Category Archives: Enlightenment

Teachings As Pointers

It is somewhat easy to teach about an object. However, the absolute truth is not an object. So, it is not possible to show it. There are many methods that are developed to take the seeker towards the absolute truth. Since these are just methods to lead one towards the truth and these methods are trying to speak of something that cannot be objectified, they may have apparent contradictions. After the Self Realisation, the methods need to be dropped.

For example sake, let us consider the use of the word witness when talking about the Self. The word witness is a nice pointer, but strictly speaking there is an element of duality hidden in it. If there is a witness, there is something to witness, i.e. duality. Pure awareness means there is nothing else but it, no duality. The seer and the scenery merge. Thus, the word witness is a pointer helping a seeker to separate the Self from the non-Self (body & unsteady mind). This pointer becomes useless from the perspective of Self.

Consciousness and Enlightenment

The following line from Patanjali Yoga Sutra [4.19] speaks about the dependence of what people call consciousness in common language on something else:


The above implies that individual consciousness does not have an independent existence, it exists due to the impersonal consciousness. In Vedanta individual consciousness is called reflected consciousness. Many times when you say, “I” you mean individual consciousness.

When light ray strikes a mirror it gets reflected and we speak of incident and reflected rays. For observer there are two rays. However, light just knows that it is light and not as incident and reflected rays separately. After bouncing, instead of saying, “I am reflected light” the light still says that I am just the light. Water says I am water whether it is inside a cup or inside a bucket. When you realise this deeply, the identification with individual consciousness goes. You realise that one consciousness is expressing through various things and you are that.

When you are absolutely comfortable in saying this to yourself that I am pure impersonal consciousness and Jiva is reflecting it but I am not Jiva, you are enlightened. Also, the understanding that because Jiva appears in me, Jiva is me but I am not Jiva becomes firm.

If you are looking for mystical experiences and epiphanies to attain enlightenment, you may have a tough road ahead as maya is very strong. All these experiences are made possible by maya. Consciousness is beyond maya and one needs to remove the veil of maya to know the truth. Experiences come and go but you remain.