Enlightenment – How to Finally See What Has Always Been in You

Does an enlightened being know everything? What does one have to do to become enlightened? Sadhguru unravels the mystery and shares how one can approach enlightenment.

Sadhguru: Enlightenment never happens. It is always there. The sadhana that you do is just to see that it is there. You are not doing sadhana to construct divinity within you. All you will construct is your ego. People are talking about self-development. You can develop the body, mind, and ego. How can you develop the self? Only that which is incomplete can be developed. If something is already all-pervading and eternal, how to develop that?

The self is one thing that you cannot develop. That is why when people said “self,” Gautama Buddha said, “non-self.” People were talking too much about atma [1], so he said, “You are anatma [2].” Initially, when they spoke about God, hell, and heaven, he said, “There is no God, no hell, no heaven.” He demolished everything because everything that can be demolished must be demolished. That is the whole sadhana.

The Path to Enlightenment

Sadhana is not about building something,  not about creating divinity within you, not about becoming enlightened. Sadhana is a way of opening your eyes, a process of waking up. Right now, you are stuck to one level of reality. Can waking up to another level of reality just happen? Nothing needs to happen. If your involvement with what is there is total, you transcend it. Or if you are not at all involved, it will also work. These are the two ways – either with 100% involvement or 0% involvement; then you become loose in the present reality and see the other reality within you.

Sadhana is…not about becoming enlightened. Sadhana is a way of opening your eyes.

Never seek enlightenment. The moment you seek it, you get rooted into this reality. If you seek, you get entangled. When you do not seek anything, yet still do the sadhana totally and with utmost intensity, then there is a way. That is exactly what you need to learn. Generally, when people have nothing to get, they cannot be intense. The whole process of spirituality is just because people have a mind that does not allow them to be intense and involved with anything when there is nothing to get. That is why it seems to be a great struggle. If you eliminate this one calculation – “What can I get?” and simply throw yourself into everything that is around you, then 90% of the sadhana is over in one stroke.

Buddha sought intensely and fooled himself in many ways. In six years of sadhana, he almost killed himself. Only when he saw the pointlessness of it all, did he realize. He saw, “What is the point? What is it that I am seeking? What am I trying to learn about myself when everything is just here?” There is no such thing as self-knowledge. There is just self – that is all. There is no question of building knowledge about the self. It is just about becoming still. When you are still, everything is self.

Knowing vs. Seeing

When someone becomes enlightened, they become an utter fool because they do not know anything anymore, and they do not care to know anymore. Everyone else knows so many things. A realized being knows nothing but sees everything the way it is. Other people know everything, but they cannot see what is in front of them and what is within them. Once you can see, you are not interested in knowing because your knowing is your conclusion. It is just about seeing. You cannot know, and there is really nothing to know.

A realized being knows nothing but sees everything the way it is.

What is there to know about the air that you breathe? A scientist will say, it is oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc. All this will not give you life. Life does not come from knowing how to breathe. For some other purpose, you can know about oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. But for life to happen, you do not need to know. We know how to take in this breath, retain it, let it out, and do our tricks with it. It enhances life.

Simply Doing What Is Needed

Every device you create is only to enhance and deepen life. If that purpose is not served, whatever you are creating is not worthwhile. To construct a building, we need electricity, a pump, etc. All these are only beneficial if they enhance our life. Otherwise, the world would be a better place without them. Just living under a tree would be much better. If you overdo the building, it will take away your life. But there is no such thing as overdoing a tree. It is simply there, and you can also be there under the tree.

You may think, “What kind of life is that?” But what other better life do people live? You may think someone is better only in relation to something else or someone else. Other people may think you are better, but in terms of actual life, what is anyone doing that is better? Eat, sleep, and procreate – that is all. We have to do some things to build conveniences in the world, but we must know to what extent to do it. Because with these comforts and conveniences, we have introduced many new diseases – both of the mind and body. If you overdo things, it will become suicide.

Absolute Freedom

Knowing yourself is that balance. Then, with or without anything, you can live as a complete human being. Then, what you do outside is only what is needed for the situation, not for yourself. That is the freedom it gives you. When you do something because you need it, it binds you. Slowly, without knowing, you get entangled in it so deeply that there is no way to come out of it. When you do something because the situation needs it, and if it is not needed anymore one day, you can just wind up everything, then there is no bondage in it.

What we call self-knowledge or enlightenment is just that. It gives you the freedom that your way of being is complete. You do not have to do anything, think anything, or feel anything to be complete. You are complete by yourself.

[1] Soul, self.

[2] Non-soul, non-self.