Enlightenment is the very core of our being; going into the core of our self and living our life from there. We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost it.
We were born with silence and as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We lived in our hearts, and as time passed, we moved into our heads. Now the reversal of this journey is enlightenment. It is the journey from head back to the heart, from words back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence. Although very simple, this is a great achievement. Knowledge should lead you to that beautiful point of ‘I don’t know’.
The purpose of knowledge is ignorance. The completion of knowledge will lead you to wonder. Enlightenment is that state of being so mature and unshakable by any circumstance. Come what may, nothing can rob the smile from your heart. Un-enlightenment is limiting yourself by saying, “I belong to this particular place,” or “I am from that culture.”
It’s like children saying, “My dad is better than your dad,” or “My toy is better than your toy.” Most people around the world are stuck in that mental age group. Just the toys have changed. Adults say, “My country is better than your country.” A Christian will say, “The Bible is truth,” and a Hindu will say, “The Vedas are truth.”
Muslims will say, “The Koran is the last word of God.” We attribute glory to something just because we are from that culture, not for what it is. If one could take credit for all that exists throughout the ages and feel as though “it belongs to me,” then that is maturity. “This is my wealth because I belong to the Divine.”
The Divine, according to time and space, gave different knowledge in different places. One becomes the knower of the whole universe and sees that, “all the beautiful flowers are from my garden.” The whole evolution of man is from being somebody to being nobody, and from being nobody to being everybody. Have you observed that young children have that sense of belonging, that innocence?
As we grew up we lost that innocence. The innocence of an ignorant man has no value, and the cunningness of an intelligent man also has no value. Enlightenment is a rare combination of innocence and intelligence, with words to express and, at the same time, being very silent. In that state, the mind is fully in the present moment.
Whatever is necessary is revealed to you in a natural and spontaneous way. You just sit and the song flows through you. Enlightenment is possible for the ordinary individual. It is easier than for someone who thinks that they are special. When someone thinks they are special, their ego becomes involved and this may cause someone to get stuck for a long time.
Whenever someone is ordinary, simple, innocent and natural; that is enlightenment. Enlightenment is your very nature. It is in you already, as seed form. When you drop all hang-ups and become natural, then it is right in your hand.
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar