In many Eastern traditions it is believed that once a person is fully Self-Realized or Enlightened, he or she attains complete perfection and becomes omniscient and all knowing about three periods of time (past, present, and the future) anywhere in the entire universe. What would be Sri Ramana Maharshi’s view on this? Was Sri Ramana really all knowing and perfect in every way?
To such a question, Sri Ramana would say that first you become Self-Realized and then you can see for yourself what that state of fullness of Self is. Like Buddha in the old days, Bhagavan Ramana was generally silent in face of such questions and did not encourage them.
In the way that he acted, spoke, and lived, Bhagavan Ramana did not give any impression of being all knowing or made such claims for himself. Even when devotees attributed miracles to Bhagavan, he was indifferent. Once Bhagavan did say that the “Self is the infinite eye.” But he was always very keen to point out that Self-Realization is not knowing anything special, but simply being your Self.
You rightly point out that that in many Eastern and yogic spiritual traditions, a fully Self-Realized person is thought to be perfect and “all knowing”. However, Advaita philosophy views such issues to be moot in relationship to Self-Realization.
In Advaita, a Jnani (Self-Realized person) does not acquire any external knowledge or expertise in quantum mechanics, physics, other sciences, art, literature, or anything like that. To have knowledge of something, we must presume an object of knowledge that is separate from the Self. However, in Advaita, Self is One without a second. Therefore, knowing something other than Self does not make any sense.
Great Yogis can know anything through concentration, meditation, and Samadhi. This is the process of samayama explained in the ancient Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. However, when the mind of a Yogi is bent on Self-Realization alone, and turns inward to its source, the mind along with its powers is resolved in that source, which is the Heart. That is Brahman.
The great Advaitic Mahavakya, “Aham Brahmasmi” means, “I Myself Am Brahman”, One without a second. Therefore, the question of “knowing” something truly becomes moot in Advaita.
The scriptures say, “Know That by which all else is known”. There is very deep meaning in that. We know the entire reality of perceptions only through our own consciousness. We could travel trillions of light years to other galaxies and universes, but the fundamental issue of perception and how we “know” the “other” would still remain.
I have tried to explain the difference between the Science of Self-Realization and the other physical sciences in the following article.