How do People Become Enlightened? (There is no one path fits all)

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First of all, there is no one path fits all, as each person is different with their own karma and dharma. All paths lead to enlightenment, just like all roads lead to Rome.

Throughout human history, all different spiritual practices and religions, there are people who have become enlightened: Buddha (Buddhism), Jesus (Christian), Rumi (Sufism), RamaKrishna (Tantra), Osho (Ecletic with a main focus on Tantra), Shamans from various traditions, mystics from various traditions, and also modern people with no previous contact of spirituality such as Eckhart Tolle…

And all these people became enlightened by doing very different things. Buddha, by abandoned all his kingdom, strenuous seeking and by sitting under the Bodhi tree for a very long time; Rumi by dancing and whirling ecstatically continuously for 36 hours; some Shamans by doing strict dieta and drinking ayahuasca…

It is very obvious that enlightened people became enlightened through all sorts of paths and all different means (or no means, it just happened), and all these people are from different parts of the world, from different cultures and backgrounds.

So it seems there is really no one set plan for people to become enlightened, except when you are here, you know it (again, it is not the “you” who “know”).

Below are lists of enlightened people and how they became enlightened.

List 1 List 2

I will also summarise some below.

1) Eckhart Tolle

Born in Germany in 1948. He has been living for a long time in England and is now living in Canada. He is probably the most known living enlightened person in the world. He reached world fame with his book “The Power of Now” that became a New York Times bestseller after his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Eckhart Tolle is one of the few people who came to enlightenment without any previous contact with spirituality. One day, out of deepest depression he said to himself: "I don't want to live with me any more". Suddenly the thought appeared: "Who is the I that I don't want to live with any more? Apparently there are two..." and enlightenment happened. After that he spent two years on park benches in London and enjoyed the peace that he perceived everywhere.

2) Osho

“Master of masters”. His discipline before enlightenment was legendary. Osho would wake up at 3 in the morning to meditate for hours as the world slept. He cultivated his mind by reading thousands of books. His body was made strong by swimming in the river hours each day. He ate and drank only as the yogis eat and drink. Physically strong, mentally keen, spiritually aware and highly self-controlled. The perfect vessel for enlightenment.

At the age of 21, he experienced the Truth of who he was.  His first reaction? A great big belly laugh. He could not believe that the thing he spent his life searching for was within him all along. The irony!

3) Ramana Maharshi

The master teacher about “Self-inquiry” - who is the “I”?

Enlightenment Story

It was about six weeks before I left Madurai for good that the great change in my life took place. It was quite sudden. I was sitting alone in a room on the first floor of my uncle’s house. I seldom had any sickness and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me…

4) Mooji

His first awakening experience came when he met a Christian mystics. This would culminate into a long journey that would ultimately end at the feet of his true guru, Papaji (desciple of Ramana Maharshi). Papaji helped Mooji cross the threshold into a permanently enlightened state. And his teaching is about self-inquiry (the method taught by Ramana Maharshi), pointing the illusion of the ego in contrast of the permanent consciousness.

5) Sadhguru

Also one of the most well-known enlightened people in the world today.

Enlightenment Story

One afternoon, I rode up Chamundi Hill in Mysore city and went to a particular rock – a huge rock which was my usual place – and sat there with my eyes open. After a few minutes, I didn’t know where I was. Till that moment, like most people, I always thought this is me and that is someone else. But for the first time I did not know what is me and what is not me. What was me was spread all over the place. I thought this madness lasted for 5 to 10 minutes but when I came back to my normal way of being, four-and-a-half hours had passed. I was sitting right there, fully conscious, eyes open.

5) Gangaji

Disciple of Papaji.

Enlightenment Story

The moment I looked into Papaji’s eyes, I recognized the whole cosmos existed there. There was a force and clarity that literally and metaphorically stopped me in my tracks. He took me by the shoulders, and he gently shook me and said, “Don’t miss this chance. Who knows when it will come again.”

7) Tyohar

Disciple of Osho. Toyar is Israeli who in 1993 came to the Ashram of Osho where he melted with the spirit of Osho (Osho then didn't live any more). He then traveled through the Himalaya where, in December 1999, his experience of Awakening and One-ness happened. In 2000 he founded a spiritual village called "Pacha Mama" in Costa Rica.

8) Rajneesh

Disciple of Osho.

Enlightenment Story

it all started with this seven days ultimatum
my body started to get very very hot…i was getting high fever
and continuously sweating…moaning in high fever in my sleep
the next day the body started to get ice cold
to shiver and shiver…my teeth chattering
it was all strange…

9) Ishra

Australian. She had her first awakening with 16 while she was raped. In her death struggle she realized that the man raping her is pure love. From that moment on he refrained from her.

10) Jesus

Palestinian itinerant preacher who lived from 3 BC - 31 AD. Beside Buddha, he is the one who caused the most waves in the history of mankind. It is speculated that more than half of the statements in the Bible are not said by him, but rather had been put into his mouth. Jesus apparently could perform so called "miracles". He died the martyr's death on the cross for his teachings. His message is the least understood message of all enlightened people. His succession organization made just a codex of behavior out of it. The companions surrounding him where drastically overestimated by his succession organization. Neither his mother Maria, nor the apostles nor Paul were enlightened. When Jesus speaks about "Kingdom of God" or "Kingdom of Heaven" he speaks about enlightenment. (“The Kingdom of God is within you")

11) Jiddu Krishnamurti

1895 to 1986: He is an enlightened person for whom the theosophical organization "The Order of the Star" was founded in 1911, of which he was designated to be the spiritual leader. One of the people who expected the imminent reappearance of the World Teacher was Charles Webster Leadbeater, then an influential Theosophist and occultist. In 1909 he "discovered" Jiddu Krishnamurti, an adolescent Indian boy, who he proclaimed as the most suitable candidate for the "vehicle" of the World Teacher. Following his "discovery", Krishnamurti was taken under the wing of the Theosophical Society, and was extensively groomed in preparation for his expected mission. Krishnamurti dissolved the organization in 1929 with his famous speech, where he stated: "enlightenment cannot be organized, enlightenment is a pathless land". 

The list goes on.

My point here is there is no one set path to enlightenment, as all paths lead to enlightenment (or even no path can lead to enlightenment). Also, enlightenment is actually closer than most people think, it is not only for the mystics and sages.

Enlightenment is for everybody. And it is our very nature. When we remember our nature and innocence (think about when you were a little kid, free from all conditioning in the world), and it can happen spontaneously, just like that.

Also, there are actually quite some people who are on the planet who are already enlightened (much more than people think as one cannot really do a precise survey on this), but most of them choose to remain quiet as truth is unfathomable, so there is almost no point in explaining to anybody (see my previous article on “Why Enlightened People Choose to Remain Silent”).

Actually four of my spiritual teachers who are living in this lifetime are also enlightened.

1) My yoga philosophy teacher Vijeth from India - when I first saw him three years ago during my yoga teacher training course, when he started speaking about yoga philosophy, I saw a huge golden aura around him like that of Buddha (although other people did not see that), his presence was unforgettable. And I asked him privately, he only smiled. But now it is very clear to me.

2) My tantra teacher Renetsu, whom through intense training with her, I had profound energy shifts in a very short amount of time (three major energy shifts in two months, the last time I came into full presence, but it was not permanent yet).

3) My Shaman Maestra Ynez Sanchez from Peru, who is one of the most powerful shamans on the planet. I experienced a strong samadhi state during Ayahuasca ceremony with Ynez (however, again it was not permanent yet, it was one month before my permanent state).

4) My spiritual teacher and mentor Daniel Bellone from Argentina (disciple of Sri Amma Bhagavan, Kalki Avatar from Oneness University), who is a powerful spiritual leader and musician, who has been touring around the world for many years sharing his “Awakening through Music”, transforming people’s consciousness through powerful mantras.

Daniel has always been here since the very inception of my spiritual journey. When I first listened to his music five years ago in India, the next day I had a spontaneous awakening. Two years ago, synchronicity brought us to meet in person in Shanghai and I somehow “accidentally” became his translator for his first major concert in Shanghai (for over 1000 people!! I almost “freaked out” then). My first Kundalini awakening happened in his retreat. And one month before my enlightenment, I joined his private group in which he was leading people to enlightenment. Just many synchronicities with Daniel and I’m grateful for his teaching, for embodying so much light around the planet.

All my teachers do not choose to declare they are enlightened too loudly to the world, which is indeed very wise. I am grateful for all of them sharing their wisdom with the world and their teaching. But my dharma seems to be a bit different.

Again, each enlightened person is different and their methods are also different. There is no one size fits all.

Enlightenment simply means to be yourself, totally, wholeheartedly. When you are yourself totally, you cannot be the same with any one, as everybody else is already taken. (Again, in enlightenment you are totally yourself but there is also no self, the paradox of enlightenment :)).

~ With love & blessings ~