A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

This is a guide for spiritual seekers by giving an outline of non-duality and by guiding the seekers to follow their own light. This light is your inner guru. This is the only Satguru. The word ‘Satguru’ means the true guru. This is the truth itself!

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If you are travelling on the spiritual path, this will give you a basic idea of what exactly you are seeking and point to your inner guru.  I suggest you read all the links given below in the same order.

Before you begin, please read the following excerpt from Osho regarding creating your own path and walking in it.

Create Your Own Path

CreateYour Own Path

Jesus says, “Come follow me.” It is not only Jesus who says it: Krishna says it too, Buddha says it too.

All the old religions of the world are based on that statement. But that statement is a psychological exploitation of man. I cannot say, “Come follow me.”

First, those who have said it have crippled humanity, have made humanity helpless. They certainly fulfilled a certain need. People don’t want to be on their own. They don’t have the guts to create their own path, to walk and create it. They want to be led. But they don’t know that if you are being led, slowly slowly, even if you have eyes, you will lose them. You will be seeing through the eyes of Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed. Your eyes will not be needed; in fact your eyes will cause a disturbance.

The leader wants you to surrender your eyes and see through his eyes; surrender your legs and walk with his legs; to not believe in yourself but believe in him. To me it is a crime; it is crippling you, paralyzing you, destroying you. And you can see it all over the world. The whole of humanity is destroyed by such statements and such people.

I can say to you, “Come and share me,” but I cannot say, “Follow me.” Who am I that you have to follow?

And you have to understand also that each individual is so unique that if you start following somebody you will be automatically imitating. You will lose your identity. You will start becoming phony, a hypocrite. You will not be yourself, but somebody else. You will become split.

You will have a mask: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist. That will be just the mask that you and the person you have been following have created – it is not your authentic face. You are going against yourself, and you will be in suffering… and the whole of humanity is in suffering.

Osho – ‘From Unconsciousness to Consciousness’

Empty Your Cup!

Empty Your Cup

Before you read the posts here, you need to set aside your preconceived notions about spirituality and enlightenment. It is very important to start with a fresh mind and empty slate. If you don’t put what you have learned aside, you will be interpreting everything according to your own preconceived ideas, paradigms, and lenses.

This is illustrated in a Zen story. Osho comments on the story in ‘ A Bird on the Wing, Chapter 1  ‘. The following question is put forth to Osho:

The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” 
Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

Here are some parts of Osho’s answer for you to read (Osho used the word ‘religion instead of spirituality:

Ideas create stupidity, because the more the ideas are there the more the mind is burdened. And how can a burdened mind know? The more ideas there are the more it is just like dust which has gathered on a mirror. How can the mirror mirror? How can the mirror reflect? Your intelligence is just covered by opinions — the dust — and everyone who is opinionated is bound to be stupid and dull. That’s why professors of philosophy are almost always stupid. They know too much to know at all. They are burdened too much. They cannot fly in the sky, they can’t have wings. And they are so much in the mind, they can’t have roots in the earth. They are not grounded in the earth and they are not free to fly into the sky.

And remember, you are all the same. There may be differences of quantity, but every mind is qualitatively the same, because mind thinks, argues, collects and gathers knowledge and becomes dull. Only children are intelligent. And if you can retain your childhood, if you continuously reclaim your childhood, you will remain innocent and intelligent. If you gather dust, childhood is lost, innocence is no more; the mind has become dull and stupid. Now you can have philosophies.

The more philosophies you have, the more you are far away from the divine.

A religious mind is a non-philosophical mind. A religious mind is an innocent, intelligent mind. The mirror is clear, the dust has not been gathered; and every day a continuous cleaning goes on. That’s what I call meditation.

This professor of philosophy came to Nan-in. He must have come for wrong reasons: he must have come to receive some answers. Those people who are filled with questions are always in search of answers. And Nan-in cannot give an answer. It is foolish to be concerned with questions and answers. Nan-in can give you a new mind, Nan-in can give you a new being, Nan-in can give you a new existence in which no questions arise. But Nan-in is not interested in answering any particular questions. He is not interested in giving answers. Neither am I.

You must have come here with many questions. It is bound to be so, because the mind gives birth to questions. Mind is a question-creating mechanism. Feed anything into it, out comes a question, and many questions follow. Give an answer to it; immediately it converts it into many questions. You are here, filled with many questions, your cup is already full. No need for Nan-in to pour any tea into it, you are already overflowing.

I can give you a new existence — that’s why I have invited you here — I will not give you any answers. All questions, all answers are useless, just a wastage of energy. But I can transform you, and that is the only answer. And that one answer solves all questions.

Philosophy has many questions, many answers — millions. Religion has only one answer; whatsoever the question the answer remains the same. Buddha used to say: You taste sea water from anywhere, the taste remains the same, the saltiness of it.

Whatsoever you ask is really irrelevant. I will answer the same because I have got only one answer. But that one answer is like a master key; it opens all doors. It is not concerned with any particular lock — any lock and the key opens it. Religion has only one answer and that answer is meditation. Meditation means how to empty yourself.

The professor must have been tired, walking long, when he reached Nan-in’s cottage. And Nan-in said: “Wait a little.” He must have been in a hurry. Mind is always in a hurry, and mind is always in search of instantaneous realizations. For the mind, to wait is very difficult, almost impossible. Nan-in said: “I will prepare tea for you. You look tired. Wait a little, rest a little, and have a cup of tea. And then we can discuss.”

Nan-in boiled the water and started preparing the tea. But he must have been watching the professor. Not only was the water boiling, the professor was also boiling within. Not only was the tea kettle making sounds, the professor was making more sounds within, chattering, continuously talking. The professor must have been getting ready — what to ask, how to ask, from where to begin. He must have been in a deep monologue. Nan-in must have been smiling and watching: This man is too full, so much so that nothing can penetrate into him. The answer cannot be given because there is no one to receive it. The guest cannot enter into the house — there is no room. Nan-in must have wanted to become a guest in this professor.

Osho – A Bird on the Wing

A Short Intro to Non-Duality 

Read the following links to get a basic understanding of what non-duality is all about.

A Short Intro to Non-Duality

What is Spiritual Enlightenment?

Is Spiritual Enlightenment Known or Experienced?

God: Who/What is God?

The Meaning of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss – Satchitananda

Ramana Maharshi and the Cinema Screen Analogy

What is Ego in the Context of Non-Duality?

Why is Spiritual Englishtenment Indescribable?

Witnessing Meditation by Osho – A Technique of Everyday Mindfulness

Gems Of Wisdom From Ashtavakra Gita

You are the Truth – A Poem about Non-duality

Prepare the Ground

Preparethe Ground

The direct approach that I always recommend is ‘witnessing‘, a passive, non-judgemental mindful observation of mental processes with non-attachment. But many people don’t understand witnessing and many find it difficult to get the knack of it. They haven’t developed proper non-attachment and discrimination between the witness and the witnessed.

These seekers lack some groundwork. They haven’t done many indirect practices to liberation, the techniques which would help them to purify the mind and to prepare the ground. Once they practice these techniques for long-term, they would have developed non-attachment, perfect discrimination and a deeper longing for liberation. Find out more about preparing the ground: Spiritual Enlightenment: The Groundwork Needed for Seekers

From the Talks of Osho


Here are some excerpts from insightful talks from Osho which will clarify many things for you:

Mystical Experiences, Visions, and Miracles

Awareness is Enough for Transformation

Enlightenment Through Laziness

Meditation Is Non-doing

The Cause of Suffering

Sacrificing the Ego

The Power of Consciousness

Live Life in its Totality

Empty Your Boat

Get My Book

My book ‘The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment: Bridging Science, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta‘ is available now on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback versions.

This book attempts to bridge the spiritual teachings of Vedanta and Buddhism with science. It gives you a practical and reasonable path to end your suffering and live a peaceful, satisfied and happy life. Above all, it will help you to find your own way and follow your own light.

The book will also introduce you to some important concepts in psychology, which are related to spiritual awakening. The concepts and solution presented in this book are based on the author’s own experience. It also has a chapter that narrates the author’s own spiritual journey which led to a complete spiritual transformation. The book also has a separate chapter which talks about scientific research done on spiritual enlightenment.

Click here for Kindle version

Click here for Paperback

Other Reading

I don’t recommend too much reading. Rather than learning spiritual wisdom as concepts and a bunch of information that you can intellectually understand and store in your memory, the words you read should be only treated as pointers to the truth and devices which increases awareness and bring clarity. You should learn to look beyond words and not stuck with the words. Identifying with a baggage of knowledge is another trap that you should be aware of. A great care should be taken to not derive a sense of identity from spiritual knowledge and practices. Keeping this in mind, you can go through the list of books I recommended here for supplementary reading:  Recommended Books for Spiritual Enlightenment


6 thoughts on “A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment”

  1. Dear Mr. Shanmugan,
    I have been a silent follower of your blogs, Quora posts, Actualized etc. for over a year now, and I am incredibly impressed. I wanted to get in touch with you when I came to Chennai, but I didn’t get a chance. I want to ask you what is your opinion on the tantra forms of worship to Bhairava and Bhairavi? I want to ask you are you familiar with the Aghora I, II and III books by Dr. Robert Svoboda, and his experiences with the Aghori Vimalananda? I recently read them, and I am really looking into the tantra forms and the meditation techniques. I am a strong Bhakti follower of Lord Shiva and Mahavishnu, and I want to see if the Aghora books are misleading or not. Are they authentic sources of information?


  2. Thank you very much for the reply sir. I will re-read the insightful post again. As an enlightened being, do you think that there is a Brahman like Vishnu, Shiva, or Shakti? Since I read your posts saying Shiva is made-up over time, or that the Puranas are all made to glorify deities, do you think Vishnu, Lakshmidevi, Shiva exist, or are they made to symbolize something non-existential? I was very confused in that regards, so please let me know!


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