Monday, December 9, 2013

What should one do after Enlightenment ?

In the Bhagavad Gita, there is an interesting verse, in chapter 5, verse 54 : Arjuna asks Krishna about the state of an enlightened person, how he will conduct himself, how he will sit, how he will walk, what will he talk,etc. He is not merely curious about some enlightened person and his behavior. His question is indirectly a question about himself. After knowing about enlightenment, Arjuna is curious about how the enlightened will behave. In a way he is checking out what he ought to be doing once he is enlightened.

Interestingly Krishna goes about saying several things, obviously not very specific but seemingly distinct.

The inclusion of this dialogue and several such are indeed the genius of the Vedantic texts. The objective of the Vedantic texts are to pave a path for enlightenment. and this is a journey. a long hard journey at that. Instead of merely declaring things as such and such in an axiomatic manner, starting from an imaginary nothingness, these texts mimic the inquiry, introspection and inner transformation of the seeker,every step of the way.

Enlightenment in a way can be elaborated as obtaining the ultimate understanding to our questions in life and beyond, about the world, life, people, events, the space, time and everything that the mind can think and ask about, as well as things that it is not capable of asking about. This is the ultimate quest. The ultimate destination is one and the same no matter how many paths one takes. 

Finally one good morning (or evening ,or most likely in the very middle of the night), when all the studies and teachings of the Guru fructifies and the seeker gets the Aha moment, he is baffled, feels a little bit stupid as well, and eventually completely at peace with the consistency of everything. Whether a simple proof that fits the margin of a notebook, or an elaborate and excruciatingly painful 1000-page proof the Fermat's Last theorem, fact is, it is proved, and finally the integrity of the axiomatic foundations of mathematics are preserved along with the cozy framework of Logic.

After basking in this moment of glory, the enlightened mulls over the post-enlightened phase. What am I supposed to do, 
now that I have known that knowing which I am incapable of knowing anything,
now that I have experienced that, experiencing which I am incapable of experiencing anything further,
now that I have seen that, seeing which I no longer see anything ...etc etc..
kind of perplexing situation, especially for the one who is supposedly enlightened..  this is where Arjuna's question comes into the picture.

Enlightenment means realizing you are not the doer, after realizing it, if one wonders what to do, perhaps the only thing to do is go back and start over the journey of enlightenment again with the hope that it might work this time around.

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