Posts tagged: Ramana Maharshi

Aug 12 2010

Do You Want to Reach Enlightenment?

Spirituality is in vogue, right now, and everybody is talking about enlightenment. Yes, never mind their lifestyles, “sins” and transgressions, folks have suddenly discovered that there is another badge of honor they can add to their collection. No longer satisfied with being successful in their career, family life and financial prosperity, more and more people are looking to add something that is commonly perceived as being “out of this world” to their collection of life’s achievements. Yes, enlightenment is truly an extraordinary achievement, if you want to use the common terminology, better perhaps suited to our earthly pursuits. Spiritual living is for many, but the ripened fruits are few for the taking…

If you’re one of many seeking enlightenment, you need to know that the term, although commonly used in the West, is frowned upon by the spiritual purists. Why? Because enlightenment is a state. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, one of the most prominent Indian teachers of the modern spirituality said: “Spirituality is a state. Why should I be interested in being in a state?” That’s right, a state is time-dependant and therefore impermanent. So, although you want to get enlightened, try to use the term: Realization; form now on, your sole objective in life should be to become a Realized Being. This simple difference in terminology will bring profound changes in your future spiritual practices.

For many a spiritual aspirant in the West, siddhis are highly desirable, and a sign of a speedy advancement in spirituality. In reality, they are worth very little. More than that, they were frowned upon by the Realized Masters, as bringing distractions and interruptions on one’s pathway to realizing the Self. Said Sri Ramana Maharshi: “In order to display siddhis, there must be others to recognize them. That means there is no jnana in the one who displays them. Therefore, siddhis are not worth a thought: jnana alone is to be aimed at and gained.” Explanations: siddhis mean accomplishments, or supernatural powers; jnana means Knowledge (of the Self). In other words, people with spiritual supernatural powers are in no way Realized, or even closer to becoming That. Yes, I know, it’s not going to be popular with the number of well known “spiritual clowns’ who mesmerize countless numbers of the followers with displaying amazing abilities to read the future, recall the past and more… Don’t waste your time with them.

And for those of you who think that they somehow “deserve” to gain Realization, and that there should be nothing standing in your way, here are the words of Ramana Maharshi. Answering the question put to him by one of his disciples: “Then what stands in the way of my knowing myself or God?” he said: “Your wandering mind and perverted ways.” Yes, contrary to the common beliefs, Realization is for everybody, but perhaps not in this lifetime. It cannot be acquired; it cannot be bestowed, stolen or bought. Yes, you and I can aspire to gain it, and dedicate our lives to this single goal. For nothing else, excluding some unforeseen “hitting the bottom” circumstances will make us to realize the Self. Every single moment of our lives should be dedicated to this, and our resolve should not be in any way dulled and blunted by compromising the highest principles of Love and Compassion. By living these principles and just being still, we surely reach That.

Daily practices of spiritual aspirant need to be simple and devoid of unnecessary ceremonies; particularly when “going through the motions’ is felt as advancing the goal. Thus if the daily prayers and singing religious songs are all parts of your upbringing, keep continuing, for there’s nothing wrong with them; later, you’ll perhaps abandon them. But, to bring new, acquired rituals, ceremonies and observances into your life is more often than not, a distraction that serves nobody. Using self-enquiry applied through mediation as your pathway to Realization, will deliver profound results; with your Heart – abode of the Self as your guiding light. And remember, Dr. David R. Hawkins’ words: “Straight and narrow is the path…Waste no time.”