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One of the most important concept we need to consider as yogis – aside to getting certified or accredited – is figure our own path to enlightenment. When we hear the word enlightenment, the words spirituality, soul, and awareness are often associated. To be enlightened can look different from one person to another, and the path we take to achieve it can be varied as well.
Simply put, to be enlightened is to have a profound understanding of ourselves, the world, and a connection to the things we cannot typically see on earth such as our auras and koshas, alternate dimensions.
In the case buddhism and as many believe, once you have reached nirvana, the soul will take no more rebirths (Buddhas on the other hand continue to take rebirths to liberate and educate others down the buddhist path).
Enlightenment is partly an understanding of our Dharma. Dharma is a belief from Indian Religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, which is essentially our duty or path in life often referred to as destiny.
Comprehending and connecting with our Dharma can guide us to enlightenment and bliss. Karma is closely related to our Dharma. Karma is when we repay the debts we incur in our lives. Fulfilling our Seva (Duty and service to others) is a crucial part to enlightenment. Being kind is something we as animals on this planet need to strive for.
This means being kind to ourselves, to others and the planet. Being kind to ourselves means taking care of our koshas by providing our life vessels with nutrition, water, rest and exercise. We can also ensure human interaction, meditate etc.
We can be kind to others by doing good deeds, being accepting of one another,. To care for the planet, we can buy used, recycle, eat mindfully (ex: organic, vegetarian), save electricity as well as using all natural cleaning and beauty products.
The gunas are yet another element to enlightenment. The 3 gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) make up all essential aspects of nature, energy, consciousness and matter (which includes our mind and body) The three gunas are all woven together to make up everything in the universe.
The awareness of our gunas let us know where we are in life. If we are moving forward and working our way to the ultimate goal of balancing the gunas by manipulating them and acting in a certain way (our attention and intention) and enlightenment (sattva; lightness, clarity).
In fact, enlightenment is simply imperative for human existence. If we do not begin to live to our full potential and see the clear path god and the universe has provided, we will continue to fail at our duty as protectors of the earth, and continue to destroy the beautiful land and life we have been provided.
The human race needs to continue to incorporate the yoga lifestyle, do the self discovery and see how repaying the Karma will help us all live long, healthy, fulfilling, peaceful lives on earth.With plenty of mediation, concentration and the will, we can all achieve enlightenment at some point in our lives.