How to recognize an Enlightened Being?

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Wisdom For Seekers


Can you recognise an Enlightened Being? In this talk, Sadhguru explains what actually is Enlightenment and what stops you from becoming one - i.e. your Memory. People mistake memory for intelligence. Only when your intelligence is free from your memory, you can see things as they are. That, simply put, is Enlightenment.


Duration: 8 min


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5 min read

How to recognize an Enlightened Being?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

People even believed this that there will be some signs in the body and they burnt trishul in their back, on the forehead. “See this just appeared”. In the West, people show their hands and there are marks here and say “See, I have the crucifixion marks. So Jesus has appeared for me.” In India sankhu will appear on the shoulder. You just how to burn yourself. You can brand yourself with sankhu, chakra or with crucifixion marks or whatever nonsense you want.

In a way enlightenment means you are an unblemished life

In a way enlightenment means you are an unblemished life, no branding. So you brand yourself and you think you’re enlightened, very sorry. So, if there is no brandings, how do you recognize? You cannot recognize. You cannot recognize. How does anybody here know I am enlightened or not? I never made a statement on that. So how do they know? They are just assuming? Yes.

See, you go and sit in front of your kindergarten teacher. Do you know how knowledgeable he or she is? No, but that he or she knows ABC. You do not know, so you sit. So right now, we’re talking XYZ. You do not know, so you sit. So what does it matter whether I got acknowledgement from somewhere else or not? You want to learn XYZ, you sit here. You don’t want, you go.

So what is it that is being referred to as enlightenment? You know there’s something called as daybreak. It’s a good word. I like that. It’s called sunrise. But it’s a day break. The day broke. Is it? No, it’s a night that broke. Hello? The day broke or the night broke? Night broke. Night means what in our perception? Darkness. If you were an owl, it would be different. In your perception night means uncomfortable, because dark. Your visual apparatus are not comfortable in darkness. That’s why we invented all these lights and this and that. Why? Because we’re not comfortable when it’s dark, because we don’t know what is what. In light, we see things clearly. So, if night broke, that means clarity appeared – this is all sunrise is doing to you. You could not see, you were struggling, sun came up, suddenly confidence – you know where to go, where not to go, what to step into, what not to step into. This is all enlightenment is. Clarity came where you see everything clearly.

You know there was a book that we were publishing, this is a series of talks and something came to give a title. So, I looked at the content a little bit and then I said, “Of mystics and mistakes.” Our English Department said, “Sadhguru, this is too up in the face. Say something little more gentle.” People are always asking me “Sadhguru, say something little more gently.” You’re capable of that. Come on! I am capable, but I don’t want to say because people will twist it and turn it in so many ways. If you say it in a face slapping way, they don’t meddle with it too much. So, I said, “Of mystics and mistakes.” What it means is there are only two kinds of people, mystics and mistakes.

If you see things just the way they are, people will label you as a mystic

If you see things just the way they are, people will label you as a mystic. So what are they? They are a mistake. They’re making mistakes about perceiving basic aspects of life, that’s all. Yes, making mistakes about perception. Why they’re making mistakes about perception? Their one hand is always dipped in their memory. This is why we say karma. They are mistaking memory for intelligence, that’s all the mistake they have done. Once you mistake memory for intelligence, then you’re messed up. If you have some memory about something that other people do not know, you look like scholarly.

See, people read ten books and they become scholars. People just read one book and they become religious. Just one book, how come it qualifies you to become a representative of God? If you read more than one book, then you cannot be, isn’t it? You just have to read only one book. So, this is mistaking memory for intelligence. Our entire education system is just this rubbish – mistaking memory for intelligence. If you mistake memory for intelligence, we call you a karma case. You’re a karma case, because you live out of your memory, not out of your intelligence. If you live out of your intelligence absolutely, without getting your memory and intelligence mixed up, then people say, “Oh, he’s enlightened”. Because whatever you bring it in front of him, he’ll look at it and say this is what it is. Simply because he doesn’t mix up memory and intelligence, that’s all.

Our entire education system is just this rubbish – mistaking memory for intelligence

As simple as it seems – everything that you are right now is memory. You’re a man or a woman – this is memory. Not memory means just conscious memory in your head. Your body remembers, isn’t it? Hello? If you and me eat the same food, I will not become a woman, you will not become a man. The same food goes into me and becomes a man, the same food goes into you and becomes a woman – this is by memory, isn’t it? The body remembers.

The body remembers, if you and the monkey eat the same food, he will not become you, you will not become him. Because the body remembers. There is evolutionary memory, genetic memory, elemental memory, atomic memory, conscious, unconscious levels of memory, articulate and inarticulate levels of memory – who you are itself is memory. So if your intelligence has to be free from memory, that means you’re free from yourself. That’s all.

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