What is Enlightenment?


#1

Ask a normal person, and the likely answer could be “knowing everything” (about socio-cultural issues).

Ask a natural scientist, and the likely answer could be “Einstein was enlightened.”

Ask a weed-smoker, and the likely answer could be “dude, i am high already!”

Ask Kant or Rousseau, and the likely answer could be "humanism sir, justice, equality…’

Ask a scientific Hindu like Surya, and the likely answer could be “find a guru, follow him for the rest of your life, he will transfer his consciousness to you. And after that practice meditation for a thousand lifetimes, and one day it will happen.”

Ask a Zen roshi, and the likely answer could be sth like “where is my pie?”

Ask an ascetic Yogi, and the likely answer could be “…”

Ask a Sioux shaman, and the likely answer could be “having been touched by the wisdom and the vision of Wakan Tanka.”

:
:
:

So many views, so few overlapping. Then the question is,

What is enlightenment? :stuck_out_tongue:


#2

“What is enlightenment?”

The word will mean whatever one wants it to mean. Whatsoever one considers “enlightenment” are just one’s own relative ideas and concepts about it. But, at the same time, as far as the spiritual process is concerned, it is absolutely necessary. A skillful means is needed. For those who have come to their liberation, even the very idea of “enlightenment” falls away. “Enlightenment” and “unenlightenment”, being and non-being, suffering and liberation, existence and non-existence, real and unreal, pain and pleasure, all forms of dualism disappear from one’s mental vision. Truth is not something that can be understood by the dualistic categories of logic. As long as one continues dividing everything into the short-sightedness of one’s logic, then one is certain to miss the essential matter.

But in the meantime, we will have to use these means to indicate towards the space. For that - we have to deal with the limitations of language, and if this is to become useful in pointing to the moon, then we will have to remember that our language is just a skillful means - one should not start clinging to it as though it is the ultimate phenomenon.

“Enlightenment”, can mean anything from having a glimpse into one’s true nature, have different glimpses which are of different intensities, to living in ongoing communion from moment to moment with one’s true nature, to the final melting and merging with the source of existence. In this sense too, it is relative, as there are various depths of what one is calling “enlightenment”. That is why - to have a glimpse into one’s true nature is just the beginning.


#3

Ask a scientific Hindu like Surya, and the likely answer could be “find a guru, follow him for the rest of your life, he will transfer his consciousness to you. And after that practice meditation for a thousand lifetimes, and one day it will happen.”

Hehe, I guess that is what my view is, but allow me to clarify further.

Enlightenment is one of those absolute words that gets misused all the time like love, happiness, truth, perfection. If somebody says they love somebody, they often mean they like that person, but do they really know what real love is really like? If somebody says they are happy, they often mean they are suffering less than before, but do they really know what real happiness is like? If somebody says truth, they often mean what is true to one at the moment in time, but do they know what the ultimate truth of anything is like? Finally, if one says they are perfect, they mean they are highly proficient in something compared to the ordinary level, but do they really know what real perfection is like?

Similarly, some people claim they are enlightened/self realised and often mean that they are more mindful than before, they have experienced some spiritual experiences, their clarity has improved, their presence has improved, but do they know what it is ike to be be in abssolute mindfulness, to have a spiritual experience of the absolute, to have absolute clarity and presence?

In order to answer this question we need a working definition of what real enlightenment really is. In the dharmic tradition we have two workings definitions of what enlightenment is 1) reaching the state of objectless samadhi and 2) The dissolution of every modification of consciousness since the beginning of time to reveal the pure self. In other words, enlightenment is a tall-order. Thus very strict criteria must be applied to see whether someone is really enlightened or whether they are just using misusing the term.

Fortunately, we are not in the dark about the stages in between starting a practice and getting to a state of objectless samadhi. Consciousness researchers in our dharmic tradition have mapped them all out for us. You can also validate the stages are correct through metaphysics using logic. Prior to objectless samadhi, samyama will become operational. At this point prakriti is under your absolute control. You can levitate, you can teleport, you can control the elements and you attain omnscience. Thus, when enlightened, you will be nothing short of a god. You will no longer be a mortal, you will be a god. Master of the universe.

I have very high standards for what I call enlightenment, because when you have the highest standard possible you keep striving and developing. You do not develop complacence. Until you do not get to the final stage of objectless samadhi, to say you have reached enlightenment is like starting a journey and saying you have arrived at the destination before you get there.

If Amir is enlightened, tell him to prove it. Tell him to teleport into my room, shake my hand, and teleport back. Until I don’t see such demonstrations, I will not accord the title of enlightenment to him or anybody else. There may not be a person like this on the entire Earth. Therefore my selection criteria for choosing a guru is less demanding. They must satisfy the following criteria

  1. They must be further down on the path than I am and have at least 10-20 years of sadhana in this life.
  2. Their virtues must be obvious: calmness, sharp intellect, brave, objective, factual, acutely aware, paitence, compassion, focussed. I must feel in total awe of their virtues and a child before them.
  3. I must see evidence that they have some higher abilities
  4. I must feel alive in their presence

Only then will I accept them as my guru. When the guru has passed my test and I have passed their test. I will surrender completely.


#4

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;57304]Hehe, I guess that is what my view is, but allow me to clarify further.

Enlightenment is one of those absolute words that gets misused all the time like love, happiness, truth, perfection. If somebody says they love somebody, they often mean they like that person, but do they really know what real love is really like? If somebody says they are happy, they often mean they are suffering less than before, but do they really know what real happiness is like? If somebody says truth, they often mean what is true to one at the moment in time, but do they know what the ultimate truth of anything is like? Finally, if one says they are perfect, they mean they are highly proficient in something compared to the ordinary level, but do they really know what real perfection is like?

Similarly, some people claim they are enlightened/self realised and often mean that they are more mindful than before, they have experienced some spiritual experiences, their clarity has improved, their presence has improved, but do they know what it is ike to be be in abssolute mindfulness, to have a spiritual experience of the absolute, to have absolute clarity and presence?

In order to answer this question we need a working definition of what real enlightenment really is. In the dharmic tradition we have two workings definitions of what enlightenment is 1) reaching the state of objectless samadhi and 2) The dissolution of every modification of consciousness since the beginning of time to reveal the pure self. In other words, enlightenment is a tall-order. Thus very strict criteria must be applied to see whether someone is really enlightened or whether they are just using misusing the term.

Fortunately, we are not in the dark about the stages in between starting a practice and getting to a state of objectless samadhi. Consciousness researchers in our dharmic tradition have mapped them all out for us. You can also validate the stages are correct through metaphysics using logic. Prior to objectless samadhi, samyama will become operational. At this point prakriti is under your absolute control. You can levitate, you can teleport, you can control the elements and you attain omnscience. Thus, when enlightened, you will be nothing short of a god. You will no longer be a mortal, you will be a god. Master of the universe.

I have very high standards for what I call enlightenment, because when you have the highest standard possible you keep striving and developing. You do not develop complacence. Until you do not get to the final stage of objectless samadhi, to say you have reached enlightenment is like starting a journey and saying you have arrived at the destination before you get there.

If Amir is enlightened, tell him to prove it. Tell him to teleport into my room, shake my hand, and teleport back. Until I don’t see such demonstrations, I will not accord the title of enlightenment to him or anybody else. There may not be a person like this on the entire Earth. Therefore my selection criteria for choosing a guru is less demanding. They must satisfy the following criteria

  1. They must be further down on the path than I am and have at least 10-20 years of sadhana in this life.
  2. Their virtues must be obvious: calmness, sharp intellect, brave, objective, factual, acutely aware, paitence, compassion, focussed. I must feel in total awe of their virtues and a child before them.
  3. I must see evidence that they have some higher abilities
  4. I must feel alive in their presence

Only then will I accept them as my guru. When the guru has passed my test and I have passed their test. I will surrender completely.[/QUOTE]

Damn.

I am impressed.

Very nice.


#5

I am currently reading up on Niti shastra(a thread on it in the religion forum) I found the following two teachings to be highly apt for this thread:

Gold is tested in the fire for identification. A virtuous man is identified by his morality. A sage is identified by his behaviour. A brave man is identified by his fearlessness in dangerous and challenging situation, a patient man is identified when he is confronted by economic problems, enemies and friends are identified in difficult and trying times

The following eight qualities increases the splendour of man: Intelligence, nobility, knowledge of scriptures, control of the senses, bravery, less talk and action according to ones ability, and greatfulness

Amir fails all my tests and fails in all the 8 qualities that increase the splendour of man. In fact I come to the conclusion I am his superior in all qualities.

Intelligence: I am far more sharper than he is and constantly show him up when we have dialogues. He often end up conceding points to me or simply stops responding.

Nobility: He is a noble person in that he is consistent. He has not budged from his position from post 1. Neither have I. But noble people do not go around claiming they are better than everybody else and that even if they steal, it’s alright, because they are noble. Amir does. What else is it alright for Amir to do? Lie, murder, rape?

Knowledge of scriptures: I far outstrip Amit when it comes to knowledge and demonstrated it over and over again. He in fact tells people not read to scriptures, and yet is constantly citing quotes and anecdotes from Buddhist scriptures.

Control of the senses: Amir seems quite measured and controlled, and I have never seen a typo in his long posts(mine abound in them) and this is obviously owing to his practice of mindfullness. I would have thought Amir would have had higher spiritual attainments at first, but then it turned out in a conversation with him I had even higher spiritual attainments. I have left my body a few times and had spontaneous activation of higher abilities like telepathy. He claims these are lies.

Bravery: He and I are both very brave because we never worry about what people think on here about what we say. We speak our own truth and from our own convictions. We are amongst the most controversial members on this forum. We remain consistent. This is admirable. However, Amir has taken an easy route in his path. In the comforts of his own home he has done his sadhana, and only for a few years and now at 25 he thinks hes enlightened and can teach everybody. I am going to subject myself to the very hard spiritual training in the authentic tradition for what maybe 10-20 years, maintain celibacy, eat moderately, sleep on the floor and surrender to a teacher.

Less talk and action according to ones ability: Amir and I are both prolific posters on this forum and very active members on this forum. I am a lot more prolific than he is, which would suggest I talk more than he is. The difference I talk about knowledge related things and Amir goes around the forum giving his unsolicited opinions to members and preaches to them to come to their awakening(e.g., pulling up dwai because he said IMHO, and telling his opinion is not humble) It is evident Amir loves the sound of his voice, he is the only one here who records himself giving discourses on youtube. He is the only one here who is trying to start a cult. Amir has gone well beyond his ability. He is trying to teach, when he’s not qualified for it. He’s only 25. He needs to get more life experience behind him, more sadhana, before he tries stepping into the shoes of Buddha.

Neitzsche recently called me a philosopher and social activist. Do you know what I told him? I was a nobody at this moment in my life. I am no philosopher or social activist. Many have told me I should teach or write a book. Do you know what I say? I am still the student and when I am ready to teach, then I will teach. Such a contrast between my attitude and Amirs. I am humble; he is arrogant :wink:

Greatfullness: He has no respect for the masters of the past. He accuses them all of lying at the very least. He claims Patanjali made up the siddhis. He claims Swami Vivekananda and Swami Yogananda are frauds. He claims he has excelled everybody, including the Vedic masters. Such haughtiness does not belong to a spiritual person, it is most distasteful and repungnant. I on the other hand am so indebted to the spiritual masters, I make an invocation to them before every meditation. I never claim any knowledge as my own, but it is only theirs.

In conclusion I would not accept Amir as a guru, much less enlightened, that is because he is even less than me in spiritual accomplishment - and I consider myself a chump. A total beginner. A nobody. If a nobody like me has higher qualities than Amir, then Amir is definitely not enlightened :smiley:


#6

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;57307]I am currently reading up on Niti shastra(a thread on it in the religion forum) I found the following two teachings to be highly apt for this thread:

Gold is tested in the fire for identification. A virtuous man is identified by his morality. A sage is identified by his behaviour. A brave man is identified by his fearlessness in dangerous and challenging situation, a patient man is identified when he is confronted by economic problems, enemies and friends are identified in difficult and trying times

The following eight qualities increases the splendour of man: Intelligence, nobility, knowledge of scriptures, control of the senses, bravery, less talk and action according to ones ability, and greatfulness

Amir fails all my tests and fails in all the 8 qualities that increase the splendour of man. In fact I come to the conclusion I am his superior in all qualities.

Intelligence: I am far more sharper than he is and constantly show him up when we have dialogues. He often end up conceding points to me or simply stops responding.

Nobility: He is a noble person in that he is consistent. He has not budged from his position from post 1. Neither have I. But noble people do not go around claiming they are better than everybody else and that even if they steal, it’s alright, because they are noble. Amir does. What else is it alright for Amir to do? Lie, murder, rape?

Knowledge of scriptures: I far outstrip Amit when it comes to knowledge and demonstrated it over and over again. He in fact tells people not read to scriptures, and yet is constantly citing quotes and anecdotes from Buddhist scriptures.

Control of the senses: Amir seems quite measured and controlled, and I have never seen a typo in his long posts(mine abound in them) and this is obviously owing to his practice of mindfullness. I would have thought Amir would have had higher spiritual attainments at first, but then it turned out in a conversation with him I had even higher spiritual attainments. I have left my body a few times and had spontaneous activation of higher abilities like telepathy. He claims these are lies.

Bravery: He and I are both very brave because we never worry about what people think on here about what we say. We speak our own truth and from our own convictions. We are amongst the most controversial members on this forum. We remain consistent. This is admirable. However, Amir has taken an easy route in his path. In the comforts of his own home he has done his sadhana, and only for a few years and now at 25 he thinks hes enlightened and can teach everybody. I am going to subject myself to the very hard spiritual training in the authentic tradition for what maybe 10-20 years, maintain celibacy, eat moderately, sleep on the floor and surrender to a teacher.

Less talk and action according to ones ability: Amir and I are both prolific posters on this forum and very active members on this forum. I am a lot more prolific than he is, which would suggest I talk more than he is. The difference I talk about knowledge related things and Amir goes around the forum giving his unsolicited opinions to members and preaches to them to come to their awakening(e.g., pulling up dwai because he said IMHO, and telling his opinion is not humble) It is evident Amir loves the sound of his voice, he is the only one here who records himself giving discourses on youtube. He is the only one here who is trying to start a cult. Amir has gone well beyond his ability. He is trying to teach, when he’s not qualified for it. He’s only 25. He needs to get more life experience behind him, more sadhana, before he tries stepping into the shoes of Buddha.

Neitzsche recently called me a philosopher and social activist. Do you know what I told him? I was a nobody at this moment in my life. I am no philosopher or social activist. Many have told me I should teach or write a book. Do you know what I say? I am still the student and when I am ready to teach, then I will teach. Such a contrast between my attitude and Amirs. I am humble; he is arrogant :wink:

Greatfullness: He has no respect for the masters of the past. He accuses them all of lying at the very least. He claims Patanjali made up the siddhis. He claims Swami Vivekananda and Swami Yogananda are frauds. He claims he has excelled everybody, including the Vedic masters. Such haughtiness does not belong to a spiritual person, it is most distasteful and repungnant. I on the other hand am so indebted to the spiritual masters, I make an invocation to them before every meditation. I never claim any knowledge as my own, but it is only theirs.

In conclusion I would not accept Amir as a guru, much less enlightened, that is because he is even less than me in spiritual accomplishment - and I consider myself a chump. A total beginner. A nobody. If a nobody like me has higher qualities than Amir, then Amir is definitely not enlightened :D[/QUOTE]


#7

Ah mr-dancing-is-banned in India has joined the thread. Welcome. Don’t worry Q, I don’t think you’re enlightened either. The first count of intellect is enough to ascertain that :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

@Surya Deva,

A great man does not bear witness to his own greatness - think on that.

Thanks for you time.


#9

Namaste occidental yogi,

I consider myself a chump. A total beginner. A nobody.

Where are my claims to greatness?


#10

Fortunately, we are not in the dark about the stages in between starting a practice and getting to a state of objectless samadhi. Consciousness researchers in our dharmic tradition have mapped them all out for us. You can also validate the stages are correct through metaphysics using logic. Prior to objectless samadhi, samyama will become operational. At this point prakriti is under your absolute control. You can levitate, you can teleport, you can control the elements and you attain omnscience. Thus, when enlightened, you will be nothing short of a god. You will no longer be a mortal, you will be a god. Master of the universe.

Sometimes I feel Yoga is a spiral path, like the DNA. The stages are passed not by leaving us substantially in tact, like in the formal education process. The stages are evolutionary in nature and morph one into 180 degrees opposite to the initial expectations, by altering the DNA. Siddhis, for example are acquired only when any obsession with them has already evaporated. One wakes up with a smile even when the meals are uncertain. Long before the physical, astral and causal bodies become a burden to carry they can be erased from awareness at will. Yoga becomes a whole process of unlearning and when every nook and corner of one’s being is cleared of all the debris hoarded over the years, the enlightenment simply shows up. All the efforts are invested in clearing the weed, tilling the soil - enlightenment appears intrinsic in everything.

I have been fortunate in meeting a few enlightened souls. But, have also understood why they are hard to find. Enlightenment makes them uncommonly common. Unless one has a burning desire to find them, they remain unseen to the eyes wide open. If we sit in judgment to ‘select’ them they may not be even amused. They will simply wait for an unconditional surrender.


#11

Quote:
I consider myself a chump. A total beginner. A nobody.

Where are my claims to greatness?

@Surya Deva,

Given what I have seen of you thus far, I am doubtful of your sincerity. Your actions speak loudly, SD - and the word “humility” does not come to mind. That said, perhaps you can change…

My apologies to the OP; this thread is considerably off course and I simply must offer my apologies for the part I have played in maintaining this sorry state of affairs. Thus, I shall compose a suitable response to the original query forthwith as a remedy and proof of my sincerity.

Thanks for your time.


#12

Occidentalyogi means Western Yogi by the way :wink:

How you define humility I don’t know. I define humility as respecting great and powerful people, not doing things outside of ones abilities, having reverence and respect for the wise and bowing before one who is of higher quality than you are. In our culture we have had never had a problem with bowing before the wise and elderly and surrendering to the enlightened. I am certainly not going to change this, because this is real humility. Again, not sure what you call humility.


#13

I treat the cleaning people the same way I treat the CEO at my office, I?m not sure what that would be called?


#14

As promised…

@OP,

First and foremost, let me just say this: I find your query somewhat confusing - I am not altogether certain just what you are expecting of us (the posters) in terms of this thread, however much I have an inkling: you are meaning for us (the posters) to share our particular understanding(s) of the vague notion of enlightenment, correct? The reason I might conclude this is because that is truly all we can do in relation to a vague notion such as enlightenment - a word which, for all intents and purposes, could be unflinchingly discarded from our lexicons as an inherently useless descriptor.

That said, I’ll play along - what does enlightenment mean to me?

  1. Enlightenment, to me, in the simplest terms possible means the growth of consciousness; any growth in consciousness is enlightenment, therefore.

  2. That said Enlightenment, to me, is also relative; there are various stages of enlightenment - it is not a one time thing. Consider the metaphor of starting a fire:

First, we must gather the necessary materials for the fire and arrange them in a suitable location - this is the first enlightenment. Secondly, we must start the fire - this is a second enlightenment, building off of the first. Thirdly, we must fan the flame such that it grows - this is a third enlightenment, building off of the first two ad infinitum…

  1. That said, I most certainly do realize that Enlightenment has a particular esoteric usage. Enlightenment, esoterically speaking, is had when:

A). One attains, in terms of consciousness albeit permanently, to the world of mind (47:4)
B). One attains, in terms of consciousness albeit temporarily, to the world of causes (47:2-3)
C). One attains, in terms of consciousness albeit permanently, to the world of causes (47:1)
—*---
D). One attains, in terms of consciousness albeit temporarily, to the world of unity (46:6-7[?])
E). One attains, in terms of consciousness albeit permanently, to the world of unity (46:5-4[?])

…Its complicated obviously, but the gist of it an be can gathered, nonetheless. In the first stage (A), what we have is the transference of the monad - within/of the triad body of the first self - to the permanent mental molecule of this structure. Henceforth, is the evolutionary monad considered a “mental self” as opposed to a “emotional self” (what most people are currently). In the second stage (B), what we have is the monad with incipient access to the world of causes; the higher or abstract mind. The monad can, by its practices, effect a temporary rise in the state of consciousness such that this world can be known. In the third stage ©, what we have is the transference of the monad from the triad body of the first self unto the triad body of the second of higher self; from the mental molecule of the first self to the mental atom of the second or higher self. Henceforth, is the evolutionary monad considered a “causal self” as opposed to a “mental self”. In essence, this process really is just a matter of the incipient and temporary accesses to the world of causes becoming a permanent fixture in terms of consciousness. In the midst of these, I marked a star…

In terms of it’s symbolism, Enlightenment can be understood by reflecting upon the action implied: to En-lighten or Illuminate. Thus, we are reminded - very much - of the symbols of the Sun, Fire, the Lighted Lamp of Lamp of Wisdom, the Mount of Initiation, the Flash of Lightning amongst a whole host of other things. Illumination means, in a sense, to “see clearly” as if by the light of the sun which is the destroyer of shadows - actually our fantasies and fictions; “choppy water and stormy skies blot out the sun”, understand.

I note my concentration is waning at the moment, thus I shall refrain from going any further - this should suffice as a suitable response, I imagine.


At Surya Deva,

Occidentalyogi means Western Yogi by the way

So it does - whatever are we to make of that?

I define humility as respecting great and powerful people, not doing things outside of ones abilities, having reverence and respect for the wise and bowing before one who is of higher quality than you are. In our culture we have had never had a problem with bowing before the wise and elderly and surrendering to the enlightened. I am certainly not going to change this, because this is real humility

Does it also mean belittling those whom you percieve to be lower than yourself, in developmental respects? Understand: the way you - essentially - trash-talked Amir above does not belie true humility, rather it belies true arrogance. Just my two cents, for what it’s worth…

Thanks for your time.


#15

According Sankya Karika, enlightenment is [B]full discrimination between Purusha and Parakriti. [/B]


#16

Does it also mean belittling those whom you percieve to be lower than yourself, in developmental respects? Understand: the way you - essentially - trash-talked Amir above does not belie true humility, rather it belies true arrogance. Just my two cents, for what it’s worth…

Yogimat/Occidental yogi,

This thread was started based on another thread where Amir’s so-called enlightment was being talked about. High Wolf said that he believed Amir had some accomplishment based on what he said, but what Amir says is all borrowed from Buddhist philosophy anyway. Thus I considered it important to answer that question as well. I explained in the prior post before doing the analysis and compare and contrast between me and Amir, that I would only accept as a guru somebody who was much more superior to me that I become like a child in front of us and where their qualities are obvious. I then illustrated with the analysis and compare and contrast the lack of those qualities in Amir, how his attainments are on a level even lower than mine, to demonstrate why I would never choose Amir as my guru or anybodylike him.

I also demonstrated with that compare and contrast a method by which we can evaluate somebody claiming to be enlightened. Amir is not innocent here. He claims he is enlightened. He claims he is at the same level as the Buddha. He claims he has surpassed every master before him. He claims other masters were lying. He claims he is better than everybody else and does everything better. He goes around this forum telling people they are asleep and unconscious. He even said most recently that just because hes enligthened, he could anything he wants, even steal, and it would be OK(that is highly disturbing)

What is upside down here rather than criticising him, the usual suspects have jumped in to criticise me :smiley: If Amir was in an Indian village, he would have been beaten with sticks and driven out of the village for defrauding the people. The trouble with many people on this forum is this they tolerate fraud and delusion way too easily. Ironically, they do not tolerate people exposing them as easily. It’s all upside down here.


#17

Agree with Surya.

Thats why I beat on Amir too!

I believe it hasty and a bit fooish to think you have an understanding of someone just from a couple posts.

Have you read all of Amir’s posts? most? more than 50?

I’ve been beating on Amir for 300 posts now.

He deserves every lick.

[I]“Speak not in haste, walk not in haste. Take slow cautious steps. Let not pride overtake you. Lead a simple life.”[/I]

  • so says Goraksanath.

Edit? YogiMat? WTF?


#18

Scales,

Ok.


#19

Surya,

Ok.


#20

Amir,

OK!