Ramana Maharshi expressed this sentiment in a discourse from January
1938, published in
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. He
quotes and comments on a traditional Scripture known as the
One should not be deceived by the external
appearance of a jnani
[Self-Realized Sage]. Thus Vedantachudamani
(verse 181). Its meaning is as follows:
Although a jivanmukta [liberated man] associated with body may, owing to his prarabdha [the karma given to one which is to be worked out through living], appear to lapse into ignorance or wisdom, yet he is only pure like the ether [akasa] which is always itself clear, whether covered by dense clouds or cleared of clouds by currents of air. He always revels in the Self alone, like a loving wife taking pleasure with her husband alone, though she attends on him with things obtained from others (by way of fortune, as determined by her prarabdha). Though he remains silent like one devoid of learning, yet his supineness is due to the implicit duality of the vaikhari vak [spoken words] of the Vedas; his silence is the highest expression of the realised non-duality which is after all the true content of the Vedas.
Though he instructs his disciples, yet he does not pose as a teacher in the full conviction that the teacher and disciple are mere conventions born of illusion [maya], and so he continues to utter words (like akasvani); if on the other hand he mutters words incoherently like a lunatic, it is because his experience is inexpressible like the words of lovers in embrace. If his words are many and fluent like those of an orator, they represent the recollection of his experience, since he is the unmoving non-dual One without any desire awaiting fulfillment. Although he may appear grief-stricken like any other man in bereavement, yet he evinces just the right love of and pity for the senses which he earlier controlled before he realised that they were mere instruments and manifestations of the Supreme Being. When he seems keenly interested in the wonders of the world, he is only ridiculing the ignorance born of superimposition. If he appears indulging in sexual pleasures, he must be taken to enjoy the ever-inherent Bliss of the Self, which, divided Itself into the individual self and the Universal Self, delights in their reunion to regain Its original Nature. If he appears wrathful he means well to the offenders. All his actions should be taken to be only divine manifestations on the plane of humanity. There should not arise even the least doubt as to his being emancipated while yet alive. He lives only for the good of the world.
Sri Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] now warned the hearers against the mistake of disparaging a jnani for his apparent conduct and again cited the story of Parikshit. He was a still-born child. The ladies cried and appealed to Sri Krishna to save the child. The sages round about wondered how Krishna was going to save the child. . . Krishna said, “If the child be touched by one eternally celibate (nityabrahmachari) the child would be brought to life.” Even Suka dared not touch the child. Finding no one among the reputed saints bold enough to touch the child, Krishna went and touched it, saying, “If I am eternally celibate may the child be brought to life.” The child began to breathe and later grew up to be Parikshit.
Just consider how Krishna surrounded by 16,000 gopis is a brahmachari! Such is the mystery of the jivanmukta! A jivanmukta is one who does not see anything separate from the Self.