Conscious to Conscience
Seven Stages of Enlightenment
Human life is blessed with the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. These senses enable us to receive information, experience environment and recognise reality. Senses assist individuals to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, and positive and negative.
Sensory development can be achieved by nurturing the right thoughts amidst a conducive environment. To nurture the right thoughts a developed mind is essential. A developed mind is sustained with knowledge. The knowledge of eternity is the most nutritious food for sustaining a developed mind.
Guru is the source of the eternal knowledge. Thus sensory progress can scale the peaks of development only at the holy feet of the Guru. Senses exposed to the knowledge of truth evolve to full potential and assist in attaining a holistic common goal (Satya, Prem and Seva) through the awakening of latent psychic and intuitive abilities.
Observation is the process of ingesting information. Observation occurs through eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and touch. Human life involves the continuous intake of information through sensory capabilities.
A Guru’s life is the benchmark of goodness, purity, love, service, and truth. The company of the Guru is the best avenue to develop observatory skills. One can develop observation by witnessing the unchanging practise of Satya, Prem, and Seva in every action of the Guru.
Observation empowers achievement of goals by developing faculties of alertness and attention. Strong observation skills allow one to enter the other person’s frame of reference by expanding one’s circle of empathy beyond individual consciousness and thereby enriching the lives of others. For a mind that has mastered the skill of observation each day becomes an experience of learning.
Communication is the act of exchanging information that has been internalised through sensory capacities. Communication occurs through modes of speech, sight, smell, hearing, and touch. The ability to communicate refers to the expression of responses and reactions on the basis of information received. Communication originating from a state of mind wherein the senses have developed will reflect the virtues of truth, love and service regardless of the stimulus.
Guruji’s universal tenets of Satya, Prem, and Seva remove confusion and misunderstanding in communication because they are enriched with timeless wisdom. Communication that reflects the tenets of Guruji is the path to personal and spiritual growth. Words and thoughts that mirror the virtues of the eternal truth render immeasurable strength to communication.
Ethics are the beauty of human life. They are the morals and principles that individuals abide by. Ethics constitute the conduct and action that defines our life. The difference between animals and human beings is ethics. Ethics refer to internal bylaws which manifest externally through actions and speech. Ethics form when thoughts and actions are devoted to the knowledge of truth.
Guru being the source of knowledge imparts the wisdom of truth through Guru Vaani (teachings of the Guru). Time and energy offered at the lotus feet of the Guru, cut the layers of ignorance with the knowledge of permanence.
Once developed, ethics are the filter which prevents behaviour and action from degradation. Ethics that embody the innate goodness of the universal principles of truth, love, and service assist in the welfare of all living beings and the sustenance of a positive world. Being ethical refers to a demeanour that stems from harbouring the virtues of humility, forgiveness, and gratitude.
From birth to death, human life is constantly engaged in fulfilling desires. Early life is spent in acquiring toys and games while adolescence and later stages are spent in pursing education, career and familial goals.Fulfilment of one desire encourages the process to accomplish another. Moving from one desire to another, we find ourselves engrossed in the cycle of wants and desires. Chasing one desire after another creates the feeling of ‘I’ or Swarth.
Guruji explained the concept of Swarth profoundly as blindness. Swarth is blind; it sees only you and is self-centred. Swarth is confused and confusion leads to depression. Swarth leads to unhappiness and needs to be replaced by selfless service or Parmarth. Parmarth or selfless service is the light of knowledge that removes the darkness of Swarth.
Guruji has explained this deep and complex concept in simple words as Swarth being personal or problem and Parmarth being universal or the solution to the problem. Thus Guruji’s teaching of “Swarth main Parmarth” is understood as the passage of human life through the phases of realising the idea of ‘I’, living the idea of ‘I’ and finally giving up the idea of ‘I’.
The feeling of surrender arises when we realise our methods and practises have failed and led us to sorrow instead of contentment. Till the realisation of surrender occurs, we attempt to understand nature and life with our limited knowledge.
Surrender occurs at the lotus feet of the Guru after giving up the idea of ‘I’. Enlightened souls such as Guruji have demonstrated that nowhere in all the three worlds but only at the feet of the Guru can one acquire the knowledge of right and wrong, perspective of the inner-self, vision of divinity, and discrimination between right and wrong.
All human life passes from experience to acceptance and from acceptance to surrender and from surrender to enlightenment or ‘Bodha’. Thus enlightenment cannot happen without surrendering the idea of ‘I’ at the feet of the Guru.
Ultimate achievement (To be HIM)
Birth is god’s will but knowledge of truth is Guru’s will. Guru is the only master in the universe who transforms humans from living-being to human-being. Bow before the selfless Guru who replaces the baser traits with divinity and is overjoyed once you transform from human to divine. Guruji will be immensely happy, if we make an attempt to understand Guruji’s teachings, practise his tenets, and share his teachings with others as well as ensure their practise too. Lord almighty created flowers, nectar, sun, and breeze but Guruji is the spirit of all creation.
Guruji’s values are the fragrance of flowers, the sweetness of nectar, the radiance of sun, and the freshness of a mountain breeze. To put it simply, teacher (Guru) is an element (Tat) and not the physical body. Surrendering your idea of ‘I’ at Guru Charan symbolises acceptance of the Guru’s path and imbibing his beliefs, values, and ethics. Miracles of surrender have demonstrated the countless instances when Guruji has hand-held disciples from miseries of ignorance to bliss of knowledge.
Once the idea of ‘I’ is surrendered whole-heartedly, you and Guruji differ by the temporary physical body but are united in spirit.