Are you Enlightened…in the real sense?


This word- ‘Enlightenment’ has always intimidated me…it has given me visions of rising up into a different world, a sphere beyond my reach and therefore I have been trying to understand it for many years now.

Buddhist interpretation of the word…‘the awakening to ultimate truth by which man is freed from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations to which all men are otherwise subject’ is quite overwhelming.

Then I read about self-awakening…the truth that lies within us, the emotions that guide us towards our goals, that define the purpose of our life.

And I arrived at some conclusions.

Enlightenment is not just spiritual, not just a state of transcendent divine experience, which aims at liberation from self, craving, suffering and rebirth.

It is the ability to comprehend ourselves, it is the power to peer into our hearts and minds and reach that state of spiritual bliss, which may or may not lead us to salvation.

Within us lies a light, a light of thoughts, a light of sanity, of ethereal happiness the light that liberates, which may become divine at some point of time…if we make an effort.

Enlightenment is self-realization…knowing your true self, which may be different from the self you have been portraying to the world.

“Knowing others is Wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment” –Laozi.

How much you know about yourself? I know you are thinking what an absurd question is this?

Yes, I am right…it takes us almost whole of our life to know what lies in our heart and mind; as it keeps on changing.

There are stages when we don’t know what we want. If we are smart enough to figure out, one fine day we realize that our passion is not what we have been pursuing.

What we like as teenagers, we may not feel comfortable with, as we grow up.

Our taste for food, our aesthetic sense, our likes and dislikes, our friends, our perspective on life changes and we move beyond the world of appearances.

We feel enlightened when our intuition starts guiding us, when we can take mature decisions, when we take pride in our achievements.

So enlightenment begins with plunging into our hearts, analyzing our thoughts and reflecting on the kind of life we have been leading.

Slowly we realize we need another kind of enlightenment:

Enlightenment is to know and understand people around us.quote-the-real-meaning_14762-4

How little we know about people around us!

How often do you step out of your own relationships to know more about your neighbors, your friends and colleagues?

We are too formal with them…just the customary greeting…how good or bad the weather is…how cute the dog or cat is and that puts an end to our conversation!

Do we know how many of them are facing challenges at work?

Do we know what is causing stress in their lives? We are so worked up in our own problems that we don’t pay any attention to what is leading to the deteriorating health of our friend.

This culture of adopting a non-interfering attitude makes us strangers to each other, getting immersed in the sea of our own plans and pains.

Is spiritual enlightenment of any use in such a scenario? Aren’t we too selfish to crave for it?

Can we really attain it if we are oblivious of the suffering around us?

To my mind, real enlightenment comes from helping mankind, from eradicating hunger and disease, from wiping out abuse, discrimination, violence and exploitation around us.

Enlightenment doesn’t make us a better person if we seek it just for us. It doesn’t erase our desires or put an end to even our own suffering. In fact it is the suffering that ennobles us.

Let your quest for enlightenment guide your spirit.

“Enlightenment is at the source of everything. From it, flows our Intuition and our creative energy. It is the delta of the human spirit ~ what we innately seek to return to, as we find ourselves lost in this world.”—Kim Chestney

Is enlightenment beyond the reach of common man?

I don’t think so.

Would you like to be enlightened in the real sense of the word? I would love to hear from your side.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Picture credit: Effortless


15 thoughts on “Are you Enlightened…in the real sense?

  1. I believe that one spends one’s entire life seeking spiritual bliss, which cannot be said without inserting GOD.

    I believe without this spirituality nothing truly matters a damn.

    I believe without this HIGHER POWER, I would have perished long ago.

    Great Post! x

    1. You are so right…nothing is more satisfying than spiritual bliss, only if we have the truthfulness and the perseverance to reach there!

      I truly respect your beliefs. The Higher power undoubtedly guides us through all our tough times…after all it is the smooth sailing that we all aspire for!

      Thanks for adding your perspective!

  2. Madam

    Lovely article. Just a suggestion for you. Please do explore the possibility of doing a Vipassana meditation course (free of charge with accomodation & food provided) in your lifetime.

    Here is the link:

  3. You made so many points here it is hard to comment on just one. But sometime we can analyze too much and get stuck in the analyzing. I wonder if it is when we stop figuring everything out that we see the light right there, as it is has always been in front of us, just clouded by our minds. I love how you say it is ever changing. It is not a place we go and stay, we practice it, and let go and it is. We can come in and out of it.
    Therefore there is a subtleness to it. Not always profound. Though sometimes can be profound but that is also just our mind getting excited about it. xoxo

    1. Hi Jodi,

      I am glad you have found too many points…it was intentional as narrow definitions always set me thinking and analysing has become one of the traits of my writing.
      Your analysis is also quite profound…the light that we possess reveals itself to us only if we develop that discerning instinct.

      It is interesting to know that we can excite our mind to that level…I feel a lot of conscious effort goes into that. Thanks for expressing your view, I value it greatly and look forward to it.

  4. Hi Balroop

    Enlightment I believe is something we can only get if we take some quiet thought to all the wonders around us. The more I read of the mind I realize it holds all the answers, but usually we are so busy we don’t take the time to listen. Intuition, knowing, understanding and when you are ready for deeper meaning to higher than us the answers come. Some refer to religion but I am not.

    One of the biggest lessons was in a substitute science class teacher in the 7th grade. She talked about infinity and trying to grasp what that really meant, still is unfathomable. It made me feel and still does make me feel very small in the realm of things. And so I question why am I here, what is beyond here and what is it that I am suppose to be doing and learning. I think I am more enlightened than I was a year ago. Purpose to follow your heart and it is not always what we assume it to be. Changing is a constant and being in tune to what that purpose is I am still not certain.

    Great piece of thinking and I appreciate you taking the time to write it.


    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you for standing by and saying some profound words of wisdom!

      I like your understanding of the mind and the limits of our ability to explore it fully. Yes, intuition and thinking deeply play an important part in enlightenment, which we keep postponing due to reasons best known to us…we all have our own kind of constraints.

      That is great, Mary! your experience of 7th grade! We learn slowly if we are receptive to little pieces of information around us. Thanks for your kind words of appreciation. Xoxo!!

  5. Hi Balroop, This is a wonderful exploration of all the ways to look at enlightenment. I too have been intimidated by the word until gradually I’ve come to believe it means to wake up to ourselves, the moment and our potential. Still a journey, but not so esoteric or removed from what is possible. Waking up and acting on our best. blessings, Brad

    1. Hi Brad,

      Thank you for contributing to the conversation, your pearls of wisdom are always welcome. The moment we realise that enlightenment is an inward journey, we learn to understand many aspects of all the emotions that link us to our own self. True, it is a long journey of liberation from infinite desires, imminent pain and sole suffering.

  6. Hi Balroop,
    This is a beautiful and truly thoughtful post on one of my favorite subjects.

    I like the Kazantzakis quote you included. The shadow self causes most, if not all, unhappiness. Left unchecked, it can completely derail a meaningful life. I think the antidote is to love oneself more fiercely. It is accepting ourselves fully that the shadow self is less demanding, and keeping ego in check, one’s true self emerges from the shadows to shine forth.


    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks for sharing such profound thoughts! I know I am responding too late but I really believe in ‘better late than never’…

      I agree with you, shadows of varied hues add so much to life…acceptance and resilience do lead us to brighter channels, only through self awareness. I have spoken about self-love and ego in one of my recent posts– ‘How much of Self-Love?’

      Thank you for your continued support and ‘blessings’. They do reach me!

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