Emotions, Pain and Suffering After Spiritual Enlightenment

I am writing this post since I am seeing a great deal of misunderstanding among some of my readers who are misled by the modern new age spirituality and the so called teachers who show a clean and calm professional image to the public.

I am coming from the land of avadhutas. They were fully awakened people who roamed in the streets with torn and dirty clothes, drank liquor, threw stones at people, cursed them and showed an image of a lunatic. And they were fully awakened. Their existence served a purpose. It was their prarabhdha karma to live their life this way and they still helped people in ways which were uncommon and controversial.

Trust me, spiritual path is a long journey full of adventure, unexpected turns and falls, and converts your whole life as a suspense thriller. The joy of living your life without knowing what happens next is something no Hollywood movie can give you.

So I want to give you a new perspective of this unending adventure. Many people stop somewhere in the path and make it their home; they find a secure spot, settle there and start teaching people. Soon, they fall for the fame they get and their further progress in the spirituality is completely stopped.

In the last four years, I have been very honest in documenting what has happened to me in the spiritual journey. If there is one thing that my beloved readers like about me, then it is nothing but honesty. I am not interested in making claims and attach a specific word to what happened to me. I have made that clear in my first book The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, which is now with 62 ratings and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. But many people do not know that your reading is not complete until you read my second book Discovering God: Bridging Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Because I have said so much about spiritual awakening which I have not covered in my first book.

The quotes about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in my second book on those vasanas that remain after enlightenment and my clarification on bandha vasanas and bhoga vasanas will clarify a lot of misunderstandings. Because, people think that a person is completely out of all desires after enlightenment, which is not true. Some desires and some small amount of raga and dvesha should exist to keep an awakened person in the survival mode. Otherwise, life will not last in his body after 21 days. This is coming from ancient wisdom and it makes sense to me with my current way of experiencing life.

My post titled ‘My Life after Spiritual Enlightenment – The Untold side of Self-Realization‘ will further explain the untold side which has never been covered by any spiritual teacher. The reason is obvious. They didn’t get to face the society as a common man just like I did. I am not a spiritual teacher, which I have told you people several times. I am a common man who is living an awakened life while stepping on the thorns and stones of a raw simple social life. And that life is different. It is this life which you all will get to live after a complete spiritual awakening.

Before I talk about the subject matter you see in the title of the post, let me remind you of something that I have been telling you often. There is something called spiritual rebirth. You have to completely destroy yourself and reconstruct yourself. And this reconstructing yourself involves doing things which are totally opposite of what you did in the destructive phase.

Sadly, many people do not even get to this complete destruction because it is very scary. It is losing yourself completely. You have to go beyond pride and shame. This means, you dont even care to show the lunatic side of yourself. You can appear unenlightened to the majority and you still dont care. Santatagamana’s book on Turiya talks about this. To go through this Turiya, you have to stop teaching. Teachers can’t reach it.. Period. And I am not a teacher.

Once you are completely reborn, you have to reconstruct yourself by building intentions, a new self image, vasanas etc. Because, your spouse can’t tolerate someone who is devoid of emotions and desires. You would be too enlightened to be in a relationship. I have been through this and it is my personal experience. If you are too enlightened to live a social life, you are good for nothing except teaching spirituality. You might have millions of followers but no one would want to marry you. Without marriage and having children, you dont get to pass your genes to the next generation. And your enlightened genetics goes as a waste without giving it a chance to produce an offspring who will inherit some of those qualities. Only a few people know this secret.

Many people are familiar with the quote “die before you die”… Yes, you have to, if you want to progress on the spiritual path. But you can become a deva (twice born) or avatar if you know how to be reborn after you die before you die. No book can teach you that. Just facing the society by living as a common man will push you back into survival mode. You will retain the fulfillment of enlightenment while fully engaging with the world and the society by expressing all kinds of emotions including anger, tears etc. Emotions and pain can exist without suffering.

Suffering is personal. Buddha said, ‘There are two kinds of pain. The wise person stops with the first one’. That is what I am talking about. Some people might have gone beyond pain. But it is dangerous for the survival of the body.

Because each pain gives a message. Pain helps you to take care of the body. Pain tells you that something is wrong and you have to act. You may ask, ‘who cares.. After all I am not the body’. But why should you miss this potential and leave this area unexplored? Body will disappear one day anyway. Why shouldn’t you take care of the body and let it run as long as it can? It will allow you to fully swim through everything that this life has to offer.

The bottom line is this. Emotions, pain and vasanas can exist even after enlightenment. But the suffering is gone. Suffering is completely optional. You dont have to suffer; and you wont once you know how to go beyond it.

I feel that there is too much of a gap between the west and the east. The spiritual literature in the east is so vast and each book addresses different periods of a seeker’s journey. You will find huge differences between Bhagavad Gita, Ashtavakra Gita and Yoga Vasistha for example, and each book addresses the things that other books have missed out. A seeker’s journey is so long and has lots of ups and downs, surprises etc. Above all, books can only teach a little bit and it is the duty of the seeker to discover those things which are not addressed just using words. Also, having basic knowledge in Sanskrit helps to understand the true meaning of these texts, which I do. A lot of clarity is lost in translations.

Ramana himself kept reading spiritual literature for his entire life in order to assist seekers in a better way. 

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Right now I am struggling financially and my wordpress subscription is ending this month. In order to keep my domain name and hosting, I need to pay them immediately. I would at least need about $150 USD to keep what I have and manage other expenses. I do have a donate option in my blog: https://shanmugamp.org/donate/ . If you can contribute it will be great. I live my life as a common man and I dont even have a job. Any help you can do will help me to continue assisting seekers.

Spiritual Awakening – A Losing Game

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.

Spiritual Awakening - A Losing Game

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:

Why Eckhart Tolle Was Wrong About ‘I Think, Therefore I am’ ( A Quote By Rene Descartes)

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.

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