Monday, June 5, 2017

Is Enlightenment a Process or a Sudden Leap?

Some say it's a process.
We need to put our effort – start the  ‘process’ and gradually, with continuous practice, we will achieve ‘enlightenment- and eventually become ‘Giani’ or ‘Enlightened’.

It’s like making Dahi or Yogurt from milk. We start the process and in right environment; under favorable conditions and temperature - it happens –over a period of time, it turns into yogurt.
Though, it turns into yogurt by itself, but nevertheless, it requires a ‘process’ and effort to start that process, favorable conditions and certain period of time as well.

Some will argue…. we can only start the process... watch and adjust the environment, the conditions. But yet, it may or may not happen. It may or may not turn into yogurt.
We can start the process of growing plants by putting the seeds in the ground and by making the conditions favorable; providing enough water and light. Yet some seeds come out of the ground and grow to their full capacity, while some others don’t.

Hence there is also ‘Grace’ – not just the ‘process’.

Others say Enlightenment is not a process at all.
It's a sudden leap.
It's not created or acquired …it just happens.
And it happens instantaneously.
Just like some rocks under certain conditions become diamonds. It's not a process or evolution that every rock or stone will someday turn into a diamond. Some do, some don't.
When boiling milk comes in contact with few drops of lemon juice or any highly acidic liquid, it splits instantaneously - water and paneer (cheese) are separated – not over time, but immediately.

Both the arguments seem logical. 
Who is right? Which logic or argument is accurate?

It depends on individuals. 
Since each individual is different and unique, their needs and requirements are also different. It depends on the status of mind of the seeker.
King Janak instantaneously became ‘Enlightened’, and immediately saw and felt himself one with the 'Creator' (Ashtavakra Gita), while Arjun needed lot of convincing, removal of doubts - guidance about 'process', and ‘time’ as well - to understand and attain the ‘Gyana’ (Bhagavad Gita)
                                     ‘Rajan Sachdeva’


  1. Nicely said Rajan ji - Yes, each aspirant is different and as such the Guru shows infinite patience and gradually brings the disciples to enlightenment. I believe that this is a collaborative effort between the Guru and disciple......there is of course Guru's grace, the environment, effort and devotion of the disciple which for the vast majority is a process. Again as it says in the Bhagvad Gita, a little effort with sincere devotion will protect and save one in this and the afterlife....

  2. Very Nice. Thank you for sharing. I had this question, Thanks for the answer.

  3. Greetings from Japan. Dhan Nirankar Ji. Very nicely explained Rajan Ji.
    Universal Brotherhood explains God knowledge to anyone who has the urge to visualize God. Every human being is born with a roll of thread which you may consider as the life span of his life. He keeps using his thread till it get over. When someone comes across a devotee who showers the knowledge of God existence, his thread is woven into a cloth, which increases his value. While attending Satsang this cloth is stitched into a dress. Once again his value increases. Finally when he wears this dress, it is appreciated by all those who get to meet him. But the pity is that when this process stops at any level in a devotee's life, then he returns back to his original state, a simple thread which is used to wrap unwanted stuff that needs to thrown in garbage. Loves and blessings.

  4. Thank you Ishwar Chugani ji for your input with a wonderful analogy.

  5. Rajan ji, Dhan Nirankar Ji, thank you for this wonderful post.

    I think that it also depends on who is answering the question. If the mind-body is answering, then enlightened can be called a process that takes time and effort. The time it takes could be years or seconds but nevertheless the time is involved. A second may seem like sudden to humans, it is however on a relative scale. For example for some organisms a second may seem like an eternity.

    If it is the true self or the eternal self that is answering, which can also be called the state of oneness, then the question of sudden or gradual doesn't arise as the Self just is, it doesn't need to become something. In the state of oneness enlightened or realisation is beyond time or timeless.

    Therefore we can say that enlightened is either gradual or sudden or both or neither depending upon who is answering the question. In any case it is due to the grace of the eternal Satguru.

    Sanjeev Khullar

  6. Hershey AggarwalJune 6, 2017 at 12:26 AM

    Thank you Rajanji for the very nice post.
    Personally I feel that it is is both a gradual process and an instantaneous one. One must gradually purify ones mind to make it receptive to enlightenment. Then enlightenment is an instantaneous change. For example when boiling water in a pot, one gradually heats it up without much visible change, then at once all of the water in the pot starts boiling.

    According to the law of Karma, I feel that your receptivity to enlightenment depends on how much progress you have made in your past lives. King Janak seemed to be instantaneously enlightened because he had made significant progress in his past life, while Arjuna had not. Though I personally believe that thinking of past lives is irrelevant since you don't know anything about them. So it is better to be thankful to the guru for knowledge and try one's best to obtain knowledge in this life.

    Sincerely, Hershey Aggarwal

  7. Dhan Nirankar Ji Rajan ji, another great post. But one point we also have to consider and it does relate to mindset, is what is the past life karma and bhakti of a individual. For example, in a persons past life they may have got to a stage where they did so much Bhakti that in the present life all they need is Gyan so they become enlightened right away. Also,some maybe have not done anything and are really Atheist. Or some in the middle, they did do Bhakti etc but in this life have to do some work.

  8. Thank you Harsheyt Aggarwal for your comments. It's wonderful to see such wisdom coming from such a young person like you. I agree with your 'past life Karma theory'. It does make the person ready and receptive, and also creates the favorable environment / conditions etc. Therefore it may seem like a sudden leap .... just as it may seem that water starts boiling suddenly - but we know it has been heating up for quite some time prior to reaching the boiling point.


Bhakti -- With Fear? Or Without Fear

There is a verse in Gurubani that is usually quoted by many:                             भय बिनु भक्ति ना होय राम                       ...