The dream of this universe lasts until duality lasts. There’s a beautiful example to explain how Jeevanmuktas seem to function like everyone else: if you suddenly come across a snake while walking along a road– your whole body starts shivering and heart starts pumping extra blood to make you ready for action. If upon being closely examined this snake is found to be actually a rope which was mistaken for a snake from afar or because of faulty vision a great sigh of relief is experienced but all the reactions which got triggered earlier don’t totally disappear immediately after the realization. The main difference between before and now is in the fact that you’re no longer active with the idea that there is a danger ahead. You no longer prepare yourself consciously and since an inert rope is no cause for alarm or any action you simply pass along with an air of detachment.
This is how Jeevanmuktas function in the world. The feeling of being in a body(Dehatma-buddhi) is there but it’s not their only body in the sense whole universe is their body. The forces which had set the creation of body into the motion take care of the body until they’re exhausted. Those who look for meaning into existence might consider that the power which looks after universe ensures that the body-mind fulfill the need for which they were created even in case of Jeevanmukta. Classical sources use terms like Avarna Shakti(Veiling Power) and Vikshepa Shakti(Disturbing Power) as the names of the forms of Avidya(Maya) responsible for bondage. In case of Jeevanmuktas Avarna Shakti becomes devoid of its power and the veil which separated Self and ego is severed. Vikshepa Shakti is the cause of duality which is still there after awakening and it can be compared to the reactions which started when the rope was misconceived to be a snake. Avarna Shakti causes unhappiness and Vikshepa Shakti causes restlessness. When Self is realized the seeking stops and doubts disappear but restlessness remains until duality remains.
Thus the difference between a Jnani and a normal person is only in the attitude. The normal person considers himself to be the body-mind and acts in the interest of body-mind and immediate relatives/friends. Mumukshu starts being active about interests of others as well but constant reminders in the forms of religious or moral teachings are needed. Jnani doesn’t consider himself to be merely body-mind even for a moment. Whole universe is his body-mind and everything is his own Self, though, in behavior he might seem like quirky genius at times–never for a moment does he get attached to appearances or acts out of self(body-mind) interests. This clarity of unity of everything is so profound and spontaneous in case of Jnani that there is no need of referring to religious or moral authorities at any times for him though he might use them to explain matters to those with doubts. The religious or moral texts have been created from what has flown out of hearts of Jnanis.
For Jnani there’s no ego and hence no Prarabdha but since body-mind seem to be active like everyone else’s the example of rope-snake is given. Maharishi Ramana also used terms Bhoga-hetu vasanas and Bandha-hetu vasanas. It might be said that Karma-vectors inside Jeevanmuktas chitta are like burnt seeds which can’t bear any fruits. There can’t be any future births or karmic repercussions for Jnani because of Bhoga-hetu vasanas, whereas Bandha-hetu vasanas which are active before liberation can cause further attachment and future births.
Out of three states of waking, sleep and dream the latter is feeling merging in the Self under the influence of darkness but in case of Jnani this deep peace remains even in the waking state(minus tamas) thus Jnani’s waking state is called Jagrit-Sushupti. Bhagvad Geeta’s following verse talks about this:
या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || Chapter-2.69||
Translation: What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.
The normal waking state is like darkness for a sage-because throngs of pleasure and pain haunt and there is no lasting peace which dawns only after wisdom is gained. The deep sleep of waking state becomes possible only after awakening and it remains dark like a night for a being under the illusion that materialistic pleasures are to be pursued. This verse confuses us because the word night is used in a figurative sense by lord Krishna and stands for ignorance whereas we take it literally for the night which follows a solar day.