What Is Spiritual Enlightenment? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
Today, the word “Enlightenment” is used quite a bit in spiritual circles. There are “Enlightened teachers”, Enlightened masters”, Enlightened gurus”, etc. In the world of spirituality, it is part of the marketing of spirituality. It is a business. That is neither good nor bad. Simply an observation.
I myself use the term Enlightenment quite a bit. The reason for that is that at some level, English speaking people can relate to this word.
The word “Enlightened” can have many meanings. Even in normal conversation when someone answers a question, we say, “Thank you for enlightening me.”
The term “Enlightenment” ideally has the connotation of clarity, sublime wisdom, profound insight, and seeing deeply into the nature of things. Electricity running through a bulb provides light for others to see. Similarly, an Enlightened Being is meant to give light to others.
But if you are in the market for spiritual enlightenment, it is complex to navigate. There are so many issues and questions. Since all the spiritual teachers claim in one way or another to be “enlightened”, how does one pick a teacher? It is such a competitive field!
When we want our teeth to be white and healthy, we go to the market and look at different kinds of toothpastes. We try one and if we find that our teeth are not as white as claimed on toothpaste tube, we try a different brand. If we are bald and wish to grow more hair, we go to the market and buy oils and herbs and see if they grow hair.
Can we take the same approach with Enlightenment? Some people do. They go to one teacher and then another and then another, etc. Perhaps like we can check our teeth in the mirror to see how white they are, we can check our mind to see how enlightened we have become? But mind is harder to see than our teeth or our hair. So how do we check our mind? Possibly, we can check how enlightened our mind is through our own mind? Do you see the paradox?
Who is Enlightened and who is not? How can you tell? Are you looking for Enlightenment? It means you are looking for a product of some type perhaps, does it not? Should you not know what the product is all about? Do you know what Enlightenment looks like? How will you know when you come across it? How will you consume it? How does one find Enlightenment? Where does one start? How does one start? What tools does one use to become Enlightened?
I hope you enjoy these questions. Reflecting on these questions will allow you to gain some clarity about what you wish to do on the quest for Enlightenment and how you wish to be.