Although “enlightenment” means awakening to our God-self within, it is a word with a lot of nuances. It suggests that spirituality is a destination we reach after we achieve a state of spiritual wonder, or a reward for having trekked a specific number of times to Tibet, India, or Rome. It’s a term Bhagavan likes to avoid, probably because he is lovingly correcting the Western scorecard mentality. Many overachieving Westerners consider oneness with God to be either a state granted by a guru or some sort of grand finale to life. Although a guru (translation: “one who dispels darkness”) might give you a particular energy transmission to jumpstart the process of awakening, enlightenment is a dynamic process, not a one-time-only event. Attaining a state of enlightenment does not mean we are excused from attending to everyday life. When a person achieves an awakening (enlightenment), he or she grasps that God is present in everything and everyone, but there will always be more to learn. Many highly evolved individuals who have attained very high levels of consciousness on this planet are fully awakened to the Divine within, but they keep on going to reach even higher levels of conscious awareness. They help raise the planet’s collective consciousness through their own individual self-development. By the way, awakened people maintain their personalities (they need to function as human beings), but they’ve learned to let life flow through them without their ego getting involved. They find unique ways to contribute to humanity. Enlightenment is thus not about reaching a state of illumination and posting a new sign on your door, then becoming complacent and spending the rest of life in front of the television.

Everyone on a spiritual path wants to grow, find and express love, and make a contribution. Even if you are instantly awakened by receiving a master’s mukthi deeksha (an energy transmission that helps change a person’s brain cells by a current of grace flowing through a blessing giver), transformation is a conscious exercise; it won’t happen automatically. You still have to receive the deeksha from a person who can send the energy into your brain cells. You also must meditate regularly, take care of your body, eat right, be aware of when you fall into sense consciousness, and practice selfless love. You can take a variety of actions to maintain a connection with the higher states. A master can summon Spirit to envelop a person with grace, but awakening happens more easily when the person is aligned to this expansive state and ready to receive such a transmission.

Author's Bio: 

Charlene M. Proctor, PhD, is an ordained Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking and a deeksha facilitator trained by the Oneness guides from Fiji and India. She is the bestselling author of Let Your Goddess Grow! 7 Spiritual Lessons on Female Power and Positive Thinking and The Women’s Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations That Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Her Midwestern sensibility and spiritual approach to self-empowerment have helped thousands awaken to the magnificence of the divine within. Visit to find her books and empowering messages. Selected by Personal Excellence Magazine, she is among the Top 100 Thought Leaders of 2007, joining Wayne Dyer, Joel Osteen, and Tony Robbins on this prestigious list of personal growth experts.