Enlightenment is a state, free from ignorance, desire, and consequential suffering. It is derived from Pali and Sanskrit word Bodhi, meaning awakening or understanding of the truth. Nirvana and Bodhi are synonymous words. Religions tend to portray the message in different artistic ways, but they all point towards enlightenment. Religion was formed for one purpose and one only – to guide everyone in the society towards getting closer to God and attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Division and classification forms the residue of religion, where many of us tend to get entangled, thus the aim is misinterpreted and the attention deviated from its true purpose.
Japanese refer to enlightenment as Kensho, and in Hinduism, Moksha is termed as enlightenment. In Buddhism, it is believed that Lord Buddha had achieved enlightenment, so they termed enlightenment, as “Buddhahood”. Likewise every religion has coined different references for the ultimate state called enlightenment.
Many scholars have carried out extensive research to study enlightenment and its history, who have come up with several definitions. According to Kant, Enlightenment is the release from man’s self-made world of own views and thinking. The incapacity to use one’s own understanding to see the world is the problem of all the miseries. People just follow the views and orders given by some other person, without analyzing through their own eyes. Most of them just impose other’s views on themselves. The lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence can be the reason for such actions. Kant said that Man must obey his civil duties and he must have a public reason for his views.
The final goal of enlightenment is to attain eternal peace and wisdom of mind. There are many ways to attain enlightenment but the path of attainment is very tough, Masters say that it is very difficult to attain liberation in one lifetime. Several religions proposed the idea of enlightenment as the final goal of life. Yoga, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, all are designed in such a way that they guide their people to achieve enlightenment. Religion does not matter; spirituality, which lies beyond the limitations of religion, is the path towards self-realization and enlightenment. Given below are some interpretations that will guide you safely through the hurdle-bound path of life, as we all tend to see it.
Know your inner nature
We all think that we are born out of our mothers’ wombs, but very few actually seem to be curious to know where we actually descend from, what is our origin, and where is this source from where all forces and forms of life are emanating from. This source, which is often referred to as God, is onmipresent, which means that we also carry a bit of God within ourselves. Conscience, we are equipped with, and so every human being has the innate ability to transcend to a higher level of existence.
Purity and divinity is our true nature, as we are descendants of God Himself. As we kept drifting through material forces of nature, over time, we, as souls, have accumulated huge amount of impurities, which kind of acts as a major constraint in understanding the nature of self. We tend to see through a glass that is always tinted, where the tint emanates from within. We are unable to guide ourselves through the Natural Path, because our vision is blurred, and this eventually keeps getting intense, only to spawn the need for releasing the pressure at some point soon. Even though we have been cycling through death and birth, even as we have been living for maybe a million years, acquiring different forms of life, we tend to transcend “soon,” simply because we, as eternal beings, are only subject to the limitations of time when we acquire a material form of existence.
The role of ego
Ego is that apparatus within us, which interprets the happening and projects perspectives and opinions, based on past experience and intuitions. Our ego has become ruined gradually, due to the external inputs of filth, as we suppose. We have been living only with an aim to gather, but we became so involved in the process that we failed to acknowledge the soul’s need to shed some as well. Over time, our vision has become corrupted, as a result of which we fail to stay close to reality. Our perceptions and assumptions seem to fail most of the time, but we tend to remain ignorant of the fact that we need to clarify our vision. We need to refine our ego to an extent that it understands that there are endless possibilities and interpretations to a particular moment of truth, and that its capacity or potential is infinite.
Ego is often perceived as negative, which is absolutely not true. Ego is merely the psychic apparatus that initiates and facilitates communication with oneself as well as others. The complexities that we proudly own in the form of preferences, resistance towards changes, closed opinions etc, make our ego invulnerable to the effects of the divine. However, on the other hand, we are only fueling our lack of precision in judgment, and thus we tend to keep drowning in the swamp, with no clue whether we have hit the bottom or not.
By refining our ego, we can optimize our understanding of events and thus work together to stay at close proximity to what we call as reality. We all tend to think that we understand the real scene. No, that is delusion and one of the grossest forms of denial. We are nowhere near the actual interpretation of reality. We need to work hard to shed our tendency to hold grudges, regardless of whether against people, or events, or acts. We need to give away our intolerance towards evil, and develop acceptance and higher ignorance towards what we perceive as filth. We need to lose the sense of competition. We need to inculcate the tendency to forgive the wrongs done by others, and most importantly the wrongs that we have committed previously. Often we hold grudges against our own past deeds. This results in denial as well. We must work to shed every bit of convincing negativity that tends to govern us most times.
Masters say that when a negative thought arises in our minds, it means that it is trying to find its way out. But we mistake them as rational perceptions and tend to obey its orders. This will lead to further erosion of our understanding. Keep away from negative thoughts. If you remain aware all the time and bring your fallacies under your conscious control, by practice of ignorance, you will successfully get rid of disturbances.
Question yourself, question authority
We need to question ourselves more often, this forms the basis of enlightenment. Every being in the universe has the ability to distinguish right from wrong, but for that, we must work hard to see through muddy patches and gradually progress towards a clearer vision. Instead of living a life that is programmed by others, you need to find the answers to your questions. We are interdependent beings, but we, as individuals, need to think for ourselves whether a particular action or thought that we are planning to pursue is right or wrong, and whether it would be healthy to our transformation.
As children, we always wanted to learn things. We have the curiosity in our eyes to learn and know things, but as we grow up that desire consistently fades out. We lose the desire to know ourselves from within, with the growing need to sort out our priorities, which in most cases result in major deviation from the path that we are destined to take. Every human being should continuously ask questions because that can fuel your sense of thinking and also it can add value to everything you do. We should not only act responsibly, but also think responsibly.
Evil works for God
Almost all of us tend to see evil through the eyes of hatred and intolerance. We envy evil, and tend to give rise to another evil. We fail to accept its existence, as we are selfish and partial enough to expect that bad things don’t encounter us, or vice-versa. How can we expect that only good things should happen to us, when we ourselves act as an efficient medium for evil to be expressed. Where do you think evil emanates from? Why do we see evil? Ever wondered?
Evil is our own reflection. We are dirty from the inside, and hence we feel the sense of disgust for evil. We possess those impurities that we see, else we would not see them as that. We give rise to evil, satan is man-made, but equally a part of God. Just imagine, what purpose would existence hold if only good things are happening? What would be the role of God if there is no evil? Evil is necessary for our advancement, and we must choose to learn from it, rather than reject its existence and criticize its ways of working. Satan spawns satan. But we can choose to turn the grudges into gold. We can choose to transform evil into one of our essential mentors.
Duality exists so that we can learn that there is something higher than that phenomenon. If there is no wrong, the good is left with no purpose, as a result of which the existence will perish, due to lack of reason and purpose for its role. It’s we who choose to interpret things as evil. It’s we who judge wrongs done by others as unforgivable sins. We raise the complexities, and we whine about God not helping us. In fact, believe it or not, all wrongs done by others, and all the evil we see, tends to come to us with purpose. These are our tests, and we must work to clear them unscathed. And what is the reward? Knowledge. Priceless knowledge. Chaos in its pure form is the optimal source of God, because as its order cannot be decoded, we tend to submit ourselves to the situation and learn to adapt. This is God. This is how we attain wisdom. This is how we attain enlightenment, through deep analysis of our own divine abilities, and by being in tune with our conscience, while syncing with the simplicity of nature.