In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses what triggers the journey towards enlightenment and even questions whether it is a journey!
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Hello and welcome to another episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for joining today and for taking out the time to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today we're going to be talking about whether the path of enlightenment is for everyone. If we look at karma and we look at the concept of reincarnation, then it is inevitable that one day everyone will be enlightened. Regardless of our view, everyone is working towards enlightenment. Some know it, some don't know it, some realize it, some do not realize it, but everyone is on that path towards enlightenment. This journey begins only when we have that feeding from within that, we want to be enlightened, that we want to achieve something, that we want to attain something that takes us beyond our egoic self, this false sense of self. Enlightenment is something we have to feel from within, completely within, when you have that calling within that says - I'm done with suffering. I'm done with fear. I'm done with greed. I'm done with attachment. I'm done with the incessant desires, the ever-growing desires. I'm done with anger. I'm done with intolerance. When that occurs and you have that feeling towards knowing who you really are. That's when the journey really begins. But everyone will eventually feel this at some point. In non-duality, it's really interesting because the person doesn't get enlightened. It's always implied that enlightenment is always here, always present. We are always in an enlightened state and that enlightened state is available for everyone. Yet we do not know this. We do not realize it. So the differentiation here is we do not realize that we are enlightened. We feel that we are bounded by our ignorance, we're bounded by our mind, by our body and therefore that stops any real growth towards enlightenment. But enlightenment is always here and it's always present. It's always now. It's availability is continuous, it's eternal. Yet, at the same time, we have to understand that the person may not be the one that gets enlightened but it is a realization, it is a journey towards that realization, that enlightenment is already here. That I don't need to do anything special to become enlightened, when one realizes that one is enlightened until then efforts have to be made. There is so much growth of the ego. There is a continuous grab of the ego. There's a continuous hold from the ego. Enlightenment always seems to be a little bit distant and that's why it's really important to understand that in non-duality, it's not the person that gets enlightened. Enlightenment is a state of Brahman. It's always here, always present. We are all human, we have a mind, regardless of if you're enlightened or not, everyone has a mind. Everyone has a body, a body that ages, a body that does every process that's required from the body, regardless of how enlightened you are. It has a mind. This mind becomes whatever it think it is. So if this mind believes that it is his body and everything that is attached to this body then influences the mind. For example, we will have desires because the body desires something, the body has attachments because it's attached to people and to things, it has conditioning. So whatever it has learnt in the past, it then uses that to conduct his action in the future. It has habits that it cannot explain because of being conditioned in a certain way. And then because of that, some people feel a spiritual calling. Some don't. It just depends on how our mind sees things. If our mind wants to know more, it will go towards it. But if our mind is stuck and feels established and feels happy within the incessant desires, the incessant thoughts, incessant attachments, the continuous evolving of conditioning, where we were unable to see the clarity of the mind. That is basically what the mind will show. Whilst in an enlightened person or the person that wants enlightenment, they will have that space of wanting to know more, wanting to know their purpose in this world, wanting to know why they're here, wanting to know what more can be done. And when this mind understands that actually it is not this body and mind, then there is a space of that calling happening. Then we face a time when we want to be enlightened. One of the massive misconceptions is linked to being all knowing and perfect, which is not the case. I think this gives an unrealistic perspective on enlightenment. I think when people see or hear that someone is enlightened, they suddenly think they have to be perfect. They have to know everything, but that's not always the case. No matter what enlightened person there is, they can't tell you what you had for lunch yesterday. We can't even remember what we had for lunch yesterday sometimes. So to expect enlightened people to remember all these unnecessary details is unrealistic. An enlightened person is not all knowing and is definitely not paid. There may be residue from their conditioning, residue from their attachments. We have to become very realistic about enlightenment. If you have this preconceived notion of enlightenment, then nobody will be enlightened in this world. Nobody. Now let's have a look into why enlightenment is not for everyone. Taking a deep look within ourselves is not really everyone's cup of tea. Not everyone wants to look within, not everyone desires to look within. People fear to look within because they don't know what they will discover about themselves, that they don't like. They may feel happy about being the way they are. They're not having any problems that are disturbing them. Nothing is causing that existential crisis and life is going pretty smoothly for them. So there's little suffering. Therefore spirituality doesn't really have a place in that person's life and I know a few people like that. We have to understand that even if we are on this path towards enlightenment, the fact that we are thinking about enlightenment is a blessing. It's a boon. Therefore we should really appreciate that we have at least that desire to become enlightened. If we don't have that desire to be enlightened because we feel, one that we cannot make it, two because we don't really want to be seen as perfect or all knowing then that's fine. Enlightenment does not get affected. Brahman doesn't get upset if you do not want to become enlightened. The choice is yours. The choice is mine. Unless you want to question why you're suffering, only then are we looking towards a path towards enlightenment. Another one is that activities consume the mind more than philosophical inquiry into who we really are and if there is more to the purpose of life. This is really important because even people that claim to be enlightened or claim to know the truth, if you have a look, they're just consumed by activity. They're consumed by doing something instead of actually having a look at what's going on within their mind. What thoughts are they having that is causing itself to be a hindrance towards enlightenment? The fact that this isn't questioned, it means that we're not moving any further in spirituality. Most of the time, people are just content with being where they are because they feel they found the truth, they don't put any effort in. They feel satisfied, but spirituality is about growth and evolving and therefore it's important to have philosophical inquiry. Without philosophical inquiry and knowing Brahman or knowing the truth only then can there be devotion. Devotion without wisdom is blind faith and wisdom without devotion creates eventually confusion. The reason for confusion is because one has not been able to see non-duality in its true sense. That although there's only Brahman and there's nothing else, one also enjoys seeing the diversity. Until there's philosophical inquiry, until we want to know more about who we are, until we settle to the realization, we are not interested. Just because we go to a place of worship does not mean that we want enlightenment or that we are even considering looking for enlightenment. Are we just merely doing activities to satisfy the perception that we're trying to attain enlightenment? Or that we are enlightened apparently? That's the question. But then why is enlightenment the only purpose? In my life, I think enlightenment is the only purpose I have. I don't really have any of the purpose. The main thing I desire is enlightenment. I'm constantly on that journey towards enlightenment. So why is enlightenment the only purpose? The light within us dispels all darkness and the Buddha said to be a light unto yourself. Which implies that you are the highest authority when it comes to enlightenment. This is very interesting. Be a light unto yourself. No matter what somebody says to you, no matter what method they may tell you, until you find your method that works for you until you find the answer that works for you, you will not attain enlightenment. Nobody will attain enlightenment. I cannot attain enlightenment. It's very important that one uses oneself as an authority. If something worked for the Buddha , that's great for the Buddha! But is it working for you? We need to analyze our spirituality into what works for us. Gyana - through knowledge, through wisdom, through intellectual inquiry. That for me is my journey towards enlightenment. That makes sense to me. That is my method. So we have to become the highest authority. We have to look at what works for us. Enlightenment is about the discovery of the Antaryami, which means the inner witness, the inner dweller. This is what Antaryami is. The one that dwells within. What is that One? That One is Brahman. Until we realize this, everything is just words. By realizing Brahman, we realize there is only Brahman. Therefore, the ego cannot even say it is enlightened. If the ego says it's enlightened, that means enlightenment has not occurred. That means we haven't realized Brahman. It's only intellectual, but there's no realization. You may intellectually know how to get to a certain location, to a certain address. But until you go there, until you go on that path, on that road, only then it occurs, only, then you get to the destination. It's about realizing what has always been within, what has always been the Antaryami. If one believes in karma, then we know that it is our karma that will create the purpose of attaining enlightenment. Also we have to work out our karma. If we've hurt other people in the past, we have to do something about it. If we cause harm in any way, we have to do something about it. Do we need to ask for forgiveness? Then we will do it. An enlightened person doesn't have the ego in which they cannot apologize. Even if they are partly at fault, they will still apologize. That is a sign of an enlightened being. Why? Because they look to create harmony. It is better to create harmony than to have conflict. Enlightenment is about a life, a mind without any conflict. Meeting a master, it may inspire the desire to become enlightened. It may start that journey towards enlightenment because we recognized that person is divine and therefore, if they are divine, we can also attain that divinity. We can also become that divinity That is the whole reason for meeting a master, for meeting a guru. If the guru cannot take you to that point, then that is not a guru at all. The Guru has to take you on that journey towards enlightenment, unless they claim something else. But if they claim they can make you enlightened, then they have to ensure that you have all the tools necessary. The great thing about the Master is that they know the pitfalls. They know where you can fall. They know when you can get distracted, they can help you because they have walked that path. So meeting a Master would definitely inspire us because we would like to be like them. We see the benefits of enlightenment through them. Enlightenment has to be your ultimate desire. It has to be your everything. Whatever time you have, you do it for the pursuit of enlightenment. Even though you know by listening to this, enlightenment doesn't happen to the person. So the question is, why should I even have it as it as a desire? The thing is we know if we are enlightened or not. We know if we're still in the clutch of the ego. We know if are still in the clutch of desire, of attachment of greed, of anger, of lust. Therefore we have to do something about that. It has to become the ultimate desire. We have to divert our mind, from all the vices, all the distractions and bring it back to the pursuit of enlightenment. Although, the pursuit implies a future date, to a future moment, but really it is all here and now. I'd like to share a story with you. A hermit was meditating by a river. When a young man interrupted him. "Master, I wish to become your disciple." Said the man. "Why?" replied the hermit. The young man thought for a moment, "Because I want to be enlightened." The master jumped up, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. Dragged him into the river and plunged his head under the water. After holding him there for a minute, with him kicking and struggling to free himself, the master finally pulled him out of the river. The young man coughed up water and gasped to get his breath. When he eventually quietened down the master spoke, "Tell me, what did you want most of all when you were underwater?" "Air" answered the man. "Very well," said the master. "Go home and come back to me when you want enlightenment, as much as you wanted air." This has to be a desire for enlightenment like that, man, gasping for air while he was plunged under the water. We have to ask ourselves, do we want enlightenment just as much? Have we had that desire? Until we've had that desire, we're not going to go towards enlightenment. We're not going to work towards it. It has to be so intense that that is the only thing that we want, the only thing that we need. That is why we want enlightenment because we see that it brings clarity. It brings self-realization. It brings God realization. It brings in Brahman as our awareness as our consciousness. To recap this episode, Enlightenment is available to everyone, but depends on your desire. Some are content with what they have and the question of meaning hasn't come up for them. Distraction of the world doesn't bring a focus track in the self. Enlightenment is a journey of removing suffering. Enlightenment is a journey towards happiness and bliss and joy. At the same time, enlightenment is not a quick fix for the incessant nature of the mind With the right method, we can transcend the mind. Even if it takes time, even if it's gradual, enlightenment will be that stable force. It will be stable and still. It will be your foundation. It cannot be moved. That's how powerful enlightenment can be. If we desire that as our only everything. I just wanted to let you know that the Patreon page is set up, please sign up to it. The reason why I set this up is because I do need support. This podcast does have running costs. And on top of that, I can tell you my laptop is really struggling right now with the amount of work I do, in terms of the podcast. So I do need more equipment, I do need to upgrade? By signing up to Patreon, you are helping me do that. You can also donate on my blog. Every Sunday from August 29th, we will be having podcasts episodes that are dedicated to a scripture or a religious or spiritual text. And the first one we're starting with is the Bhagavad Gita. And once we're done with the Bhagavad Gita, it would be the Upanishads. Thank you for watching this episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast. Please do subscribe to this channel and do like and comment on the video below. You can also share this episode with your friends and family who you feel will really enjoy this episode. You can follow The Bearded Mystic Podcast on social media and I leave the links in the description below. Do remember that an episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast is uploaded every Sunday and every Thursday. Take care. See you again soon. Bye.