Articles on Spirituality. Psychology, Mindfulness, Spiritual Enlightenment & a Collection of my Poems.
Author: Shanmugam P
I am a blogger and a self-published author. My book "The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta" is a guide to the ultimate freedom, bliss and oneness. The book is based on my own experience. My book "Discovering God: Bridging Christianity, Hinduism and Islam" shows how all three major religions of the world lead to the same truth.
I am a past student of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Golden Jubilee Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sankarnagar, Tirunelveli District.
Most of you know that I am committed to find the truth about spirituality and tell people about it. I have always been commenting about my ongoing journey and my new discoveries. People who have been following my work on a regular basis know that I am being honest in documenting whatever I encounter in my journey.
I have been through a lot in this journey. I have been misunderstood a lot and my life has gone through all kinds of difficulties. But I am eternally thankful to God, the higher power or the Almighty who keeps me on track in spite of all these difficulties.
Because of personal reasons, my Youtube channel has been taken down. I think it is for good. I have also moved to Chennai, the capital city of my state in search for a job. I am still thinking about how I can contribute further by sharing my own insights and experiences to help others in their spiritual path.
But I cant survive without a regular job and I am looking for one. There are many challenges in finding one but I am trying. In the meantime, I need some help to manage my expenses until I find a job. I am ready to do anything for living. (I am willing to clean toilets)… I am trying hard to make money to feed myself, to buy good clothes and to continue to pay the rent every month for my accommodation. It will be so kind of you if you could help me to eat and buy some clothes until I get everything straight.
I have seen you before in many Facebook videos. I didn’t feel anything then. In fact, I didn’t get a positive vibe about you those days for some reason….
One day I saw your video of Kalabhairavashtakam… I then realized you are talented.. But I still didn’t fall in love..
Another day, your Gopigopalam video caught my attention; I thought you were attractive; but I still didn’t fall in love…
Then I watched your video of Nirvana Shatkam, composed by Adhi Shankaracharya.. I was truly impressed, because you sang the correct lines, and correct words… I also came to know that you composed the music for the song. That is when I realized that you are not like anybody else… That is when I realized that you are someone special…. But I can’t say that I fall in love with you that moment, even though it was a bit close, even though I already felt butterflies flying in my heart…
Then I watched your video on Krishna, ‘Unnai kanadha naan indru naan illaye’… Tears started flowing in my eyes as I was watching it.. I realized that you are the love of my life, that you are born for me…
Hope you are all doing fine.. In my first two books, I discussed about Science & Spirituality and Bhakti Yoga, focusing mainly on the spiritual transformation. But there were certain unanswered questions like whether prayers and rituals help for spiritual or materialistic benefits. This is again another journey, full of experiments and learning.
I am in a serious mission to help people in all possible ways. And my experiments have been quite useful in giving me a lot of revelations and insights. They are so overwhelming, but I am still in the process of organizing everything in my mind. I will be able to articulate myself in a better way in the future. Then I may write a book or make videos regarding this subject.
In fact, my recent experiences suggest that many famous gurus who taught spirituality in the last century might not have even reached the stage that I am talking about. Because, most of them discarded rituals as useless. But it is not true. Rituals work if done with the right attitude, proper understanding and with certain level of progress in spiritual path. If J. Krishnamurti had experimented with such things, he would have seen the truth of it himself.
But here is the bottom line: Rituals work, prayers work, law of attraction works, and karma is real too in every way. You reap what you sow. Just try asking the universe what you want while lighting a small candle or lamp; be humble and establish an emotional connection with absolute reality. Make sure your wishes are realistic and give them time. (They don’t work right away; they work better for people who have gone through spiritual rebirth (twice born); they work depending on how realistic your wish is. And they work when you use the right kind of communication devices, which is already explained in agamas as well as Vedas of ancient India).
While I am genuinely working towards this goal, I receive a very little financial help and usually it is the same people who donate to me again and again. It is very sad that people dont understand the usefulness of my work. I am disappointed with the way the world treats some one who has taken his time to uncover many truths, weeding out a lot of confusions.
I am again making a sincere request to offer me some donation. Because I really need help. And trust me, you will also be blessed for helping a person like me to survive. I am not asking for luxury; I am asking for money to be able to do the things that I do, to eat and have some decent clothes to wear. If that is so unfair to ask, then I dont know what to say. Humanity is doomed to disappear because people have gone mad. In fact, humanity is already missing because my own sister asked me to get out of the house two days before (But I didn’t get out. The quarrel is over temporarily)…..
Anyway, I hope there is some human out there who will have some mercy and hear my cry for help. Here is the link for donation again with details: https://shanmugamp.org/donate/
We are conditioned to accumulate stuff. We accumulate both abstract and concrete things – objects, wealth, acquaintances, information, ideas, concepts etc. We associate everything that we accumulate with an idea of a ‘self’.
When people are in the process of getting the next thing listed in their to do list, some of them suddenly come across the concept of spiritual enlightenment or a complete spiritual awakening. It is advertised as the best thing that can happen to a human being and sounds incredibly cool. They just grab this idea and add it in their shopping list.
Spirituality is a business today. So before one gets the true spiritual thirst as the result of an inner calling, spirituality is advertised at their door step with exciting offers and discounts. A lot of these deals are full of bullshit sandwiched with statements of some mind-blowing truths picked up from the literature of some of the most popular gurus of the last century.
Some of them are from people who have been having short or long glimpses of non-duality in their daily life, but are convinced that this is what spiritual enlightenment is all about and this is how the rest of their lives are going to be. They usually give up and come to premature conclusions.
I have addressed the above points many times in my recent Youtube videos. But in this blog post I want to explain why spiritual enlightenment is all about losing and what exactly you lose.
Spiritual enlightenment has various definitions in general. There are people who say that spiritual enlightenment is about being omnipotent and omniscient. But when I talk about spiritual enlightenment, I am talking about what is practically possible to anyone who is truly seeking it; it is something that has happened to millions of people before and something that is happening in more numbers in today’s world.
It is not about achieving or accumulating anything; it is about returning to the source; it is about going back to your natural state; it is about untying the knots or undoing all the complications that your mind has created while growing up; it is about going home. So it is all about losing.
You lose many things. You lose all the reifications. You lose your false ideas, beliefs and illusions. You lose the cravings to do many things you had been doing before. You lose 98% of your mental chatter and lose all self-referential thoughts. You lose your conflicts and your mind loses a lot of its weight.
But I can list three primary things which you lose, which is usually regarded as the symptoms of atma jnana or self-realization. It is only after self-realization and abiding permanently in non-duality, your awakening is complete.
Here are these three things:
Sense of a separate self – At self-realization, you permanently lose the sense that you are an entity separate from the existence. Your experience of life changes completely. You no longer feel like you are trapped in a body and limited. There is no difference between you, the blue sky, the blowing wind and the rest of the nature. It is like a wave realizing that it doesn’t have a separate existence but it is the ocean itself. It is not intellectual understanding or understanding gained by temporary glimpses; it is dying completely before you physically die.
Sense of agency – You no longer feel you are doing your actions; actions simply arise from the inner stillness without any sense of agency. You see life as if everything is unfolding all by itself. Ahankara or the sense of agency is lost.
Psychological time – Everyone has a to-do list or agenda. Everyone is looking forward to future to get a sense of completion. Everyone feels like something that is in the future is waiting to complete them. A religious person hopes that he will reach heaven in the future and a spiritual person thinks that he will reach spiritual enlightenment in the future. This craving and seeking, whether it is for a material goal or a spiritual state is completely absent after self-realization. You will feel full and complete already and you are not looking forward to future to get something that will give you a sense of completion which is missing now.
Spiritual enlightenment is the end of duality and the life that is confined to the rat race of humanity. But it is not the end of everything. It is a new beginning.
In the following video, I have made some important clarifications:
Rene Descartes was a French mathematician and philosopher who is considered as one of the founding fathers of modern philosophy. His quote ‘I think, therefore I am” (‘cogito ergo sum’ in Latin) is misunderstood and misinterpreted widely. Initially, this quote was written in French (Je pense, donc je suis); it is found in Discourse on the Method (1637). Then it appeared in Latin in his book ‘Principles of Philosophy’ (1644).
Even Eckhart Tolle seems to have misunderstood the true meaning of the quote. In ‘The Power of Now’, he wrote “The philosopher Descartes believed he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking. The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex world of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects the ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind.”
Rene Descartes was not spiritually awake, as the word ‘awakening’ is used by Tolle and modern spiritual community. But certainly Descartes did not equate the thinking self with being as it has been claimed. His logic is more deeper and closer to the theme of Eckhart Tolle’s own book; it is the same logic that Advaita Vedanta uses to question the reliability of senses and the existence of external reality. I have given more details in this video.
I recently finished reading Dr. Jeffery Martin’s book ‘The Finders’, which is about finders, or the people who have access to what he calls as ‘fundamental well being’. Those finders also include the category of people who have found what I often write about – the spiritual enlightenment. The academic name for fundamental well being is ‘persistent non-symbolic experience (PSNE)’.
The book is based on the research and interviews conducted on nearly a thousand people who claim to be finders – or experiencing the states which are often referred to using words like Nondual awareness, Plateau experiences, Unity consciousness, Deautomatization, Enlightenment, Samadhi, Transcendental experiences, Flow experience, Mystical experiences, Satori Cosmic Consciousness, The peace of God, Peak experiences, Silence beyond sound, Numinous experiences, Shamanic ecstasy etc. (This list of words is taken from the website for his own research project : nonsymbolic.org).
Regardless of the quality of the research and the accuracy of his conclusions, this book is extremely useful for people who have reached these states of consciousness. Most importantly, it is pretty interesting and useful for people like me who have gone beyond the sense of agency or sense of experiencing oneself as the ‘doer’. Because, this book has documented many things based on the inputs shared by many people who are awake (and possibly many people who have glimpses and have non-abiding awakening).
I liked the articulation and simplicity where he has explained the features of narrative self and challenges that a finder faces, especially in relationships. I have gone through a divorce after becoming a ‘finder’ and I can relate to it a lot. The book is overall wonderful but many facts that are presented can be challenged. As the author himself says, the findings need a lot of refinement and I would consider the research as being in an initial stage. We need input from other researchers and further experiments of similar nature from others to take this forward.
From my perspective, I find the concept of continuum a little problematic. May be it makes certain things easier from an academic point of view. But it is misleading to a seeker, in my opinion. I am also skeptical about many other things said in the book, like the possibility of losing one’s fundamental wellbeing.
I have discussed more in this video:
He also had a ‘Finder’s course’ to help people reach the fundamental well being and I heard that the cost was about $3000, which is a lot of money. And the claim that majority of the attendees reached fundamental well being is indeed extra-ordinary. Currently he has a program called ’45 Days to Awakening Challenge’ which costs about $500. Because of the huge claim that is being made and a very high cost, many people ask if it is a scam. If you have completed any of the above mentioned programs, comment your experiences below.
Every one has a hole inside them; the hole is made up of a sense of lack that causes the feeling that things are not still good enough. This hole is huge and enormous; it exists even for people who appear more happy than others…
Spiritual enlightenment makes your sense of lack to disappear not by filling the hole but making you to realize that this hole is an illusion. This hole was created by your conceptual or narrative self that always creates a story out of what is happening.
After enlightenment, you not only realize that the hole is an illusion but you also realize that the narrative self itself is an illusion; the one who wanted to get enlightened didn’t even exist in the first place….
The greatest irony of enlightenment is to realize that it was never absent.. You were trying to attain something that you already have.
What is spiritual awakening? If you are new to this whole thing, than I am going to offer you a fuzzy guide. The reason why I call it as ‘fuzzy’ is because that is how any real guide for spiritual awakening for a ‘beginner’ is supposed to be…
Imagine that you are walking in complete darkness in an area where sun light cannot enter (may be an extra-ordinarily thick forest) ; you have been walking for ages and you have adapted yourself to it. Sometimes you see fireflies and you call it as ‘happiness’. I am telling you that there is something beyond this where you can get much more of what those occasional glimpse of fireflies offer.
I have to tell you that there is a way out of forest where you can open yourself to bright sunlight; but you have forgotten what sunlight means. So I have to use firefly as an example until I take you to a place where I make you see a ray of sunlight. Once you see that ray you can trace the path yourself and find your way out.
A complete spiritual awakening or spiritual enlightenment is that place where you are completely open to sunlight. A glimpse of a single ray while being in the forest is the moment of your first spiritual awakening. And your existing human condition is the condition of a person who is walking in absolute darkness. Those fireflies are the fleeting moments of true peace and fullness that you experience when you get what you want in life.
I am not going to write it all out here. I am going to present an animated explainer video to you that gives some idea. Exploring more of my work through my Youtube channel, my blog here and my book will help you getting a direction after that.
My previous post was in 2020 and I know that this blog is idle for a long time without any posts.. I have been quite busy with my English and Tamil Youtube channels. But finally I decided to resurrect my blog today and write some updates on a regular basis…
This post is an introduction to my Youtube channel on spiritual enlightenment… Videos are win win for both of us.. It is easy for me to talk and it is easy for you to listen. So if you are looking for spiritual guidance, subscribe to my channel now:Subscribe Now
All these videos are based on my own experience of spiritual awakening. I also review spiritual books, gurus and teachers, review scientific papers on spirituality and talk a lot about transpersonal psychology.
Here are a few popular videos:
I also do a lot of live sessions and answer questions on spiritual enlightenment. Here is the link to the playlist: spiritual enlightenment Q & A