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Spiritual GrowthWhat is enlightenment and how can it be attained? An article by Truth Seeker.

Almost everybody, even people who are not spiritually inclined, have heard about the word "enlightened" and phrase "path to enlightenment".

Different people have suggested and interpreted this word and phrase in different ways. Some have suggested that this is the state when a person feels really happy; others have argued that this is the state when a person gets nirvana.

Enlightened Masters of the Past

To understand this term, we need to direct our attention to lives of the known Enlightened Masters of the past. The most famous ones that come to mind are Buddha, Guru Nanak, Ram and Krishna. What was common to all of these Realized Masters that caused them to become enlightened? The most important thing that was common to all of them was that after they became enlightened, none of them were born again. As a result, none of them died again. What does this suggest to us? One thing this teaches us is that enlightenment is liberation from the continuous cycle of birth and death.

How did they become enlightened? Was it continuous Meditation on the name of the Supreme One in the birth during which they became enlightened? No, rather this was the result of dedicated Unmotivated Meditation (Meditation without desire for anything in return) on the name of the Infinite, along with Sewa (Selfless service) of their Masters, spread over several births.

What happens after Enlightenment?

Enlightenment is the state after which nothing that can be known in this universe remains to be known. Such an individual can read your mind; can travel the universe in a time shorter than the time it takes to blink your eyes. He/she can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time. The past, present and future of any individual can be known instantaneously. This person can liberate or enlighten any other person also if he/she desires so.

After this last birth, this individual will not be born or die again. He/she will merge with the Supreme One and will reach the state of permanent bliss. Nothing - sadness, happiness, desires, anger, ego, etc. can touch this individual now. He/she will be above these things now.

Reincarnation / Avatar

Some of these Realized Masters are considered to be reincarnation or Ishwar Avatars of God. This is not entirely true. These Masters became enlightened and will never be part of the cycle of birth and death again. To reincarnate, the person needs to be born again.

Aiming for Enlightenment

Starting on the path towards enlightenment in not easy; on the other hand, it is not difficult for the lucky ones. It requires vigorous introspection, honest approach to life and finding a Real Master who knows this path, getting initiated by this Master and then following the path diligently. Some people will spend their entire lives searching for such a Master while a few lucky ones will seem to get such a Master without much effort. The progress made towards enlightenment will depend on the sincerity and effort put in by the disciple. Some disciples will make more progress than others.

The Real Master will give the disciple one of the many Names of the Supreme One, like Aum, Waheguru, Ram, etc. (all names of the Infinite are equal) and show the disciple where the Real Heart is (Real Heart is where a portion of God resides in every human body irrespective of religion, race, etc. and is not the same as the Physical Heart). The disciple will meditate on this Name concentrating on the Real Heart and increase his/her bank balance of the Name. This bank balance unlike the financial bank balances of today's life is carried over from one birth to the next. Finally, after the efforts spread over several births, this bank balance will reach the limit specified to attain enlightenment. Bingo, you are enlightened now!



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The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation
The Inspired Heart - An Artist's Journey of Transformation
by Jerry Wennstrom

In this book, Jerry Wennstrom tells the extraordinary story of his daring exploration into the source of his creativity.

In the late 1970s, Wennstrom was a rising star in the New York art world when he realized that he was too attached to his identity as an artist, and set out to discover the rock-bottom truth of his life.

He destroyed his large body of art, gave away all of his possessions, and spent the next 10 years living in the moment, on basically nothing, surrendered to unconditional trust and the creative inspiration of his heart.

More info