What is Enlightenment?

Enlightenment is bliss consciousness. It is sat-chit-anand. When you have tasted bliss, you can’t forget the experience.

How to explain the pleasures of winning your first customer to one how has not experienced it? How to describe the tastes and sounds of things that one has not experienced? Thus also about bliss. One can’t explain bliss. When bliss is experienced, everything else pales in comparison. There is nothing to worry about in bliss. There are no relative things with any gunas, that one needs to worry about. There is no distinction of head, heart or hands. It is not correct to say that everything comes together in bliss, because there is nothing separate to begin with. When one is in a state of non-separation, one feels bliss. There is the presence of emptiness. It is not a state of stupor or sleep. One is fully alert and can respond to a soft sound or request instantly, from a state that is established in consciousness.

Enlightenment is to get everything. Not more of this one thing or the other. Not more money, more fame, more health, more beauty, etc. Enlightenment is not to get more intellect, more bhakti, more accomplishments, or more energy. It is to get it all. It is to join (yog) at all levels with that source which cannot be named or described. It is the removal of darkness and turning the light on.

Why aspire for something that you already own? The truth and bliss are already within ourselves. There is no need to buy it. Others not give it to you. Others (through the agency of money) may transport you to some beautiful place, like Maui. However, they cannot give you bliss. It might be easier to feel the bliss in a beautiful environment. But ultimately, it is up to the person himself or herself to open up to connect with the bliss within.

So, why talk about enlightenment if it is already within everyone, and it has no property worth describing? Yet, we feel the urge and the impulse to share with others the inner joy so that they too may enjoy it. We want the best for everyone, whether or not they are aware of it. We want others to extend their vision beyond the immediacy of sense perceptions, and un-distort their perception which may have become distorted by their upbringing or other conditioning.

The perception of hunger is a powerful one. ‘One can’t pray on a hungry stomach’ goes an ancient Indian saying. It is possible to develop a sudden fear of going hungry and dying. Witnessing one physical death could scar someone for life, and one could build a determination that says ‘never again’. Family and society can instill and reinforce this fear like an inheritance. The consciousness of the body and the mind (ego) can temporarily overcome the awareness of our true nature.

One tries to understand and conquer the ‘world’ in many ways. With one foot firmly established in the relative world, one tries to reconnect with the nagging inner consciousness begging to free itself and reconnect with the infinite whole. A Gyana yogi is a man of great intellect and tries to reason his way towards it. A Bhakti yogi knows super-human gods and surrenders the little self to the whole self. Karma yogi works for what he wants, and tries to discover or create a more efficient path for happiness. And so on. But Enlightenment is not a race to the top. It is not an achievement to string into one’s resume. It is a light-ness, in many senses of the word. It is a state without a sense of heaviness (tamas, body consciousness), or darkness (rajas, ego consciousness). It is sattva, purity, consciousness aware of consciousness itself. It is a light that falls on light itself: the particles on the waves, the waves on the particles; the wholeness aware of its wholeness.

Just because this inner self-referral wholeness is not visible, that does not mean it is bereft of value. It is the inner life that enables the outer life. The inner life is the potential that causes the dynamic kinetics on the outside. It is the intelligence that creates forms and structures on the outside. It is the peace and unity that produces a roaring kaleidoscope of song and dance outside. It is the desire and the intention that produces focus and action on the outside.

The inner life just has to be ‘un-leashed’ or ‘re-leased’, as if it is some kind of a precious asset safe-guarded by fear. One has to overcome the fear that this great inner life force will somehow evaporate with the passing of the body. Preserving the body is not absurd. Carrying it to the extreme though is like preserving the box, but never tasting the chocolate inside. It is like never unpeeling the banana to taste the fruit.

The bliss is thus carefully hidden and protected within ourselves. To search for it is like looking for the eyeglasses that one has put on one’s head. A guru or teacher or coach can remind us of whether the glasses are. Once the awareness of our true nature dawns upon us, it should be almost impossible to be not aware of it. But one somehow gets sucked again in the seemingly limitless glittering world of the exterior, the psychedelic show of song and dance and form and structure, and begins to ignore the treasure that lies within.

As masters of nanoparticles, of things extremely subtle like cosmic particles whirling at the speed of light in giant particle colliders, we may find it absurd to imagine that we are ignorant of all that super-subtle treasures within. Where is the proof, we may ask? The proof is in direct experience, unmediated by any concepts or structures. The whole world is within us, and not the other way around. We are the whole, the Brahma. That is the simple shift in perspective that is required to become aware of our true infinite invincible creative nature.

Meanwhile, I must go and find something to eat. Till next time … be the bliss that you truly are!

Comments are welcome!


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