When we say Mahavira, Gautama Buddha even Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed were enlightened, what we meant by that! On the same note even Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa (the revered spiritual master of Swami Vivekananda) and Maharishi Ramana were enlightened.
Can any non-enlightened person world over comment on that? Is it possible for a student to assess the capability of a teacher, more so the principal or a Nobel laureate.
Enlightenment is not something one gains physically. Enlightenment is a state achieved by seekers travelling spiritual path. The entire spiritual travel always occurs within. Spiritual journey always was an inner journey towards our soul atman existing in heart.
The state of enlightenment is the stage in life of seekers when devoid of karma one reaches stage of absolute purity. For all practical purposes one finally becomes a pure soul atman. An enlightened one retains the external human form until quitting earthly life.
For an enlightened one, both birth and death were equal. Totally unattached from principles of earthly life, an enlightened one finally liberates self from cycle of birth and death forever. For an enlightened one there is no further manifestation of a body.
The state of liberation from cycle of birth and death announces one working for welfare of entire mankind all the time. An enlightened one from beginning of spiritual journey all the time remains immersed in thoughts pertaining to welfare of entire mankind.
For an enlightened one, physical factors like ego, I do not exist any further. Freed from bondage of all earthly attachments, devoid of karma one finally completes the cosmic journey.
The enlightenment gained by Mahavira, Gautama Buddha even Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed was not that easily achieved. So many hidden factors were inbuilt into spiritual system that most of them could not be spelt in words.
It is really difficult to describe spiritual experiences. For every individual human being the spiritual journey would vary. Even though teachings remaining the same, all students in class interpreted the teachings differently! This is what free will all about.
The state of enlightenment could never be gained indulging in books alone. Literal reading meant little on spiritual path. Primarily it is chintan (indulgence in contemplation) that paves way for speedy spiritual progress. Reading and then contemplating on it is what spiritual journey all about.
It is primarily mastering art of contemplation (chintan) that differentiates seekers from commoners. As people world over find indulgence in contemplation difficult, most resort to rituals (religious practices) than path of spirituality.
Indulging in religion (ritual practices) one never gains anything spiritually. To realize self, to gain enlightenment we have to forego all attachments of physical manifest life including worldly riches. Even worldly relationships within the family and outside did not matter.
As per spirituality, it is our soul atman residing in heart that was the absolute master and controller of body and not vice versa. A spiritual traveler always works for soul atman within and not the manifest physical body.
Indulging in chintan (contemplation) a seeker gradually cuts across all shackles of karma. Primarily it is practice of truthfulness all the time that comes to rescue of a seeker.
We could never reach state of enlightenment if we were untruthful, did not possess 100% faith in God. Empowerment of a spiritual traveler always comes from practice of absolute celibacy, positive thinking. It is primarily 100% faith in God, power of celibacy coupled with practice of truthfulness that makes a spiritual traveler establish total control over five senses and mind.
Spiritually in the last about 150 years amongst 7000 million people existing world over only two spiritual stalwarts Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana succeeded in reaching the state of enlightenment. Furthermore, state of enlightenment could not be claimed by anyone as many people world over do. It is a state reached negating karma to zero.
After establishing absolute control over five senses and mind when we become enlightened, it was unto us to retain the body or not. An enlightened one can at any time leave the mortal frame and gain moksha (liberation from cycle of birth and death) forever.
As the cosmic goal of life for every single human being on mother earth was reaching state of enlightenment, it was purely our prerogative when to start spiritual journey.
Enlightened Consciousness – the Inner meaning
One who becomes an enlightened one, what happens to the consciousness of the learned one? The consciousness of an enlightened one grows to its fullest potential possible. And what does this practically mean? How does consciousness of a commoner compare with that for an enlightened one!
Our consciousness is the cosmic spirit manifesting human body. In its cosmic sojourn it got mired in impurities. To cleanse self of dross impurities within, the journey of soul atman the spirit within starts. Manifesting body after body the consciousness finally manifests human form. It is only in human form the consciousness within would liberate itself from cycle of birth and death.
We cannot see our consciousness but realize its presence in our heart all the time. This consciousness is so minute that it could not be measured by any scientific means available now or in future ever. Human beings would never be able to measure this consciousness. This inherent consciousness was beyond capture of science and human beings.
As human beings if we live, it is solely because of this consciousness within. No consciousness within, the human body could not sustain of its own. If we think the human body, manifest consciousness we were wrong in our surmise. It was vice versa, the cosmic consciousness manifest human body to work out its karma, remove dross impurities within.
Enlightened consciousness does not mean consciousness gaining something in cosmic travel. A consciousness reaches stage of absolute purity when it separates itself from dross impurities within.
Enlightenment was all about shedding, never gaining anything in cosmic sojourn. As dross impurities within shed gradually, human beings reached higher levels of consciousness. A super conscious human being is one who travelling path of spirituality succeeds in reaching state of enlightenment forever. Mahavira was one and so was Gautama Buddha. Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed both had highly evolved consciousness.
On path of pure spirituality it is human beings, the body that evolves but not consciousness within. Evolution is the process through which consciousness within purifies itself in stages. And in doing so the evolution process is helped by laws of karma. Every single action physical or in thoughts precipitates into an act of karma! In absence of karma nothing could evolve in entire cosmos.
Both evolution and karma are ingrained, inseparable.
To summarize all, to become an enlightened one; a commoner, one from masses has to undertake spiritual journey to cleanse self of dross impurities within. One has to initially reach level of Swami Vivekananda and finally Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa or Maharishi Ramana.