The Simplest Way to Enlightenment
In the beat of a heart
In the gentle passage of
a breath. In the pulsation
of blood. Does life
happen and so does Death.
A fleeting moment embodies
the dynamism of Creation
and Stillness of its Source.
Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. I am not pursuing enlightenment with hundred percent sincerity, because at some level, I am not convinced that this is going to happen in this lifetime, given my limitations. How do I overcome this mental setup that I have? Have you seen people coming close to this possibility, and what are my chances?
Sadhguru: Don’t pursue enlightenment. You cannot pursue enlightenment. How can you pursue something that you do not know? If you pursue something, you will pursue only what you know. What is the point pursuing something that you already know? What is the point in running after something that you already know? If you have to step into something that you do not know, the only thing is, just to keep walking. Keep a steady direction and keep walking. Maybe it’s a wrong direction. It doesn’t matter. Just keep walking.
After all, the planet is round. And inevitably, if you keep walking, and keep straight walking – not round and round – you will inevitably get somewhere. Nobody can take it away from you. Right now, the problem is… You know, if you have a dog at home, you would know this – if you just tickle him in the tail, he will go chasing his own tail. A lot of people are doing that. Their own tail, they’re chasing. Even enlightenment is their own tail/tale. Nobody told you there is such a thing.
But definitely you can see, from one person to another person, one person seems to be a little better off, simply the way they are. Not because of their money, not because of their wealth, not because of their qualifications. Simply the way they sit and stand, somebody seems to be better off than somebody else. Yes or no? There is room and scope for improvement; relentlessly improve. Let’s see where it gets you. But if you have fancy ideas of what is enlightenment, then you will chase that silly idea. And that idea is never enlightenment, because it’s your idea. You cannot have an idea about something that you have no access to.
All your ideas, concern, things that you already know, may be permutations and combinations of the same damn thing. It’s like God. Because you’re human, God is a big human being, isn’t it? We are a little more liberal, so we made animals, birds, snakes, everything – elephants, cows, everything – gods, because we understand, after all, they can have their own gods. But if you’re very dogmatic and rigid, you think, “No, God is a human being, that too a man! And that too, he has blond hair!” That’s a very rigid, dogmatic idea. People who lived in other parts of the world, never could imagine a blond-haired god, they just cannot. Can you? I’m sure African gods have kinky hair, Indian gods have jet black hair – something. So it’s our idea. Our ideas, no matter what we do, only come from what we already know; cannot be anything else.
So do not think up enlightenment. You will just make a fool of yourself, going round and round. If you become an absolutely, absolutely – that means unconditionally – wonderful human being, you don’t worry whether you’re enlightened or not. Other people, if they want, they will say, “Oh, he is enlightened, compared to me.” Everybody is calling somebody enlightened compared to themselves. “Look at me, how I am; look at him, how he is – he must be enlightened.” But there is no benchmark out there – “This is enlightenment!” Everybody is wonderful when things around them are properly arranged for them, the way they want, the way you want. When everybody behaves the way you want, you are also wonderful. When people don’t behave the way you want, when life doesn’t work the way you want, then to be wonderful, it takes something else.
So when everything is going dead wrong with your life – with your family, with your profession, with your life, everything around you – if you’re still wonderful, for now, let us say you’re enlightened; if you must set a benchmark. But something wonderful happened, something so wonderful that nothing could affect that wonderfulness – other people say it’s enlightenment, you never say.
“I’m pursuing enlightenment” means, one day you’re going to declare yourself, “I am enlightened.” Then everybody will know you’re a nut case. If others say, “Oh, he’s enlightened” – good. You declare, “I am enlightened!” This will be a case, isn’t it? You may be wonderful, but you are not loyal to your wonderfulness. You are joyful, you are sometimes blissful, you’re even loving, but not loyal to these qualities. See, a flower, a beautiful flower, throws out fragrance.
Your loyalty to your wonderfulness is not there. The flower is very loyal – no matter if you pluck it, it’s still fragrant, if the cow eats it, also it’s fragrant; if the bee messes around, also it’s fragrant. It never got angry and turned into a skunk, ever. But you’re not like that; you are wonderful like this. If somebody pokes you, you will become a skunk. You’re not loyal to your wonderfulness.
This happened – Shankaran Pillai was running a pet shop. And there was a nice dog – a golden retriever, a wonderful dog. Somebody came to buy this grown up dog. They asked, “How much?” He said, “Two thousand dollars.” “What? Two thousand dollars for a dog – isn’t it too much?” Shankaran Pillai said, “Just look at him – isn’t he wonderful?” The man looked at it and said, “Yes, he’s a wonderful dog.” He paid the money, he’s is taking him, but he asked, “Is he loyal?” “Of course he’s loyal! I sold him seven times and he’s back in hours.”
So are you loyal to your wonderfulness? This is all you have to do. Instead of pursuing enlightenment, just do this: choose any one thing, I will leave it to you, either joy or blissfulness, or love, or anger, or hatred, you choose whatever you want. Just be loyal to one thing, every moment of your life. How is that? You will become enlightened.
The problem, right now, is of loyalty. You keep chasing your own tail. You keep running, of course, but you think you’re going somewhere; you’re not going anywhere. Especially if you’re pursuing enlightenment, you definitely not going anywhere. Just stay loyal to one quality that you choose. I won’t even tell you, be loving, be joyful, be blissful – no. If you like anger, if you like hatred, if you like jealousy… But every moment, you must be like that. That’s all – your job is done. Really, that’s all it takes. No matter what is happening, whatever may be happening, you just be loyal to one quality.
Nischala tatvam jeevan mukti – if you’re unwavering, that is all. Right now, the problem is, it’s going all over the place. Every moment, your loyalties are changing, isn’t it? When you sit here, “Yes, Sadhguru!” Just one damn thing, choose any damn thing, just be loyal to that one thing every moment of your life. It’s a done thing.