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Spiritual Enlightenment, One's True Nature

“Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find," says Osho. A short story conveys the truth of spiritual enlightenment.

Chikanzenji was a poor monk who toiled hard for about thirty long years for enlightenment. He had done all that he could for attaining it. Tired of trying out all possible means by strictly following what was instructed to him, he gave up his search. He burned up all his books, left his master, gave up his dropped his spiritual practises and went to live in a ruined temple.

One day as he was clearing the weeds around the temple purposelessly, he threw a title which clashed against a bamboo tree and broke. At that very instant, (spiritual) enlightenment dawned on him. In the clattering of the title against a bamboo tree, his thought process stopped and with that sudden sound he became enlightened.

Can one attain enlightenment in a single moment? Osho asserts that one is bound to become enlightened as it happens from within. It is already happened and just clouded by thoughts. In the absence of thoughts, one is actually in his natural state.

It is said that on attaining spiritual enlightenment, Chickanzenji sang thus,

Upon the clatter of a broken tile

All I had learned was at once forgotten.

Amending my nature is needless.

Pursuing the task of everyday life

I walk along the ancient path.

I am not disheartened in the mindless void.

Wheresoever I go I leave no footprint

For I am not within color or sound.

Enlightened ones everywhere have said:

"Such as this is the attainment."

Osho says that the ego which is responsible for all seeking whether material, name and fame, or even spiritual will have to be dropped. All seeking involves thoughts and only when thoughts are dropped can one be enlightened.

Hence enlightenment is not something to be achieved, but that which exists as one's natural state. Unveiling the veil of thoughts makes one to recognise his true nature and abide in it. It is but just an awakening.

Story first published: Monday, September 20, 2010, 16:27 [IST]
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