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Enlightenment Is Self-Annihilation

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
May 2017
Enlightenment Is Self-Annihilation

In India, enlightened beings have been referred to as dwijas, meaning “twice-born.” The first time, you were born out of your mother’s womb. It happened unconsciously; you did not make it happen, nature did it for you. When you were born, you came with a certain innocence and blissfulness, but since this blissfulness did not happen consciously, anybody can corrupt it and take it away in no time.

For some people it was taken away by the time they were twelve, for many it was taken away before they were even five. Children are becoming tense at five years of age today because their innocence gets corrupted in no time, depending upon the volume of influence that people around have on them.

If you have to be born once again, you must die first. If you are not willing to die, the question of being reborn doesn’t arise. This does not mean dying physically. If you leave this body, some other nonsense will be waiting for you. But if you die the way you are, if you destroy everything that you called “myself,” then you are born once again. This kind of birth happens one hundred percent consciously. Once again you become blissful and innocent, but fully aware. Now, this blissfulness cannot be taken away by anyone. So what you call “enlightenment” means a conscious self-annihilation, which is a completely different seeking than seeking physical wellbeing.

Most people are not thinking of enlightenment. They want to live a little more peacefully, joyfully, efficiently, and effectively. We can use yoga for that also. It is a poor way of making use of yoga because yoga is capable of delivering you to another dimension of life. The real benefit of yoga is something which cannot be put into words. It changes the very fundamentals of who you are. It is an opportunity for a human being to recreate himself the way he wants. But right now, people are just trying to live a little better. It’s okay. Whatever people feel is missing in their life needs to be taken care of to some extent. Otherwise they will not seek anything higher. If you talk about enlightenment to someone who is hungry right now, it will not mean anything to him—he only thinks of food.

Isha Yoga is offered in such a way that all dimensions are included, but nothing is compulsive. When we initiate people into the kriya, it is transmitted in such a way that it gives a taste of another dimension, so that people will have the impetus to seek it. We don’t want to deny anyone enlightenment just because they don’t know it. At the same time, nothing forces itself upon you. You can use it any way you wish.

So, if right now all someone wants is to be peaceful, happy, and do better in the activities they are doing—it is okay to have that. There is nothing wrong with it, but the longing for enlightenment has not come yet. Still, the basic longing is to live better. You are not yet finished with life—you want to live well. When you have lived enough and you know that living better is not going to get you anywhere, then you want to go beyond life.

For most people, it takes a certain amount of time and maturity to understand that whatever you make out of yourself, however wonderful it is, in the end, it will never be enough. Only when who you are is no more, everything becomes wonderful.


Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)


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