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Enlightenment is the Flowering of our Consciousness

Just take the case of a seed. Just see the possibility of its potentiality. It can either grow into a huge tree and flower or it can just remain as a seed and die as a seed. Then it has not used the opportunity for its potentiality to be actualized. Let us say that this seed takes the responsibility and falls into the hands of a gardener and allows itself to get planted beneath the soil and sprouts. It sprouts and eventually a beautiful tree comes into being. And before planting the seed, the gardener prepares for the right soil. In the process he removes the weeds which were hurdles and were coming in the way of growth. He gives water and manure to the seed. He allows the warmth of the sun and creates a protected surroundings and allows the tree to grow on its own accord and waits with immense patience for its natural growth. He basically nurtures the seed to grow

And very soon the seed transforms into a beautiful tree. It grows and eventually blossoms. The moment the flowers are blossomed, they release their fragrance, which moves farther and farther away, thereby inviting many butterflies and honeybees to reach to the flowers. The fragrance is an invitation to the butterflies and the honeybees to reach to the flowers. And this fragrance was hidden deep inside the seed and the only condition for its release was its flowering. The flower can now release the fragrance which it can no longer hold it. Though the fragrance has emanated from the flower, it is no more in the hands of the flower. The fragrance is just a by-product of its flowering. It is just consequential. We can see the seed, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the entire tree and its flowers but we can never see the fragrance. The only option we have is to smell it and feel it. It is also now not in the hands of the flower to hold it. It is helpless, has no choice but to release it. And it is also now not in the hands of the fragrance to remain there but to spread and spread all across and create a field of fragrance surrounding the flower. This fragrance all around becomes like a “Buddha Field around the flower. This becomes a natural attraction for the butterflies and honeybees to get attracted towards the flowers. The flower is now continuously releasing its fragrance till it is withered away. The butterflies and honeybees naturally get attracted to this fragrance and reach the flowers to collect nectar. The fragrance was just an invitation. It is in fact a global invitation. And of course an open and unconditional invitation. The butterflies sip the nectar from these flowers for their living and the honeybees also collect the nectar from these flowers and create honey for their living. And this flowering of a seed is a simple and natural metaphor for the inner process of our flowering consciousness as enlightenment is nothing but simply the inner flowering of our consciousness

Our consciousness is already hidden deep inside our own being but in the form of a potential seed. It is hidden deep inside our own being in the form of our unconsciousness. And the joy, happiness, ecstasy, peace and friendliness are the natural by-products of our flowering consciousness. Our joy and happiness have now no bounds and limitations. This inner ecstasy becomes an infinite freedom. It just grows and grows and grows. It travels farther and farther. And, beyond and beyond and beyond is its only journey. This potential seed is only a metaphor for a Disciple on his spiritual journey. And the gardener is a metaphor for the Spiritual Master. The master is always there in the form of a help, guide, teacher, coach, mentor or a Guru. The master is our only a true friend on the path of our spiritual journey of growth and enlightenment. The Master is like a friend because he is always friendly. What the master can give you? Nothing !! He can only help you on the path of your spiritual growth and fulfillment. He can encourage you. He can create confidence in you. He can create challenges in you. He can motivate you. He can inspire you. He can offer you various methods and tools to make your journey easy and simple. In his presence your growth, fulfillment, and enlightenment becomes your own aim and achievement. The Master has only become a catalyst and a change agent in the whole process. He simply becomes a presence and a witness to all this happening. The existence is really strange and mysterious. The moment a student is ready the teacher appears. The moment a disciple is ready the master appears. Osho says that it is not actually the disciple who discovers the master but it is the master who actually discovers the disciple. I think they both are inseparable and eternal twins. 

This whole process of taking the potential seed on its growth path by creating a soil, removing the weeds, watering the plant, putting the manure, giving the warmth of the sun and creating a protection from external influences is a metaphor for Meditation. This tool of meditation is given by the master. Meditation is a method. Meditation is a process of inner change and inner transformation. Meditation or Dhyana is an alchemy and has a dual dimension. It serves both as a method and also as a process of complete change and total transformation. The entire path of discipline that a disciple travels from the very beginning to the very end, from potentiality to actuality, is called Sanyas. It is a real process of our inner change, growth, and fulfillment. It is in fact our real learning curve. Sanyas or renunciation simply means, that now I am with three things: master, meditation, and my-self. This requires courage, confidence, will, immense patience and trust. The outcome, the end result, the goal, the by-product is our own joy, happiness, ecstasy, and friendliness. And the awareness and consciousness of this inner bliss is our actual enlightenment. Do you really smell and feel your enlightenment? Ask this question again and again to just yourself and nobody. The fragrance of the flower is just a metaphor for the experience of enlightenment

The entire process of growth was a simple process of taking the responsibility, making a choice, taking the help of the master out of his love and trust and moving on the path of discipline called meditation with full courage and confidence and waiting with immense patience for that mystery to happen. This happening is our Enlightenment. People have a wrong notion that sannyas or renunciation means to give-up ones job, family, friends, wealth and society and go somewhere on the Himalayas. No? This is our wrong thinking and wrong idea. Our thinking needs a change and a paradigm shift. What is there to renounce? Just think again and again. Except giving-up ignorance what is there to renunciate. We have to actually give-up or renunciate our wrong notions, wrong attitudes, prejudices, blind beliefs, preconceived notions, and wrong faiths. Except these I dont think we have anything to give-up really. Understanding all this clearly with our pure mind and pure heart and moving away from all these prejudices is a real sanyas or renunciation. That is why in the East the whole purpose of life is summed-up in just three words: ignorance, meditation, and enlightenment. In the East these three words are the most important words. They are like gems. They are like a master key. There is nothing beyond these. The Buddhas and the Zen Masters have always been saying that the whole misery of our life is because of our ignorance and the only solution for this is our enlightenment and the only method available for this is the meditation. In simple words, misery is the disease, enlightenment is the cure and meditation is the medicine. The whole process of meditation is moving from misery to mystery. The whole process of meditation is to move from ego to enlightenment. Enlightenment is the death of the ego. Enlightenment is the awareness and consciousness of this mystery. 

Consciousness, Unconsciousness, and Supreme Consciousness

Everything is just a metaphor for something that is already there. All words are just indicators to arrive at something that already exists. All metaphors are just pointers to reach to something that is already there. The whole reality is like a jigsaw puzzle. The whole reality is broken into pieces. And life is a game to arrange these pieces into one unbroken oneness. All the divisions are just for the sake of a better understanding. And all the understanding should lead to an existential experience. We don’t believe in gravity any more. We don’t believe in electricity any more. These are scientifically proven things today. Electricity and gravity are experimentally proven by the scientists. And therefore we no longer believe them to exist. We in fact know them to exist. And there is no need for a belief any more. Just like how the objective scientists are dividing the whole objective universe into various components, the subjective scientists or mystics have also divided the whole inner universe into its various constituents and components. And they found that in their existential experience there is no division. There is only oneness. There is no division from the side of reality. All divisions are just ours. The divisions are created from our side. The mind creates divisions to integrate with the whole. And the whole purpose of the divisions is to lead to the existential experience of oneness. The scientists divide the reality objectively and the mystics divide the reality subjectively. There are two kinds of minds - scientific and spiritual. And both the approaches of the mind are scientific but their directions are diagonally opposite. One mind is looking outside for the outer objects. And the other mind is looking for the inner objects called the thoughts. The science is an outer path and spirituality is an inner path. Science is trying for an objective unification and spirituality is trying for a subjective unification. Science is experimental and spirituality is experiential. In this process of unification a mystic divides the whole reality into Consciousness, Unconsciousness, and Supreme-Consciousness.   

Let us understand this division by way of an example. Let us assume that the unconsciousness is like a darkness. Unconsciousness means the one that is not yet known. It can also be termed as our ignorance. Also assume that the consciousness is like the light. It can also be termed as our knowledge or wisdom. It means a method of knowing. It means a process of knowing. Light is a method of knowing the darkness. Consciousness is a means to peep into the unconsciousness. I can not know what is there in a dark room unless I bring in the light. In the absence of the light I may stumble upon various objects in the dark room and get hurt. Thomas Edison has not discovered the light. He has invented the incandescent bulb. The light is already there hidden in the creation. He helped the light manifest objectively through the incandescent bulb. This was his creation. This was his invention. He was a great genius. There is no second thought about that. He brought in the light in the darkness of our objective world. He helped us light-up the darkness of our objective world. The Vedas, Upanishads, and the Buddhas are talking about an inner light to remove the inner darkness. In spite of the light outside we stumble upon sometimes. In spite of the light outside we make accidents. In spite of all knowledge of the science we bombarded Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have to also assume things for something called the inner darkness. Don’t say why we have to assume things? We never ask this question to our Mathematics teacher. To learn Mathematics we have to assume certain things. 

The Vedas and Upanishads term this inner darkness as Ego or “Ahankara”. How to disperse this inner darkness then? This is also a pertinent question. This question may arise any time. Let it arise. If the question has not arisen yet then there is no problem. Just enjoy your life and move on. There is no need to worry at all. It is only for those who have asked this question. It is only for those who have this question on hand.  

Let us assume that there is an inner darkness. This inner darkness is termed as unconsciousness. This inner darkness can be removed by bringing in the inner light. This bringing in of the inner light is termed as consciousness. And just a small light can disperse the darkness of more than thousands of years. It does not matter how big is the darkness. It does not matter how big is the unconsciousness. It may be an accumulation of millions of lives. It also does not matter how small is the consciousness. It does not matter how small is the light. A small candle of light can light-up thousands of big candles. And it may still does not lose light. This is the power of light. This is the power of the consciousness. And this is the power of knowledge and wisdom.

Let us assume that there is a dark room. Let us say that this room is closed from all sides. All the doors and windows of this room have been closed. Let us assume that this room is closed and is in darkness for the last one hundred years. Let us assume that no light has ever entered in this room for the last one hundred years. We may say that the darkness of this room has become thicker and thicker over a period of time and we may need a bigger light to light-up this room. But this argument is not true. This logic and rationale does not hold good. A small candle of light is enough to disperse the darkness of one hundred years. This is the power of light. This is the power of consciousness. This is the power of knowledge. A small candle light of knowledge and wisdom is enough to remove the darkness of ignorance of millions of lives. Consciousness increases awareness. And awareness increases knowledge and wisdom. Mindfulness and meditation are methods and processes to increase consciousness and awareness. Consciousness helps increase awareness. Mindfulness and meditation are tools to increase consciousness and awareness. 

This consciousness works at three levels - individual, collective, and cosmic. Let us think that the individual consciousness is like a small circle. This circle has divisions of its own consciousness and unconsciousness. Let us say that the center of this circle is connected with the Supreme-Consciousness. There is a bigger circle than the individual. Let us say that this is a collective circle. And this circle is a circle of collective consciousness. This circle too has its own divisions of the consciousness and unconsciousness. Let us call them as collective consciousness and collective unconsciousness. And the center of this circle is also connected with the Supreme-Consciousness. Then there is a third circle of cosmic consciousness. This circle is again divided by its own divisions of the consciousness and unconsciousness. Let them be called as cosmic consciousness and cosmic unconsciousness. The center of this cosmic circle is also connected with the Supreme-Consciousness. The individual consciousness is a sub-set of the collective consciousness. And the collective consciousness is a sub-set of the cosmic consciousness. And the centers of all these circles are connected to the Supreme-Consciousness. The Supreme-Consciousness is like a presence. It is neither objective nor subjective. It is already the case. It is already there. It transcends the objective and the subjective. It can be experienced. It can not be experimented. The mind creates these divisions of the objective and the subjective. The objective mind moves on the path of objective science, and the subjective mind moves on the path of subjective science. Mindfulness and meditation are the methods and processes of unifying these divisions. And the experience of Supreme-Consciousness is the unification of these divisions.        

In order to understand it better, let us correlate this with a live example. There is Hydrogen and Oxygen in abundance in the atmosphere. We all know that Water is a compound of Hydrogen and Oxygen. Why then all Hydrogen and Oxygen in the atmosphere come together to form the Water? If this happens, then there will be only Water everywhere. Even we can not exist if there is only water everywhere. And even the creation also will have no meaning. The Hydrogen and Oxygen come together only in the presence of Electricity. And without the presence of Electricity this reaction can not take place. And this Electricity remains the same before the reaction and also after the reaction. It does not undergo any change. In this reaction the Electricity acts as a Catalyst. A catalyst is something that only helps the reaction to take place and does not undergo any change neither before the reaction nor after the reaction. And in order to break the compound Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen we again need the presence of Electricity. And this Electricity does not undergo any change. It only helps the reaction to take place.

The Supreme-Consciousness is like a presence. It is already there. It is already the case. It is neither born nor will ever die. It can neither be created nor be destroyed. It is Tat Sat. It is that truth. It is already there. It can not be changed or modified. It can only be known. It can only be experienced. In the presence of the same, the cosmic consciousness and cosmic unconsciousness come into being. And then it moves to the individual and collective consciousness and unconsciousness. And through awareness the individual can attain to the experience of the Supreme-Consciousness. The unconsciousness creates our separation from the Supreme-Consciousness, and the consciousness again brings back that unification. This is the power of consciousness.     

Just for the sake of our understanding, let us say that the Hydrogen is like the unconsciousness. This is one stage. It is a stage of not knowing. It is a stage of ignorance. It is a stage of darkness. And let us say that Oxygen is like the consciousness. This is another stage. It is a stage of knowing. It is a process of knowing. It is a method of knowing. It is a stage of throwing light in the darkness. Let us say that these two states come together. These two states are nothing but two perceptions of the same reality which is One. Let us assume that the presence of Electricity is like the presence of Supreme-Consciousness. It is already there. We can not create it. We can only know it. We can only experience it. In the coming together of the unconsciousness and the consciousness, we experience the Supreme-Consciousness. It is already there as a presence. It is just helping the two divisions to come together. It is just helping the two parts to come together. It is just allowing the two polarities to come together. And in the union, the division is dissolved. In oneness, the duality is disappeared. And the existential experience of this Oneness is called a “Spiritual Singularity”. Now there are no divisions. All the divisions have disappeared. Now there is no duality. There is only singularity. This is the experience of Advaita (Non-duality). This is that Supreme-Consciousness. This is that absolute. This is already there. And there is ultimately no name to it. All names are just assumptions. It is like how we assume things in mathematics. What are we doing in mathematics? We are just trying to prove that the LHS (Left Hand Side) is equal to the RHS (Right Hand Side), or LHS minus RHS equals “Shunya”, or LHS plus RHS equals “Shunya”. The same is the case here too. 

The sum of the unconsciousness and consciousness is equal to “Shunya”. And “Shunya” means nothingness. And the existential experience of this nothingness is called the Supreme Consciousness. Mathematically, Unconsciousness + Consciousness = Supreme Consciousness.

Just by reading all this as you come to the very end of this page, it may become impossible for you to contain the joy in your heart and you may just jump madly and say eureka, eureka, eureka. Yes !! You got it. Am I really enlightened? Bravo !! You are enlightened and that is your birthright.