Q : What is Enlightenment?
So the question is “What is enlightenment?” There seems a lot of mystery shrouding this term “enlightenment”. Some people look at it as some light in your head, behind your eyes, glow of the third eye and so on. But in the Indic sciences, it has been technically looked at, especially in the darshanas.l The Universe is called Prapancha which means a combination of the five. Ie. the five maha tattvas or maha bhutas. The Pancha maha tattvas. Now, each of the bhutas is looked at as an evolute of the subtle principle. The subtlest principle is called Brahman. Or Param porul. The fundamental principle. That subtle principle, gets manifested as purusha and prakriti, and they are further manifested in terms of sattva, rajas and tamas, the three gunas. Now, the pancha maha tattvas, manifested as tamas, become this prapancha, this objective creation. Now, the pancha maha tattvas, manifested as subtlety or sattva, becomes the jnanendriyas which are the ways by which we cognize the objects of the world. The world is cognized by the jnanendriyas, which feeds it into the manas, stored in the chitta, processed further by buddhi, for decision making. So we look at the object and the subject as being manifestations of the same pancha maha tattvas but expressed as tamas and sattva, respectively. The object is the tamasic expression of the maha tattvas. And the subject is the sattvic expression of the maha tattvas, and hence cognition happens through resonance. Resonance of one tattva with the same tattva, but as a tamasic expression. So that is how the subject and object is looked at, in the Indic terms. That is why the idea of yoga or spiritual attainment is in terms of union. Union means the object merges with the subject. Or the subject merges with the object. Either way. So it becomes not objective, but actually subjective because it merges. That is the whole idea where with merging, you become that, you realize yourselves as the subtlest principle, of which everything else is an expression. Expression either a sattvic expression or a tamasic expression. So that is how a clear realization happens. Now to this realization, we call it, we are enlightened with this knowledge, with this realization. This is not a theoretical knowledge or just an intellectual knowledge, which is still objective, because still the subject object differentiation exists. But this is a higher intuitive direct perception. That is why it is called pratyaksha anubhuti or aparoksha anubhuti. It is a direct perception, where you directly cognize, you just literally know, that “Yes, this is so”. Because you are That. You are that divine principle, that fundamental principle, that param tattva. Of which everything else is but a manifestation, sattvic or tamasic manifestation. And hence enlightenment is looked at in very very technical terms. It is not at all vague. So when this is clear, obviously we recognize, it is a systematic procedure. Though this realization can be instantaneous, but it is systematically approached, so that we resolve the grosser to the subtler, subtler to the subtle, subtle to the subtlest. And that is how the resolution goes. By which you get enlightened through this process. You clearly realize, you are That. Aham Brahmasmi. Tatvamasi. Ayam Atman Brahma. Prajnanam Brahma. All these are expressions of that realization. And that is the concept of enlightenment.