Enlightenment is not a static state; it is a perennial process

Some people conceive enlightenment as sitting motionless in a yogic posture, losing oneself internally, and eventually merging forever into a formless light.

The Bhagavad-gita, however, gives a much more dynamic vision of enlightenment. The Gita (10.08) calls those who realize Krishna’s supreme position as budha, which means enlightened, being cognate with Buddha, the well-known epithet for the enlightened.

What such enlightened souls do is revealed in the next verse (10.09): They fix their minds on Krishna, dedicate their lives to him and delight in discussing his glories – all characteristics of those who being enlightened have lost interest in illusory worldly pleasures. Significantly, the verse states that they enlighten each other (bodhayantah) about Krishna.

How can the enlightened be further enlightened?

The answer lies in Krishna’s infinitude and individuality. Because he is infinite, appreciating his glories is a never-exhaustible, ever-relishable process. Moreover, he is an individual who reciprocates individually with us, who are all irreducible individuals. The way each of us realizes his glories is distinctive, even unique – it reflects the flavor of our personal relationship with him.

So, when the enlightened hear how other enlightened seers are relishing Krishna’s glories, their attraction for him increases and their divine ecstasy intensifies. Thus, the enlightened become more enlightened ad infinitum.

When we understand how eternally ecstatic devotional enlightenment is, conceptions of static enlightenment can no longer distract us from devoting ourselves to Krishna. The more we practice bhakti-yoga, the more our head becomes clear and our heart becomes pure, thereby enabling us to increasingly relish his glories. By hearing from those who relish his glories, we further relish those glories from fresh perspectives. As we go closer to Krishna, we experientially confirm for ourselves that enlightenment is never a static state; it is a perennial process that provides perpetual pleasure.

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1 Comment

  1. Hare krishna dear prji
    Pamho. Agtsp. The verse image seems to be pointing to 10 11 . it shud be 10 9 i believe.


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