Instant Enlightenment – Is it a Myth?

Growing up, I feel that I was always told that we can realize God in an instant, and that realizing God is the same as being enlightened or self-realized. Although, I believed this when I was growing up, when I did receive the Knowledge that was meant to give me this instant enlightenment, I didn’t feel enlightened or god-realized. The Knowledge given was potent enough for me to feel the Energy that it was pointing to but my mind didn’t change, I didn’t have any experience like feeling oneness with everything.

I say all this because my Guru has never claimed to me that I would get instant enlightenment, He always told me to continue working hard on my spirituality. To be honest, I don’t know how I got the idea that I would get instant enlightenment/liberation, my memory doesn’t serve me well on this point. It did get me disenchanted with spirituality around 10 years ago though and that wasn’t a nice experience for me. I was also told that I will be liberated but to be honest, I was still scared of heights and spiders at that time, so obviously I didn’t feel so liberated! How can you feel free when basic fears still roam the mind?

I used to hear people talk about how they were instantly enlightened or could see god everywhere but it didn’t tally up with their actions so it took me down a path of confusion.

It was only years later that I started to read wider spiritual literature that I started to understand that enlightenment was very unlikely to be instant, it was always a steady process. Not everyone simply got it straight away without the mind being fertile enough to receive the Knowledge, therefore once received, it was the only thing needed. Most of us, need to spend and focus time on building a spiritual practice that is serious enough for enlightenment.

Today, the neo-advaita scene, the neo-bhakti scene, all make promises of instant enlightenment. However, they are making a huge mistake. It is not instant enlightenment but one is able to recognize the immediacy of the Truth, once the Knowledge or Pointing is received. One is able to understand the Taste but that is it. It is like when you go to an Ice-Cream shop and taste different samples. Once you taste a flavor, you immediately have the taste, you recognize it. You may order 1 scoop, but that one scoop will finish. Therefore, this ‘enlightenment’ really is short-lived and is more likely to be an awakening or a satori. What I consider enlightenment is a perpetual state – it is continuously there as the ego has dissolved away.

So what if like me, you were given the promise of instant enlightenment, or you read books, watched YouTube videos, listened to podcasts, went to satsangs, meet-ups or retreats and were told you would be liberated instantly because the Truth is always now, the Truth is always here, only to find out that really there has been little progress and you have fooled yourself into thinking you are liberated, you are enlightened? Well, don’t worry, there is hope, even for the likes of me and you!

There have been great Gurus of the past and present that understand that Truth can be realized, right here, right now but it requires some effort in the beginning. Most of the people that seem to get it instantly tend to have already done great practice in the past. Therefore, it isn’t as instant as it is perceived.


So let’s look into what needs to be done when we receive that special Mantra, Knowledge/Gyana, Pointing or Initiation?

Contemplate on that Mantra, Knowledge etc.

Take time out to think about whatever you received. Take time out to contemplate on this wisdom. What impact does it have on your mind? What does it do to your surroundings? Does it do nothing and still feel potent? Contemplate on it, focus on it, dwell on it, don’t let go of it. The more you live with it, the more it helps you.

Meditation

Meditation is a useful practice and this meditation that I am talking about is specific. Just watch your mind and keep watching. Travel with each thought and emotion and see where it leads to. Find where the thought or emotion appear from. How does it get formed? How does it dissolve? This isn’t easy as it sounds and is an arduous process and doesn’t offer it’s rewards easily.

Reading Scriptures

Reading the Scriptures, I am mainly someone that has studied texts from Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. This is important. When we read, we are meant to contemplate on the words. Look at what they really mean to us, forget whether the interpretation is right or wrong because investigation or inquiry into it will help us get to the correct meaning. However, when we read more about the Truth, we find ways on how to incorporate it because Sages who got enlightenment, liberated, they recorded their guidance there. This is the satsang that is most important.

Prioritize and spend time for your spiritual practice

You have to spend more than 2 or 3 hours a week on it, if you want to get any results. Spirituality isn’t a part-time affair or entertainment for a couple of hours. It is serious, more serious than one can imagine but there is fun in there too. If you do chanting, or listen to mantras with music, it creates an ecstatic feeling so it can be joyful, you may end up dancing, that is fine. However, your discipline to spend time on your spirituality must be serious. It has to be as focused as possible and must be everything you want. The thing is, we don’t have to let go of our material possessions or anything like that, or let go of any desires. Let your spiritual practice define what needs to be done. What matters most is what matters to you the most.

Be honest in your reflections

Be honest about where you are spiritually, record it in a journal or start a blog like me. Inquire into your spiritual journey with great honesty everyday and don’t be disheartened if it hasn’t moved forward for a while. The more honest you are, the more humble you will become. All this is a natural process. There is no need for the holier than thou attitude and if you read the scriptures, you recognize that none of those sages ever had that attitude. They were humble and honest and wanted future generations to continue with that legacy.


These are a few things I wanted to mention that will guide us into a more gradual journey towards enlightenment. It may take a long time, it may end up happening instantly, who knows but the fact is we need to be humble, honest and ego free. If we are to become true spiritual beings, we have to imbibe all the virtues required. We cannot become bigots after enlightenment, it isn’t possible. If one can fall from grace like that, I question if one ever was in grace or was enlightened.

This may take years, but I am ready for this type of journey. I am ready to take the time to be more aware and be brutally honest about it. Yes, the Truth is here and now, and I feel it but I haven’t become it yet. There isn’t a union or oneness with it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from my side. It may be united with me but doesn’t mean I understand that it is always united with me.

I hope what I said makes sense and please do reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. This is a discussion, a dialogue to get to a place where we want to become enlightened beings. We can discover the answers together with an open-mind.

J Krishnamurti – A Biography by Pupul Jayakar

Last night, I finished reading J. Krishnamurti: A Biography by Pupul Jayakar and I really enjoyed the great thoughts of this phenomenal mystic. I was introduced to Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) through Osho, who deeply respected JK and I feel Osho propagated JK’s teachings in his own wonderful way too. However, it was my late Pritam Uncle ji who had asked me to read this book.

Pritam Uncle ji was an enigma to be around. I met him for the first time in 2014 and I will never forget his eyes that seemed to look right into my soul and a smile that emanated warmth. Whenever he spoke, he would speak of total awareness and how to really know our true self. He told me that only I could get there, no one else can help. He gave me three books and two of them were of JKs. One is the biography and the other one is the First and Last Freedom – which I am currently reading.

I wondered why my Uncle would ask me to read JK as I felt I couldn’t intellectually understand him back in 2014. But today, the teachings seem to make sense, I am able to follow them and even meditate upon them.

I strongly recommend the book if you want to know about the philosophy of J Krishnamurti and the life that he lived. From advising Prime Ministers, to discussing philosophy with scientists and most of all, he inspired many people like Bruce Lee, Aldous Huxley, Satish Kumar and I know Alan Watts loved him.

I want to share a few learnings from the book that really stood out to me and I hope you will like them too:

  • For the mind to be creative, there must be stillness. A deep stillness that can only come into being when you have faced your loneliness.
  • Only a total, non-fragmented perception can negate the observer and the observed. The seeing of “what is,” is the transformation of “what is.”
  • The mind which is the vessel of movement, when the movement has no form, no ‘me’, no vision, no image, it is completely quiet. In it there is no memory. Then the brain cells undergo a change.
  • In silence what is there to experience? Silence can only experience silence. Can silence leave an imprint?
  • There is an experience of silence and the mind remembers the feel, the perfume, the essence.
  • “If you knew that you were about to die, what would you do? Can you live one hour completely—live one day—one hour—as if you were going to die the next hour? But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, there is enormous vitality, tremendous attention to everything. You look at the spring of life, the tear, you feel the earth, the quality of the tree. You feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find in that attention that the ‘me’ is not. It is then that the mind, being empty, can renew itself.”
  • ‘Nothing’ contains the whole universe. Not my petty little fears, anxieties, sorrows. After all, Pupul ji, ‘nothing’ means the entire world of compassion. Compassion is ‘nothing’, and therefore that ‘nothingness’ is supreme intelligence.
  • We offer a hundred commentaries but the actual fact is, we are ‘nothing’ except a lot of words. Can one grasp that the zero contains all the numbers? So in ‘nothing,’ all the world exists.
  • We have all been trained to be highly intellectual. A poor man who does not seem bright, he will understand a simple statement.

The above are a few words which I wanted to share and there are many many more. The greatest thing about Krishnamurti was that he never wanted to be a guru and never acted like one. It was in the book that whenever someone would touch his feet, he would touch theirs too. I found this beautiful and humble of him.

Another teaching of his that really captured my attention was that he talked about how memory doesn’t allow us to be totally aware of ‘now’, of the present moment, of ‘what is’. We cling to a past, to an image that may not have been there at the time. We could have manipulated it even if it was a pious memory. Krishnamurti guided that in order to have a clear mind, it was important to let go of memory. I find this to be true when I think deeply about it. I hold onto the memories of people I have worshipped but they are no longer here. I cannot physically perceive them and if I do, it is through a photo. Therefore, the journey is one that I have to take alone. I can respect the past but I cannot live in the past.

It is a wonderful book and one that I definitely recommend.

A Traveling Thought

The presence of a thought appeared this morning, 
Fresh and crisp as if it was ironed out completely, 
I wonder how this thought came into my psyche, 
When the thought went away, I was in mourning. 

This thought appeared initially dusty and worn, 
As if lying somewhere completely old and withdrawn, 
It was from the dark mind of insidious scorn, 
Today the mind decided it was to be re-born. 

So back to the same old thought I travelled again,  
On this trip I went on the journey with the thought, 
And then I came to clarity in a flash of zazen, 
Stillness and stability of mind that I finally caught. 

Is your Teacher the Best?

Since yesterday’s post on Critical Spirituality had a lot to digest, I thought it would be nice to share this Zen joke that I read on Psychology Today.

One Zen student said, “My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating.”

The second said, “My teacher has so much self-control, he can go days without sleep.”

The third said, “My teacher is so wise that he eats when he’s hungry and sleeps when he’s tired.”

Spirituality has to be grounded in common sense and needs to be practical. Although, I am a huge fan of reading ancient scriptures from the East, I do analyze teachings to see if they apply today. There is no need to follow something that doesn’t make sense to follow in this day and age. We have to use our critical thinking to understand this.

Going to the joke, it is rather simple to understand. A True Teacher, as I mentioned yesterday, would make every attempt to have the disciple excel in their spirituality and to become independent with complete realization. If not, we have to ask whether the Teacher we have has the qualifications to bring us to enlightenment. If they don’t, then should we still follow them. If they do, isn’t it best to adhere to their words based on Truth? Therefore, the True Teacher will tell you to eat if you are hungry, drink water if you are thirsty and will understand the needs that you or I have. They will not guide us to do the opposite.

The other take is don’t compare the greatness of your Teacher with anyone else. Let others discover it themselves. You can surely let people know about the Teacher and how much they have helped you. However, the moment we compare that our Teacher is better than someone else’s teacher then we are entering into foolishness.

I remember reading a book by Osho, where he said very beautifully that Spiritual Masters have no problems with each other, it is the disciples who have problems because they compare and bicker with one another.

Every Teacher may not be qualified to guide someone to the Ultimate Truth, but at least a Teacher can guide someone to walk a few steps forward. Even that is good enough.

Approaching the Great Teacher

Earlier in the morning I was reading a book on J Krishnamurti and came across some beautiful lines:

Awake, arise, having approached the great teacher, learn.

The road is difficult, the crossing is as the sharp edge of a razor.

Katha Upanishad III

These words had an impact this morning. Some of us are fortunate to have a Living Spiritual Master, some of us are fortunate to have had a Spiritual Master in the past. We approach a Spiritual Master to learn something new, to gain some wisdom, to learn the practice of Spirituality that could lead to awakening or enlightenment. When we approach the Spiritual Master or the Great Teacher, do we simply just regurgitate what we have learned without seeing the implications of practice? Therefore, our repetition isn’t a sign of wisdom or understanding. The real words of the Spiritual Master is when practice defines and becomes the foundation of wisdom. This means our failures, obstructions, confusions, doubts all have a part in what is constituted as wisdom.

The attitude to learn is one where we are happy to admit that we do not know and acknowledging the long path ahead of us. As the lines of the Upanishad guides us further that the road is difficult. If we simply think that we are in a state of bliss because we have received a teaching, then that isn’t bliss but inspiration. We can feel inspired and sometimes we mistake this as bliss. Feeling inspired gives us a high that dies down after a couple of days and bliss is a continuous and unbreakable high according to the Sages of the East. Therefore, when we recognize the difference between the two, we can get closer to what is considered to be bliss. We must use that inspiration to move us forward fearlessly.

The crossing is as sharp as the edge of a razor. Do we truly feel this? That one wrong turn then we could be back to square one in our spiritual journey or we come to realize we didn’t move as far ahead as we thought we had. Do we understand that when we cross from knowledge to a practical application that it could destroy everything we know about ourselves. The body that we thought we were, the thoughts and memories that made us who we were, suddenly holds little value in life as we find ourselves at the pinnacle of true understanding. When we practice and realize that we are formless beings and are nothing but a manifestation of the Formless, are we happy to live by this wisdom? Can we live by this wisdom 24/7? These are questions to really ponder about.

Are we ready to arise and awake? Are we ready to approach the Great Teachers and admit we need to know more and that we need wisdom to awaken us? Are we aware of the difficulties that our mind will face once we receive knowledge from the Great Teachers? And can we confidently cross the ocean of materialism unscathed by the sharp edge of the razor called the ego?

The Story of a Bird in a Golden Cage

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There was once a king, who heard the sweet song of a bird. A bird that was able to fly to different branches of different trees, roam in the clear blue sky or thunderous showers. It could see the whole world with it’s wings whenever it wanted. It enjoyed its freedom. However, the King was in love with the birdsong and wanted to hear it every morning.

The King’s Assistant caught the bird and placed it in a  golden cage filled with diamonds, and other precious stones. However, the bird didn’t like the cage because he couldn’t fly and this deeply upset him. He would weep and the King thought the bird was singing a beautiful song and was immensely happy. Unknown to the King, he felt the bird appreciated the golden cage and precious gems, who wouldn’t love it?

One day, the King’s Assistant was assigned to clean the cage, whilst doing so, at the most opportune moment, the bird flew out and didn’t look back. He flew to the nearest branch, he could find.

Watching all this was a parrot and the parrot was annoyed at the bird and said to him, ‘What are you thinking? You had such an amazing home, you had to just sing beautiful songs for the King and you was given a golden cage. You are an idiot for giving up those precious gems. You didn’t even take one out when you left. You have lost everything with your so-called freedom’

The bird listened and after giving some thought, he replied to the parrot, ‘You may live in the cage if you like it so much but I prefer the freedom of roaming in the sky, living day by day and being happy because I am alive.’

Before the bird was intending to finish, the parrot flew inside the cage.

The moral of this story is that we as human beings love to be caged under doctrines, repeat whatever isn’t our own experience, we bound ourselves under religion, nationality, race, gender and color. If by some chance, someone decides to be free, to tread on a path that no one is willing to walk upon, we think they are crazy. However, if we really want the Truth, if we really want enlightenment then we have to do it alone and be willing to live moment to moment, whatever it brings. Yesterday, today and tomorrow will be the same for the parrot in the gems-filled, golden cage. However, every day brings in a new possibility for the bird that found it’s freedom again.

Likewise, if we are stuck on a body level only, then we will only be subject to the laws of the physical. If we choose to let go of this cage of the mind, invest time in thinking, in inquiring about what stops us from living the truth then we can truly transcend the time and live as consciousness, a pure awareness, as the Formless.

Inspired by Osho.

Post 97 – The Paradigm of Truth

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Confidence is something that grows with time. When we look at the situation we are in, we think of many faults and we think of how we do not deserve things, we have an inner hierarchy and we lose out on living in each moment.

For example, we all may believe in a higher being, we can call it God or Truth or a True Master (Satguru) and we always seem to feel smaller than these beings. I find this common in mainly religion and find it seeping in to spirituality. We belittle ourselves instead of looking at that which is higher and then attaining to it. We praise the highest order but we make ourselves at the bottom.

Now, there is a fine line here because one can turn around and say it is humility hence we say we are at the bottom. Humility simply means you see all things as One and Equal and you serve ALL in the same manner. That is humility. Humility isn’t when you put things in an hierarchy. However, the ones who have realised the Truth continue to tell us that we are Truth seeking the Truth and that is the Truth.

So today, what I am trying to say in this blog message is that you can realise your potential, which is God, which is Truth, which is the Satguru. Once you realise it then you are IT.

Confidence is something that builds up when we can be truly humble and be as strong as Truth. We can be as stable as Truth. The way to Truth may be chaos but once you go through all the trials and tribulations, you find silence, bliss and peace!

Attain it! It is Yours.

Call it enlightenment or whatever pleases you, you are all here to have a mystical Truth to lead a spiritual life that defines in words what religion truly is. This path may be for the few but the few can be made up into millions.

Let me put it in another way, Truth is an expression (Mysticism), Truth is a way of life (Spirituality) and Truth is an experience (Religion). You need all of this, so it is best to find your way to religion. Most people who claim to be religious or belong to a religion may not fit in my paradigm here but they now know the way to be religious!

Rahul

My Poetry Book out now!

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Hello everyone.

This is my first official post after self-publishing my new poetry book titled ‘You Are Seeking Me’. It consists of 101 poems and is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition.

First of all, what is special about the book? It is my own thoughts, my feelings and my experiences that I want to share with you all. It is all about sharing with others and what can inspire others to change in their lives. You may not need to change but you may feel more at peace knowing that there is one more person that understands you.

If you like Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore, Blake, Walt Whitman or Rumi, you will love these poems. They talk about the mystical experience and how the eyes of wonder are in the eyes of the disciples. In fact, there is nothing but freedom expressed in the poems. It talks about getting rid of knowledge and being aware of the Greater Reality in life. It is about knowing that it is not just God or Existence that you must seek or even yourself that you must seek, whatever you seek is bound to be seeking you. Everything in this world is a beautiful paradox. There is no need to be confused about everything. How can we not be confused with all the chaos that surrounds us. It is a simple answer. Just live in the present moment with single-pointedness awareness. Concentrate on remaining present and the world will shower its gifts on you. The way we see life will be new, fresh and unique in its own way. Gone will be the mundane routine and you will live in harmonious newness. Be free and explore your self with my new poetry book available on Amazon.

Click on the following links and buy it. Support self-publishing! The more you buy, the more support I will receive in making my next project. My success is in Your hands.

Paperback version: http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Seeking-Me-1/dp/1477466770/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342209825&sr=1-7&keywords=you+are+seeking+me

Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Seeking-Me-ebook/dp/B008JI290O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342209911&sr=1-1&keywords=you+are+seeking+me

Thank you everyone for your love and support,

Rahul

Post 96 – Let Life be more Mysterious

Greetings everyone!

Hope everyone is well. I have not posted something in a long time so first of all, accept my apologies.

I have been a little busy at the moment, I have been working on my new poetry book which is set to release in late July this year. I am currently in the editing stages and I am enjoying it every moment of it.

This post is a very simple one. I feel at times, life has another plan for us and we force our will on what life should be like. Why do we do this? The simple reason is because we can never be content with reality. So instead of being attentive to reality, we divert our attention and focus on what should have happen and continue to wonder how we can make it happen. The thing is your will can be achieved, what you want can be achieved and the answer lies in reality. Otherwise, you will be living in the past looking to achieve something with little clues and little motivation.

It is not a coincidence that most mystics have talked about living in the present moment. There must be something about it and from experience, I can say that it is has been beneficial for me. It has guided me to new discoveries that I wish I had discovered before. Some of you may remember that I used to do youtube videos and I stopped them a while back and then deleted them. The main reason was that my discoveries had a continuous refining quality and slowly and slowly I am becoming a new man or shall I say a more evolved being. Therefore, when it comes to spiritual matters, it is best to remain silent and then decide to speak.

At times, we think we are doing the right thing and what really is the right thing? All it is, is our limited perception. Our consciousness is limited and therefore cannot even comprehend everything life can offer. We lack both imagination and reality. We live in the past, even facts of the past and make it sound as if they have some significance for today. The only way to bliss is through contentment and balance in all circumstances. The only way to access bliss is through the present moment. Life has a lot to give to you, just do not limit it with your expectations and your unpolished vision. Be more present and your vision will be more clear.

Let life be more mysterious, answers will only make life less adventurous and more monotonous.

Love and blessings,

Rahul

Post 95 – Knowing is the Only Way!

Hi readers!

Hope you are well.

I had a thought, can I call it a thought or shall I say revelation? Hear this out: ‘If you know the Truth then you don’t know. You can only be in knowing of the Truth.’

I probably could say the last sentence with greater clarity but I shall explain this a little now. Whenever, you come to a point and say ‘I know the Truth’ that cannot be the Truth speaking. It can only mean that you have given up knowing or desiring to know more. Instead, you have made the Truth a possession and you cannot possess the Truth. It cannot be grasped nor seen but it creates a great amount of intensity within you. It creates something intimate, where the feelings overflow into something magnificent. So the state of what is called enlightenment is the discovery of knowing. Knowing is everlasting, it is infinite and therefore cannot be grasped by thought. If it is, it creates memory and memory cannot be the Truth. Truth is always new, always fresh and pleasant as it is created from wisdom. Truth is freedom. Memory is distorted and can lead to illusion as it is base is knowledge or just mere words on a paper. Memory is a prison.

Therefore, meditation must be treated as a ground for inner enquiry and discovery. It is easy to say there is a God or there is a soul. But has this very discovery been your own? Never be comfortable with any idea. The Truth is never comfortable because it implies knowing which leads to internal growing. Remember, knowing is a verb, it is action. And to know really means you knew. If you know something today then tomorrow it may be something different. Therefore, this means you ‘knew’, you don’t ‘know’ it. You have to think about this. This might sound a little too intellectual but if you let this settle within you, enquire within you, be part of this whole discussion then something great can be discovered. Can you know God? Can you know the Truth?

I shall keep this post nice and small so you may think about it.

My love to all,

Rahul