Enlightenment is Inevitable

Enlightenment is Inevitable

By Desmond Yeoh

Ceramic Products Manufacturer in Malaysia

Ceramic Products

The path to enlightenment consists of discipline or virtue, Samadhi and wisdom. If we look deeply into these three factors, we can clearly see that enlightenment is inevitable for everyone, even those that we see as ‘evil’; though it may take longer for them.

Discipline or virtue is the foundation for all spiritual practices. All religions and spiritual lineages must first teach discipline. Without discipline, there can be no inner-peace. One who lies will always have to worry about being caught. He has to make up one lie after another to cover-up the previous lie. He has to remember the lies he told someone or he will be found out if he tells a different lie to the same person. Because he is dishonest, he sees the world as dishonest. He will not be at peace with the world.

One who has hurt others will worry about vengeance. The more persons he hurt, the more worrisome he gets. Everywhere he goes, he has to look over his shoulders. He will be in constant stress and pretty soon, he will be afraid of leaving his home. His home will become his prison.

The result of non-virtuous conduct is a disturbed mind. We will not be able to meditate and progress on our spiritual path. That is why discipline is the foundation of all spiritual practices. One must put in much effort to discipline oneself in order to have peace of mind until eventually discipline becomes effortless. When discipline is effortless, it is called letting go.

Samadhi can be broadly defined as going within ourselves. It is a meditative state. When we are caught up with the world, our consciousness is projected outwards to the sense objects. When we are looking at a flower, our consciousness is projected outwards towards the flower. In Samadhi, our consciousness is brought inwards. As our meditation becomes deeper, we become unconscious of our senses. Visions may appear and we become conscious of the subtle mental objects but as we go even deeper, the visions also drop away. In that silence, there is bliss.

There was once a saint in India who had a peculiar way of teaching others. One day, she was seen looking around outside her hut for something. A passer-by asked her, “Madam, what are you looking for?”

“I have lost my needle. Can you please help me find it?”

The passer-by consented. After a while, the other villagers also joined in the search for the needle. Eventually, one of the villagers asked the saint, “Around where did you lose the needle? That can help us narrow the search”

The saint responded, “I lost it in my hut”

The villagers were shocked. One of them asked, “Then why are you looking out here?”

“Because it is bright out here and it is dark inside my hut. It is better to look where it is brighter”.

The villagers shook their heads and laughed, “You must be crazy!” and started walking away.

The saint called out, “Wait! That is what all of you have been doing. You search for happiness in the external world because it appears to be so attractive. It looks brighter! You continue to search even though happiness continues to elude you. It never occurred to you to look within. That is the only place happiness can be found!”

The Masters say that the happiness that we find within ourselves far surpasses whatever joy that we can find in the external world. Once we discover that inner-peace and bliss, we naturally let go of our external desires. At that point, discipline becomes effortless. We do not need to hold ourselves back from anything because we have permanently quenched our thirst. We are no longer thirsty. We truly have freedom because we are no longer compelled by our desires. We can finally stop saying, “I cannot help being the way I am,” or “I don’t know why I did that. It just wasn’t me!”

When we go within, we gain an intuitive wisdom that touches us so deeply that we are changed by it. It is different from the knowledge that we gain from others. That knowledge may motivate us to change but does not by itself bring a lasting change in us. Once we gain the intuitive wisdom that comes from Samadhi, the words of the Masters become very clear and simple. Even the meaning of enlightenment becomes clearer and less mystical. The path becomes clearly lit and we begin to see where we are heading.

When demolishing an abandoned building, the experts will place explosives on the main pillars which support the buildings. If they place the explosives on the wrong pillars, the building will not collapse or even worse, it will tip over and damage the adjacent buildings. Intuitive wisdom has the power of placing the explosives on the supporting pillars of all our worldly problems. It is powerful because it comes from within. Intuitive wisdom uses our past experiences and habitual thinking patterns to help us see our follies. There is nothing more powerful than that.

How then can a person who does not put in effort to be virtuous reach enlightenment? A person who chases after wealth will eventually discover that his wealth cannot bring him the happiness he desires. He may have physical comfort to some degree but his wealth cannot protect him from mental suffering. It cannot protect him from the physical discomfort that comes from illness. He constantly worries about losing his wealth. A person who chases after fame will find that he does not have time for himself. He cannot go for a stroll in the shopping mall because everyone else will not leave him alone. The more famous he is, the less time he has for himself.

When we indulge in alcoholic drinks, we will suffer a hang-over the next day. All the joys of the world leave some kind of hang-over. There is always a feeling of emptiness after going through something exciting. Fulfilling one craving leads to another craving and so on. During these moments of emptiness, one may start to question what this world is all about. One may stumble on a brief period when the mind becomes quiet; the gaps between one’s thoughts; and experience a moment of peace, albeit brief. One will start looking within and hence, the process of letting go begins.

Therefore, rejoice! Rejoice because everyone will eventually reach enlightenment. The Divine has put in place natural laws to ensure that this is so. Enlightenment is just a matter of time.

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Related Articles Stages of Enlightenment, Inner-Peace: The Guiding Light, Why the Buddha Laughed when he reached Enlightenment

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