``Seeing the Way is like going into a dark room with a torch; the darkness instantly departs, while the light alone remains. When the Way is attained and the truth is seen, ignorance vanishes, and enlightenment abides forever`` .....Gautama Buddha.
To begin with, here is a case study of an enlightenment experience of a man from Kashmir named Pandit Gopi Krishna. In December 1937, Pandit Gopi Krishna is said to have experienced a highly advanced stage of Enlightenment, but for twelve years after that he could not regain that ecstatic state, and in the words of Amaury de Reincourt (The eye of the Shiva) :
```He underwent the tortures of the damned and literally descended into the bowels of a Dantean hell. There appeared to be no relief from the seat of kundalini. He began to fear that he was on the verge of insanity. His body wasted away, he could no longer eat and lost all desire to live. So intense was his suffering that he almost made up his mind to commit suicide. But it then occurred to him, being a technically-minded man, that he might have accidentally aroused `kundalini` through the hot solar channel, `pingala`, rather than through the `susumna` within the spine, as he should have. He decided by the supreme effort of the will, to attempt to shift the implacable current to the cool lunar channel ida, on the left side to counteract the horrifying fire that was raging inside. Applying all the mental concentration he could muster, he did so.``The result was astounding: ``there was a sound like a nerve thread snapping and instantaneously a silvery streak passed zigzag through the spinal chord… filling my head with a blissful lustre in place of the flame that had been tormenting me``…… His first ordeal was over, but there were several others to come and each was overcome …… …… ```
Reincourt continues to describe in detail about the indomitable willpower of Pandit Gopi Krishna and his growing understanding of the mysterious force that was operating within him, his prolonged research – where his body and physiological apparatus became his own laboratory - into the technicalities of it, as well as his interactions with the greatest Indian saint `Shri Aurobindo` in faraway Pondicherry. Finally after a gap of twelve years PGK experienced that state once again. In his own words this is how he described it :
PGK`s description of his ecstatic state:
`` …. I stopped abruptly, contemplating with awe and amazement, which made the hair on my skin stand on end, a marvelous phenomena in progress in the depths of my being… … I had expanded in an indescribable manner into a titanic personality, conscious from within of an immediate and direct contact with an intensely conscious universe, a wonderful inexpressible immanence all around me…. The phenomenal world ….. receded into the background and assumed the appearance of an extremely thin, rapidly melting layer of foam upon a substantial rolling ocean of life, a veil of exceedingly fine vapour before an infinitely large conscious sun, constituting a complete reversal of the relationship between the world and the limited human consciousness. It showed the previously all-dominating cosmos reduced to the state of a transitory appearance and the …. Point of awareness, circumscribed by the body, grown to the spacious dimensions of a mighty universe and the exalted stature of a majestic immanence before which the material cosmos shrank to the subordinate position of an evanescent and illusive appendage. ```
Wasn’t that something like going through the event horizon of a black hole? In the end it’s a question of science, and it is just a question of time before the `mind` in us becomes a `super mind. In few hundred thousand years we have become men from apes, is it not inevitable that in course of time we will become superhuman beings - with super minds - from men? Or perhaps it may not happen, we might self-destruct ourselves, long before that stage.
Pandit Gopi Krishna`s was of course a rare case. But in general, what exactly happens when we get enlightened? Does it remind you of the song ``There is someone in my head but it’s not me``? From the album ` Dark side of the moon` …. Pink Floyd.
The question may be asked : Why does it happen to only a few of us?
Why are we so privileged?
What have we done to deserve this?
What about the others who don`t get it, whose interactions have been such that they have not met people who can teach them how to attain such enlightenment by meditation or something?
In a conversation in reply to my comments in response to a Huffington Post blog ``WHAT IS ENLIGHTEMENT`` BY KEN MCLEOD, a commentor named `DEMO` (Pseudo name) said:
DEMO: Don`t grasp the questions, wait quietly for the answers. You will learn what you are ready to learn. what Happens? You can`t know what`s in the gift until you open it.
My reply to Demo:
SKS : But who can give the answers ?
We do not come across people who know the answers. Besides even if we achieve this state, is it not selfish to be in that state while there is suffering all around? Perhaps Sri Ramakrishna – whose disciple Swami Vivekananda was – might have reached this state of Samadhi sometimes, but each time he pulled himself together and cried to himself `` come down, come down`` in order to continue his mission on earth, and he pleaded ``Oh mother, let me not attain these delights, let me remain in my normal state, so that I can be of more use to the world``
`The great mystic Ruysbroeck once said
`` If you are ravished in ecstasy as highly as St. Peter or St. Paul or as anybody you like and if you hear that a sick man is in need of hot soup, I counsel you to wake up from your ecstasy and warm the soup for him. Leave God to serve God: find him and serve him in his members, you will lose nothing by the change``.….` The eye of Shiva` .. by Amaury de Riencourt.
What I am trying to say is that even if we are able to attain this state, the first thing that will strike us would be `Why am I so privileged? What did I do to deserve it?
Who can give the answers?
DEMO`S RESPONSE TO ME:
"Who can give the answers?" Answers come from the Spirit. Meditation is the channel through which the spirit speaks to us. We can read and hear about other's experiences but they can never be our own because the answers are not intellectual. These stories are about someone's personal struggle. Once meditation is achieved, through struggle, then one has a chance to gain knowledge of the spirit beyond meditation. Meditation is only the path, not the answer. The answer comes from the ONE. Seek only to quiet thought, open Self to the Spirit. You will not even know you have an "answer" but you are changed each time you visit the ONE. You KNOW something you didn't know before and as you grow you become more and more acquainted with the ONE that is really your Self. May the blessing of your own personal "answers" come to you, grow within you, bestow the blessing of truth upon you and the infinite spirit around all of us. You are not alone - and you will not be perfect but you will begin to approach, to catch a glimpse, of the highest human possibility``
The highest human possibility!
In the words of Fritjof Capra :
``All schools of Eastern Mysticism emphasize the basic unity of the universe which is the central feature of their teachings ‘The highest aim is to become aware of the unity and mutual interaction of all things, to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and identify ourselves with the ultimate reality. The emergence of this awareness - known as enlightenment - is not only an intellectual act but is an experience which involves the whole person and is religious in its ultimate nature``
The question that needs to be answered is `How do we corelate the spiritual angle with a scientific explanation ? In short how can such an ecstatic experience be brought into play? How can it be objectified and brought within the conspectus of science? How is this to be done and where is the scientifically minded mystic who can point the way?
So, we go back to the Kashmiri Mystic Pandit Gopi Krishna. I refer again to the book `The Eye of the Shiva` by Amaury De Reincourt.
``Early in life, an essentially well balanced and rational minded agnostic who was as keenly disappointed by the teachings of traditional Hinduism as by the apparent materialism of the scientific outlook, he decided to search on his own without the usual assistance of a guru. Seventeen years of regular meditation went by and disappointingly nothing happened until that fateful December of 1937: This time the experience proved to be dramatically different``
At First it was no more than an odd feeling of something moving below the base of the spine, strong enough however to interrupt his meditation. The sensation disappeared and he resumed his meditation. Stronger than before the sensation recurred, became stronger and stronger …
AND … ``Suddenly with a roar like that of a waterfall, I felt a stream of liquid light entering my brain through the spinal chord … The illumination grew brighter and brighter and the roaring louder and louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light. It is impossible to describe the experience accurately. I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider and wider, spreading outward while the body, normally the immediate object of its perception, appeared to have receded into the distance until I became entirely unconscious of it. I was now all consciousness without any outline, without any idea of a corporeal appendage, without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses, immersed in a sea of light, simultaneously conscious and aware of every point, spread out as it were in all directions, without any barrier or material obstruction. I was no longer myself, or to be more accurate, no longer as I knew myself to be, a small point of awareness confined in a body, but instead was a vast circle of consciousness, in which the body was but a point, bathed in light and in a state of exhaltation and happiness impossible to describe.`` Thus started one of the most incredible spiritual odysseys of the twentieth century.
As I mentioned earlier, twelve grueling years were to pass before Pandit Gopi Krishna found himself again in this state of ecstatic bliss. Will come back to Gopi Krishna`s case again later.
According to ancient Tantra Shastra - Tan means body and Shasthra means Knowledge ( The study of the body) - Texts, the human body contains 72,000 nadis that channel prana to every cell. Some are wide and rushing; others are a mere trickle. When this system flows freely, we are vital and healthy; when it becomes weak or congested, we struggle with poor mental and physical health. But the nadis—like the chakras (psychoenergetic power centers), prana, and other aspects of the subtle body—don’t show up under microscopes, medical science has relegated them to the realm of the merely metaphorical. But traditional yogis believe that the subtle body is real, and that understanding it is indeed helpful.
Several books have been written on the subject One of these entitled `AKHANDA` was written by a friend of mine `Dr Shiv Bhushan Sharma` who I met for the first time in 2003 at a Seminar on `Science and Beyond` held at the National Institute of Advanced Studies Bangalore. In `Akhanda` the author tries to explain the threefold manifestation of the soul ( Jivatma. Kundalini-Atma and Parmatma) and their respective centres of consciousness. The human being is considered a microscopic representation of the macroscopic universe. The book explains easy and practical approach of Kundalini -Yoga and gives simple scientific methods to evaluate the higher state of universal consciousness.
But how many people have attained that higher state of universal consciousness, and to what degree? That is the question. It is not enough to be well versed with the technology. We need a supreme will power. Pandit Gopi Krishna must be an extremely rare case. He could muster a stupendous will power to achieve his goal, but he did not reveal his secret of how he did it.
And in case if there is no other requirement other than possession of technical knowledge on the subject, then we cannot attribute any spirituality to it. It is in that case to be considered that the mind has been nicely trained as an instrument. Concentration, then is the creation of the instrument: meditation is the use of it. In the words of Christmas Humphreys, author of `The Buddhist Way` :
``Concentration involves contraction of the field of vision, but meditation involves its expansion. In concentration we gain clear vision, in meditation we keep that clear vision but extend it over a larger field and into depths and heights of thought which we have not been able to reach clearly before``
It is learnt the great Indian philosopher J Krishnamurti, author of the book ``AWAKENING OF INTELLIGENCE` `one of the first modern Indian sages was able to show Westerners how to achieve the state of spiritual serenity and grace called enlightenment. David Bohm The great Scientist and Philosopher and a close friend of Krishnamurthy was asked the question : Was Krishnamurti enlightened? “In some ways, yes,” Bohm replied. “His basic thing was to go into thought, to get to the end of it, completely, and thought would become a different kind of consciousness.”
But according to Krishnamurthy, meditation need not follow any system, such as systems which advocate sitting in a certain posture, breathing regularly, or practising awareness. All this is utterly mechanical. Another method gives you a certain word and tells you that if you go on repeating it, you will have some extraordinary transcendental experience. According to Krishnamurthy this is just a form of self-hypnosis. Its called MantraYoga. By repetition you can induce the mind to be gentle and soft, but it is still a petty, shoddy little mind. Meditation demands an astonishingly alert mind, meditation is the understanding of the totality of life in which every form of fragmentation has ceased. (Refer `Freedom From The Known` by J Krishnamurthy)
Now the question may be asked : What happens at the quantum level? I mean `What kind of wave-function gets collapsed? `
As an observer who attains enlightenment and is part of a certain branch of wave-function must be completely unaware of other branches, because by making a conscious observation and obtaining a particular result .. his `I` becomes that part of the wave-function which completely corresponds to that particular result. (Refer `Many views of the World` .. by E.J. Squires). In other words, the `I` of the observer is part of the wave-function, it cannot be outside the world to observe it.
But there is another kind of Enlightenment that matters more than attaining a higher level of consciousness for some time and then getting back to the normal case, and this other category of enlightenment corresponds to `FLASHES OF UNDERSTANDING` which were not there before.
And I had my fair share of these flashes of understanding which I intend to pass on to the world.
Flashes of understanding such as:
The universe must make sense
There is a Travelling Cosmic Mind that ensures permanent consciousness for all. The TCM is omnipresent in space as well as time. The Cosmic Mind remains forever in the liveable eras of the universe where stars are shining and life and consciousness is flourishing. The TCM does not proceed to the Black Hole and Dark Eras of deep future, as there is no consciousness available there.
There is an Intelligent Field that controls nature. In fact:
The essential material reality is an Intelligent Field
The field obeys the principle of special relativity.
The field links the quantum with the classical.
The intensity of the field at any point is a measure of the information in the field.
The field looks for a biochemistry to give itself consciousness to understand itself.
There isn`t anything else.
There is only one mind in the universe. We all have the same mind. Its just that our consciousness is in the singular
A single mind does all the living and the dying
YES … … …. … A SINGLE MIND.
Surendra Kumar Sagar is a Bangalore based author. he's a civil engineer by profession and the author of deeply philosophical word works like 6 words, intelligent field, bright light in the sky. he has deep interest in world peace and international affairs, Quantum Mechanics and philosophy.