October 31, 2022
Ask Deepak

Paths to Enlightenment.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


Dear Deepak Sir, I have been meditating for last 8 years I meditate at least for one hour every day. In last 8 years, I have rarely missed my daily meditation and I know from firsthand experience how to transmute shadow energy through meditation and contemplation. For years I have stabilized/internalized all the wisdom from your books through meditation (for example; the clarity about depression and anxiety from ‘super brain ‘). For a few months now, I have also been reading the teachings of Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharishi. Ramana Maharishi says that vasanas/shadow energy can be transmuted only through silence – i.e. meditation. He also says that it is not possible to get self-realized/enlightened without meditation – meditation is the only way (breathing meditation etc. are easier for beginners and later one has to meditate on ‘I am” – one’s formless presence/beingness. That is the only way to enlightenment.) However, your book ‘Book of Secrets’ says that there are four paths to unity – bhakti yoga (path of selfless love and devotion) and karma yoga (path of selfless service/action) would also lead to unity-consciousness/self-realization. Also, I have read cases of people who got freedom from thoughts kind of as an accident (even in your book ‘How to Know God’, there is this anecdote about a man who got injured while playing soccer and even as his ankle was swelling, he started experiencing bliss from within – something like enlightenment happened to him as an accident, without having to do any meditation. Maybe those people with cases of accident did not get self-enlightened but only got further ripened in a remarkable quantum shift – after all enlightenment is more than stopping of thought and explosion of bliss and impersonal love within; it also is accompanied by infinite increase in intuition and may be much more. But I fail to understand how is this sudden increase in bliss and inner silence is possible to someone without their having transmuted shadow energy/vasanas through meditation for quite some time first? So, if enlightenment cannot be attained without meditation, then how do we explain these two cases – 1) enlightenment through bhakti yoga or karma yoga and 2) those cases of getting enlightenment through accident.


The four paths of, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, gyana yoga and raja yoga, all incorporate meditation. The variation in paths is largely based on external activities one engages in to stabilize the experiences from meditation. The temperament of the karma yogi will gravitate toward service to others, the bhakti’s attention is pulled toward expressions of love and devotion. The intellectual is more comfortable in the gyana path that cultivates the power of spiritual discernment. Those who exercise power and hold greater responsibilities in the world are more suited to raja yoga. The human spirit is configured in such a way that anyone can attain the pure silence of self-realization through any of these paths. 

If someone attains enlightenment without years of meditation, then it is because most of their spiritual work was done in the distant past, and now they can simply step into freedom now based on that previous practice. Enlightenment is awakening to the full knowledge of the Self. There is no way to look at someone and determine from their behavior or appearance how close or far they are from awakening, but if they do become enlightened with little or no history of spiritual practice in this life, then you can be sure they did their spiritual awakening work sometime in their past.



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