Sadhguru answers a question on why self-realization is referred to as enlightenment when darkness is the source of creation and Shiva is known as the Dark One.
Sadhguru: See I am en-darkened. Amn’t I? Am I light skinned? I am dark. (Laughs)
Neither enlightenment nor en-darkenment describe what it is. That’s why people said nothing. When they said nothing, you thought they are dumb. They said nothing because they knew whatever they say is bound to be wrong. So you need to understand this. Whether we talk about enlightenment or en-darkenment or whatever else, we are only talking around it, never it. We are talking around it to bring you closer. Instead of talking there (Gestures) you talk here. So the talk draws you closer. Close is not in. ‘I am almost there’ is not a good place. People who continuously fail in their lives, they always have this thing ‘I almost made it.’ ‘Almost made it’ is not a good thing. You made it, you did not make it, that's all there is with life.
So is darkness – do you know what is darkness? You do not know what is darkness. To some extent you have a context for the light. You know light to some extent not wholly, to some extent because you have never travelled with light. Nothing travels as fast as light. A few months ago the European scientists who’ve always been living with a wound in their hearts that Einstein, an American, an American, he came out with this theory that they cannot disprove. So two months ago the European scientists came up with this thing, that they found neutrinos which travels faster than light. And about five days ago, they came out or they admitted or somebody made them admit that there was a mistake in the measurement because of power outage. I think we should shift the damn laboratory to Tamil Nadu. (Laughter) Power outages they are talking about. Because of a power outage, they mismeasured the thing and they thought neutrinos are going faster than light but nothing is going faster than light as far as we know right now. But darkness is going faster than light because darkness need not go anywhere, it's everywhere. Something that is everywhere at the same time is definitely faster than that which travels, isn't it?
You understand what I am saying? Something travels from here to here fast but something is here also and here also at the same time, it is definitely faster, isn't it? (Applause) No, no, no, don’t clap, this will not win me a Nobel Prize or something. (Laughter) Now you don't know what is darkness. That which you cannot perceive is darkness, isn't it? That which you cannot perceive is darkness. But there is no such thing as darkness. There is something called light but there is no such thing as darkness. All that you do not know is in the dark, isn't it? All that you cannot perceive is in the dark. If we turn off the lights in this hall you cannot see what's in front of you, so you are in darkness. If you could see, you are not in darkness. How you saw, whether because we turned on a light from outside or you managed to see by yourself, still darkness would not exist.
There are many many creatures in the forest which are right now foraging around, hunting, waiting for dinner, having dinner doing so many things. No electric lights. You ask a tiger ‘What is darkness?’ He says, ‘Where is darkness?’ There is no darkness for him. He sees well enough in the day, he sees well enough in the night. Do you think in his experience anything looks dark? Nothing is darkness because darkness never existed. That which is not in your perception is darkness. So we said, ‘Shiva is the dark one’ because he is that which you are yet to perceive. See, dark. (Gestures) (Laughs) He is that which you are yet to perceive. What you are yet to perceive is darkness. What you have perceived is light.
So we prefer to call realization as enlightenment. It's definitely more appropriate because it's something that you have seen. Something that you have not seen is darkness. We cannot refer to one’s realization to something that one has not seen. And what you have not perceived is a much bigger dimension than what you have perceived, that which is not, which we are right now referring to as darkness. See right now it is not the light which makes you see. I want you to get this straight. (Showing a small vessel) Now you can see this little object not because of the light, because this object reflects the light, otherwise you wouldn’t see. Suppose this did not reflect any light, light passed straight through this, you wouldn’t see it. You are not seeing the air but if there is dust in the air you can see it.
So, you are not seeing something because of light. You are seeing something because something stops light. So that which stops light is what is in your perception. That which stops light is in a way anti-light, isn't it? Anti-light should be darkness but it is not. Darkness doesn’t care; it allows light to pass through, nothing happens. Light is powerless in darkness, please see. Only if there is something which stops the light, light is an effective force. If nothing stops it, if you ignore it (Gestures) it means nothing. So, the whole process of spiritual process is just this. Right now you are relevant, you as a life is relevant only because something stops you. (Laughs) You don’t like that? Let me put it in context for you. Something stops you means your body stops you, your wife stops you, your husband stops you, your job stops you, things around you stop you. Because you are bouncing off all these things, your life is relevant. If we strip you… if we stripped you of all these things it's irrelevant, isn't it? But if you exist in that irrelevance, instead of living in reflected glory if you learn to live in this irrelevance, suddenly you find there is something so phenomenal. Brahmacharia means just this, to make your life irrelevant. No context, simply here, nothing. There is nothing that you bounce… you can bounce yourself off. No relationships, no friendships, no belonging, no nothing, simply. If you learn to live like this, then the very boundless will open to you. Right now you are bouncing off petty particles and these petty particles are giving you some relevance. But if you stop seeking that relevance and simply sit here, you will see a boundless nature which doesn’t need any context exists within you.
So that we can call it darkness, we can call it Shiva, we can call it Brahman, we can call it whatever. It is that boundlessness, it is only when you touch that boundlessness you have a taste of freedom. Till then your very existence is relevant only because you are bouncing off something. If there is nothing to bounce off, you are like light. Light is irrelevant if nothing stops it. Even if you have a very powerful light, if nothing stops it it's irrelevant because nobody will feel it. Only when something stops it, it becomes relevant.
So the de-lightment, I am sorry enlightenment (Laughs) - these are just words, something, we have to use some word. From now on we will replace the word ‘enlightenment’ from bhum bhum. When I say bhum bhum it means enlightenment. If all of us start using this word ‘bhum bhum’ ‘Oh! Bhum bhum!’ (Laughter) What? Bhum bhum bhum. So these are just words