework on his mind.
When he interacts with society he intends that they should spiritually prosper and gain spiritual insight.
He never prays that they become rich, or get a promotion, etc…
He does not wish material well-being for anybody as it is always short-lived.
Instead, he blesses the sincere seekers with spiritual, everlasting happiness.
Thanks for reading!