In verse 931 of Guru Vachaka Kovai, Sri Ramana Maharshi says:
931. “The mukta [‘liberated sage’] like the rest of us perceives the world in all its vast variety and yet he sees non-difference in it”, so people say. This is not true.
Tom: the idea that the liberated sage still perceives differences ‘like the rest of us’ but perceives an underlying unity despite various objects being seen is here being refuted. Let us see Sri Sadhu Om’s commentary on Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 931:
Sri Sadhu Om: People have many wrong conceptions about the state of a Jnani or Jivanmukta, and one such misconception is refuted here. “What people see as water, the Jivanmukta also sees as water, and what they see as food, He also sees as food. Therefore, in His experience of sense-objects, the Jivanmukta is the same as other people. But even while the Jivanmukta thus sees these differences, He sees the non-difference in them” – are there not many pandits and lecturers who talk and write thus, even though they themselves have no experience of Advaita but have only read about it in books?
But who is the proper authority to say what is the actual experience of a Jivanmukta? Only a real Jivanmukta! Thus Bhagavan Sri Ramana, who has actually experienced the reality and who is the true Loka Maha Guru, declares in this verse that such statements are wrong, and in the next verse He explains how and why they are wrong.’
~Sri Sadhu Om
Tom: Let us see the next verse:
932. Those who mistakenly perceive the variegated universe believe the mukta [‘liberated sage’] too is a perceiver like them. But he is not the perceiver.
Tom: ie. Taking yourself, in ignorance, to be a perceiver and doer, one also, in ignorance, takes the sage to be a perceiver and doer. The sage is not a perceiver! The sage is not a doer! It is just a projection of ignorance that views ‘a sage’ in this way, as a human being or individual person. Again let us see Sri Sadhu Om’s comments:
Sri Sadhu Om: Verse 119 of this work should again be read here. So long as one sees oneself as an individual who sees the world of differences, one cannot but see the Jnani likewise as an individual who sees differences. But since the jnani is in fact nothing but the bodiless and individuality-less Jnana Itself [Tom: ie. in reality we not a human being or body-mind entity at all – we are in fact Spirit, or the Bodiless Atman-Brahman], to see Him as a seer and to believe that even He is seeing differences like oneself, is true only in the outlook of ajnanis.
The absolute truth, however, is that the Jnani is not a seer and that He never sees any differences, for as Sri Bhagavan says in verse 13 of Ulladu Narpadu, “Knowledge of multiplicity is only ignorance [ajnana]”. Thus in the above two verses Sri Bhagavan clearly refutes the wrong idea expressed in the note at the end of the introduction to Sat-Darshana-Bhashya, 6th ed. pp. 35 to 38, namely the idea that a Jnani or liberated soul retains His individuality in spite of the destruction of the ego, and that He “perceives diversity in unity and experiences unity in diversity”.
Regarding this erroneous theory of bheda-abheda or unity in diversity, Sri Bhagavan used to say that if the least difference or diversity is perceived, it means that the ego or individuality is there, so if difference is experienced, non-difference or unity would merely be a theoretical proposition and not an actual experience.
~ Sri Sadhu Om