The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

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The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Wed May 10, 2017 7:44 pm

As I promised in one of the threads before, I just completed writing about my own spiritual journey. It is a detailed account of everything that happened to me in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. I am sure it will be a story that you can relate to.I could have posted the whole article here but it is really very long. So, I am posting the link:

https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2 ... -my-story/

Onceler, I think you will enjoy this...
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Fri May 12, 2017 9:11 am

I browsed through your story and read another of your blog posts. Thanks for sharing.

I was wondering if you would be kind enough to share more about your understanding of Ramana Maharshis teachings and how he lived his life. I find him very interesting and want to learn more. I live in USA and never visited India or Ramanas ashram but read some books about him and his ashram.

I believe he was totally awakened or enlightened and was a great teacher/guru. However, what fascinates me and makes me wonder about is if he still had a human side, if he still had a ego, if he still could make mistakes or errors, or was he perfect? I know he jokingly said he would not make a good spouse in a marriage, for he was so meticulous with things and did not waste anything. I also read he could seem to get angry with others and ignore them if they did something wrong or not to his approval. I dont know what to make of some of this, but overall he seems one of the purest of the pure out there, the real deal, the genuine thing. I wonder what you think and what you discovered or felt going to Ramana Ashram and meeting people there.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Fri May 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Hi Steve,

Whenever I went to the ashram, I didn't talk to anyone there.. I also didn't stay in the ashram.. I usually book a room outside the ashram and meditate in the ashram in the day or just roam on the hill.. But there are lot of books available in Tamil that were never translated to English. I have read a lot of them and all of them show Ramana in a good light, portraying him as a perfect human being without any errors or ego. Tamil people have a very good regard of Ramana and everyone here views him as a true sage. It is entirely different from how these things are seen in the west. That is because, there always have been stories of various enlightened people who lived in the past and who live in the present.. For example, there is a guy called 'Mookupodi siddhar' who lives in Tiruvannamalai now (I didn't meet him because I was not aware of him when I went there).. Search in Youtube for 'Mookupodi siddhar' and you will find many videos showing him.. He doesn't speak to anyone at all and lives like a beggar. He sleeps on the floor in temples and just roams.. Everyone considers him as a sage and an enlightened person.

But these days I do believe that enlightened people do have the fallacies of a regular human being. They also have ego which is absolutely necessary when interacting with others in the society. (But they no longer base their existence on the ego or self-concept.. It is just used as a mask. It becomes a shadow instead being perceived as a real thing). But ego retains all the defense mechanisms that it had before enlightenment.. That is the way ego works... It cannot be free of defense mechanisms, in my opinion.

I am starting to look at enlightenment in scientific perspective. If you read my blog, you may notice that I have changed my views in the recent posts and have adopted a scientific approach. I have been studying academic psychology for the last one year and it amazing to look at things in the light of psychology.The most famous psychologists like William James, Abraham Moslow and Carl Rogers have studied spirituality and made various theories based on it. A branch of psychology called transpersonal psychology is devoted to religious concepts and spiritual transformation of human beings..I am doing my own case studies and research and I will have more to say about it in a few months.. My main research is based on the question 'How does enlightenment change human behavior?'

I also read he could seem to get angry with others and ignore them if they did something wrong or not to his approval. I dont know what to make of some of this, but overall he seems one of the purest of the pure out there, the real deal, the genuine thing.


Would you be kind enough to share the source? That will give a lot of clues for me...
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Fri May 12, 2017 8:49 pm

I will look up that Siddhar guy, that sounds interesting.

As far as what you shared about Ramana and the ashram, thanks.

I dont have any sources, just things I have read over the years on various spiritual groups or sites on the internet.

I agree that Ramana is a true sage, of the highest caliber.

I like your approach, trying to make this as scientific as possible, the scientific approach.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Sat May 13, 2017 1:06 am

Borris wrote: "For example, there is a guy called 'Mookupodi siddhar' who lives in Tiruvannamalai now (I didn't meet him because I was not aware of him when I went there).. Search in Youtube for 'Mookupodi siddhar' and you will find many videos showing him.. He doesn't speak to anyone at all and lives like a beggar. He sleeps on the floor in temples and just roams.. Everyone considers him as a sage and an enlightened person."

I looked him up on youtube and watched bits and pieces of a couple videos, unfortunately it is not in English so not sure what they are saying about him. But it shows him hitting a Goddess statue with a broom. Also, him walking around and sitting, and even people giving him donations it looks like and food/drink. I am not sure what to make of all of this, if he is enlightened or not. What do others say about him that makes them think he is a sage and a enlightened person? Too bad you didnt see him or meet him yourself so you could see for yourself.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:02 pm

Hi Steve, I think you have seen the 24 min video of a TV program featuring him,.. The video interviews many people who share their experiences with this siddhar.
In Tamil nadu, there is a tradition called siddhar tradition.. The people from siddhar tradition are called siddhars. These people are considered as enlightened, they often have siddhis (paranormal powers) and show some strange behavior. This person is one example. (the word 'siddhi' comes from 'siddhar')

People in that video say that he lives a very simple life and it is usually very difficult to see him. Nobody can predict where he would go on any days.. Mainly, people want to see him because they believe that just seeing him solves their problems. Many people in that video also share how their life changed after seeing him. So, there are a lot of people who are after him, ready to give him money and constantly disturb him.But he doesn't show any interest in money or recognition. Since people disturb him a lot, he carries a stick with him always to scare them away.

He used to speak much 20-30 years ago. But nowadays he doesn't speak at all. Sometimes he rarely speaks two or three words to people, saying the name of a temple and town to the person who comes to see him for solving a particular problem in life. He just ask them to go to the temple. If a person has seen him before and had his problem solved and if the same person comes to meet him again, he usually gestures him to go away.

Many people have a superstition that if he beats someone with his stick their problem will be solved. But he usually uses the stick only to scare people away when they disturb him. Nowadays people disturb him a lot and never leave him alone.. He doesn't keep any belonging other than his stick and just sleeps in the floor.

Only a few people recognize him as enlightened. Many people are after him just to solve their problems in life. There was one instance, which is explained in that video, when a family who wanted to commit suicide came to see him as their last resort and after seeing him their lives changed and lived happily. So, the family started offering food to all the monks in Tiruvannamalai in the siddhar's name.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Sat May 13, 2017 4:54 pm

Absolutely fascinating, thanks for sharing that. Without the proper context, which you provided, it did not make much sense to a Westerner like me. For we are used to judging and just looking at outward behavior. And if we do that only with Sages like this, we will miss who he really is and has to offer. From what you shared, he sounds like the real deal, for by your fruits you shall know them, as Jesus said, and he seems to have effected people positively, good results, even if outwardly, his behavior is a little off or incomprehensible.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Sun May 14, 2017 12:28 am

Absolutely fascinating, thanks for sharing that

You are welcome Steve.. :)
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Sun May 14, 2017 8:15 pm

Your story is long, but if you want to highlight or discuss certain parts of it, or something you would like to share about it, please do.

Also, if there is anything you want to discuss about spirituality, enlightenment, the teachings of Tolle, etc, in this thread, I would enjoy reading it.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Mon May 15, 2017 6:06 pm

steve Davidson wrote:Your story is long, but if you want to highlight or discuss certain parts of it, or something you would like to share about it, please do.

Also, if there is anything you want to discuss about spirituality, enlightenment, the teachings of Tolle, etc, in this thread, I would enjoy reading it.


Yeah, The story is long... After writing that blog post, I started wondering If any one would want to patiently read everything in that post.. Were you able to read the whole post? I made it like a story so that the readers will feel engaged.. I am planning to elaborate that post into a book and also add some of my other blog post to it.. But i will do that once I become completely well versed in Basic Psychology and making some more observations.

I will just post an excerpt from that post which narrates whatever that happened when I went through a spiritual transformation:

The trip to Velliangiri mountains triggered the seeker in me and I decided to go deep in meditation as much as I could. I started paying attention to every moment, every thought and every sensation. I made very clear to me that whatever I observe, perceive, think, experience and know is not me. I witnessed all the passing emotions and moods as a passive observer.

I went to Isha yoga centre every week, took bath in Theerthakund and meditated for an hour. I spent almost half of the day there. In the office, my nature of job was to talk to the customers over the phone during the whole night and answer their questions. I became deeply involved in the present moment and enjoyed my work. I soon stopped thinking about many things in the external world. I noticed my thoughts slowing down leaving a peaceful, clear stillness in the large gaps between each thought. Very soon, I started feeling intense euphoria at times which lasted for hours. The quality of my work increased, the clarity in my voice and speech increased and I started to feel waves of bliss in my head. It was like a cool breeze flowing in my head.

Soon, I stopped my interactions with other people. It was not my conscious decision but happened automatically. I couldn’t believe that all these things were happening to me. I didn’t feel any intense negative emotion or anxiety but almost the whole day at my work was filled with bliss and peace. Soon, the psychological boundaries between me and the world started to disappear. I started getting a lot of attention and I was pretty sure that something tremendous was happening.

I went to attend Sadhguru’s darshan that happened in the Isha ashram on June 18th and 19th, 2014. I felt one with the whole universe during the entire satsang. The feeling of oneness with the world was then continuous. Whatever I did seemed to happen without much of my conscious will. Everything I did was spontaneous like a river flowing down the hills. The doer in me seemed to have completely disappeared and everything seemed to be happening out of cosmic will instead of my own will.

It was a huge blessing. Every day at work, I felt tremendously happy and satisfied. For the first time in my life, I felt complete and fulfilled. I wondered, ‘Is it really possible for me to suffer ever again?’… I felt like the king of the whole world.

I went to another satsang that was held on July 12, 2014 (Guru Purnima day). I remember getting on the bus feeling so light as if I had no weight on the body. Everything seemed to be so transparent. During the entire satsang, I was immersed in my Self. That night while I was lying on my bed, there was a sudden clarity. It seemed that my search was over. There was nothing else to achieve and nothing more to do to make me complete.

The days after the change

The excitement and the wave of bliss were gradually reduced in the days to come. Though I no longer felt the waves and breeze of bliss in my head, being peaceful and complete has been the normal state of my mind from those days of transformation to till date.

Though I had no doubt that the journey as a human being in my life was over and it wouldn’t matter if I die at any moment, the transformation didn’t exactly fit into the description of enlightenment as implied by Osho and Sadhguru. When I thought about it later after the next two years, I noted down my observation of the changes it had made in my thinking, well being and my way of life:

Self image is no longer important to me.
My past no longer plays a role in giving me a mental identity in my mind.
I cannot think about future the same way I did before. In a sense, I seemed to have lost the sense of time. I don’t and can’t rely on an event in the future for satisfaction.
I stopped feeling that there is an ‘other’. The psychological boundaries between me and the world disappeared. A lot of concepts in Psychology doesn’t seem to apply to me or relevant to me. For example, I no longer felt the psychological self-consciousness and cognitive dissonance.
Emotions like sadness and fear seems to have disappeared. But I continue to show the sign of a sudden fear in my facial expression and bodily movements. (For example, if a moving vehicle suddenly comes close to me enough to hit me, I respond to it in the usual way. But it doesn’t have the same impact on my mind as it did before. May be it is so subtle but I don’t usually feel fear or sadness)
I continue to feel angry when I am disturbed by others. As a person, I always used to be high in neuroticism and easily angered ever since I was a child. It seemed to a genetic factor. It makes sense to assume that meditation or an awakening experience doesn’t mysteriously change a person’s genetics. But the factors that will make me angry were reduced completely. I could easily change my mood from being angry to being normal.
It is not like feeling continuous bliss and being drugged all the time. But there is always a peace and fulfillment and there is no longer a feeling that something is incomplete.
The thoughts have not completely disappeared but they have been tremendously reduced. My thinking is usually not about the past or the present. For example, at any moment I may be thinking ‘May be there is life on one of the moons on Saturn’, or ‘How come humming birds are really too small? They are cute’… I hardly think about me.
There is absolutely nothing paranormal. I don’t have any memories of past life and have never seen a damn aura in my life.
Biological drives like food and sex motivates my behavior as usual. But motivation theories like expectancy theory or goal setting theory doesn’t seem to apply for me much. I am not driven to do something because I will get something as a result in three months time. I have to remember to consciously involve myself to do it. But I will do something to get a bottle of brandy to drink this evening. These days I have developed a conscious practice of planning ahead and thinking about doing things which are necessary for the future. The drawback with that is, I may completely forget to do it.
Also, while some changes obviously occurred as an immediate result of the transformation, some changes are gradual and still occurring within me. It took a long time to learn to live with this transformed personality and there were challenges that I faced. It is hard to put it in language, because in one way or the other, it will be misleading.

I continue to learn by my experience with this new phenomenon (in fact, people will say that it is not a new thing, it is just a person’s real essence which was and will be always present. That is true… But it is still gives a new outlook. The way it affects our behavior and our experiences is new).

I went through a great deal of suffering after this transformation when I lost my job in the next two years. That is long story and I don’t want to go into that in detail now. I had to find a new job, had no money and depended on my parents for a couple of months. During those days, I actually missed my old job and the people. Then I realized that I had a subtle attachment with that environment which was not obvious. It took a while for things to settle down. But it was only temporary and soon it became like nothing actually happened.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Mon May 15, 2017 8:31 pm

I was curious if Onceler has anything to say about what you posted, since you said you thought he would enjoy reading this.

I did skim and browse through the long story, but honestly, did not read it all. I did read this shortened version though, that you just posted.

It is interesting and some of it reminds me of what Tolle teaches.

I honestly dont know what to make of it though and am not sure what is awakening or enlightenment. Osho and Sadguru, I am not sure they were awakened or enlightened either.

But those words are thrown out, but I suspect few know what they really mean.

Something has happened to you, whether it is a final experience or just another experience, that comes and goes, I cannot say. For myself, I have not had any of these yet, and am

just gradually working on myself over all these years. Tolle had a big awakening experience as some others have too, but my path seems one of small, incremental changes.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:05 pm

I told Onceler in a thread that I was soon going to write more about my life as a spiritual seeker and what happened to me over the years.. He said he was looking forward to it.. So, I thought he might be interested in reading it.

I think this excerpt will make more sense when you read the whole article. I have talked about my spiritual practices as well;they were mainly mindfulness and self-inquiry. Eckhart Tolle's teaching also focus on mindfulness.

Science has shown that mindfulness actually rewires the brain. The concept of mindfulness is related to many concepts and practices in various religions.. Shakshi Bhav in Vedanta, Shikantaza in Zen, Sati (mindfulness) in Buddhism. Many mindfulness based therapies talk about being mindful of our breath. But mindfulness becomes more effective when it is extended towards our thoughts, feelings and intentions... That was my experience too.

And since every thought actually contributes in rewiring our brain, self-inquiry definitely rewires the brain. Self inquiry, understanding and assimilating the pointers in Vedanta and Zen and mindfulness rewire the brain in such a way that the synaptic connections in our brain responsible for a lot of our old thought patterns that lead to suffering are pruned. A brain that is completely rewired this way can be said as an enlightened brain. This is a scientific outline of a spiritual practice..

We can never know if Osho or Sadhguru was enlightened... But Osho explained a lot in his talks which can help in understanding many things...The talks he gave in the early period are more helpful.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Wed May 17, 2017 11:30 pm

I read an interesting story just now.. (http://www.prevention.com/health/brain- ... ightenment)

Even as a little girl growing up in Terre Haute, IN, Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, was fascinated by the human mind—drawn, she says, by observing her older brother, who had schizophrenia. "I became intrigued by who we are as people and what we are as people, as biological creatures," she recalls, "and how he was different in the way he perceived experiences and then chose to behave."

By age 37, Dr. Taylor had become a brain scientist and hotshot researcher in Harvard Medical School's department of neuroscience, and she felt pretty smart about the workings of the cerebral world—until one December morning in 1996, when she discovered a few things she didn't know.
At 7 AM that December 10, Dr. Taylor awoke with a piercing headache behind her left eye. Weird, she thought. I never get sick. She rolled out of her water bed with "the ambivalence of a wounded soldier," she says, and made her way to her cardio glider, thinking she'd sweat it out to the twangy strains of Shania Twain. Her movements felt jerky, not fluid, and she found it hard to keep her balance, so she got off the machine and went to take a shower.

The usually soothing stream of warm water exploded like a massive assault of noise and motion. Her brain chatter suddenly went silent, as if someone hit a mute button. Then the boundaries of her own body began to fade, and Dr. Taylor experienced the feeling that she was "part of the energy of the universe." It was, she says, "like being enveloped by a blanket of tranquil euphoria."

The moment her right arm dropped paralyzed to her side, she knew: Oh my gosh, I'm having a stroke! In the next instant, another thought flashed through her neuroanatomist mind: Whoa, this is so-o-o cool! And really, it was: How many brain scientists get to witness their own mental deterioration from the inside out?

The massive hemorrhage from a rare congenital malformation occurred in the left hemisphere of Dr. Taylor's brain, the seat of language, the ego, and all cognitive information processing. Following the stroke, she couldn't walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her own life. She also lost the ability to critically judge or feel fear, also functions of the brain's left side. The right side of her brain (where information is absorbed through the sensory system, a collage of what this present moment looks, smells, tastes, feels, and sounds like), however, remained intact; as she writes in her best-selling book, My Stroke of Insight: "I was not capable of deliberating about past or future-related ideas because those cells were incapacitated. All I could perceive was right now, and it was beautiful."

Within the depths of a silent mind, she says, she was able to experience "a feeling of deep inner peace, a blissful state free of 37 years of emotional baggage. I think the Buddhists would say I entered the mode of existence they call nirvana."

More from Prevention: The Stroke Symptom Doctors Miss

Following surgery, it took eight grueling years of therapy for Dr. Taylor to fully recover. What kept her going was the unconditional love of her mom, whose constant questions awakened her ability to retrieve concepts, words, and memories, and the support of her close friends and colleagues at NAMI, (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), where she'd served on the board of directors. She was motivated, she says, because she "witnessed a few things about my brain that I would never have imagined to be true" and wanted to share them with the world, "not just those recovering from a brain trauma, but everyone with a brain!"

The insights she gained as a result of her stroke have given her a new purpose. "It's my goal," says Dr. Taylor, who is the poster child for stroke recovery, "to help you have more say about how you want to be in this world and take a more balanced brain approach to how you lead your life." Here's what she learned.

Inner peace is just a thought away.

This was the blessing I received from my experience: that nirvana is just a thought away—or, in my language [of science], deep inner peace exists in the consciousness of our right hemisphere. And at any given moment, you can choose to hook into that part of your brain, into a peaceful state, if you are willing to stop the cognitive loops of thought, worry, [anger]—any ideas that distract you from the experience of being in the here and now. What my stroke did was shut out all those moments; it silenced the dominating, judging voice of my left mind. And when that happened, my consciousness dwelled in a flow of sweet tranquillity.

You have to be willing to come to the present moment and set your ego aside—she's not going anywhere. You can go back and pick up where you left off. Our desire for peace must be stronger than our attachment to our misery, ego, or need to be right. It's about paying attention to your thoughts, watching what's going on inside your mind and observing it instead of engaging with it. What this is, essentially, is mindfulness. (See how real women choose peace over stress.)

The mind has multiple personalities.

We each experience ourselves as a single person with a single consciousness. But the two sides of the brain have different ways of looking at the world. As a result of my stroke, I gained a clear delineation of two very distinct characters cohabiting my cranium who don't just perceive and think in different ways at a neurological level—they also demonstrate different values based on the type of information they perceive and thus have different "personalities." By recognizing this, you can have more say about which character dominates your perspective at any given moment.

Many of us make judgments with the left hemisphere and then are not willing to "step to the right" for an update. Once we've made a decision, we're attached to that decision. Your right mind is the wise woman, the observer, your intuition and higher consciousness. One of its natural functions is to bring new insight into this moment so you can update [your outdated beliefs]. For example, as a child I wouldn't eat squash. Thanks to my right hemisphere, I was willing to give squash a second chance, and now I love it. The clearer you are about which side of your brain is processing what types of information, the more choice you have in how you think, feel, and behave.

The brain is just circuitry.

Because we're biological, we think of ourselves as these mushy, biological things. But if we look at ourselves as circuit boards, as computers, things become simple to understand. The brain is circuitry, and with circuitry, you can choose to run it—or not. I can run a program, whether it's my emotional programming or my intellectual programming, because I have cells that perform those functions. When you allow yourself to step outside the circuitry, then you're no longer consumed by it, and you're no longer forced to [do what it wants you to do].

We can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel, and how we react to life's circumstances. Before my stroke, I thought I was a product of my brain. I had no idea that I had some say in how I responded to the emotions surging through me. "Fear" is just circuitry—False Expectations Appearing Real. You can choose to hook into it or not. It's a story that [your] left brain chatter circuitry is running—what if, what if, what if—but if you know that your brain chatter is just a tiny little group of cells, then they have no power. You can choose not to listen to them, and tune in to the present moment.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby steve Davidson » Thu May 18, 2017 8:14 am

Thanks for posting that about Jill Bolte Taylor. I find it interesting and also a reminder that we are much more physical, biological beings than we like to think, us spiritual people that is. If our brain is affected, we might not be the same as we are now, as she found out, experienced. Also, she highlighted there are different areas of the brain, left and right hemisphere that have different functions. I think balance is needed, not just one or the other, to be whole.
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Re: The Journey Of A Seeker - My Story

Postby borris83 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:08 pm

Thanks Steve.. I am searching for more stories like this and I am collecting data from the stories... Any story of awakening where the person found out what changes occur in the brain as the result will be useful for this research.

I already came across a few stories and I have discussed them in another blog post here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2 ... ic-method/.

I have made some observations so far, which can be observed in a person who has awakened or who has been meditating for a long time:

1.Greater well being and reduced stress.
2.High activity in the brain’s left prefrontal cortex
3.Low or no activity in the Default mode network of the brain
4.Higher tolerance of pain.

If you come across any such story, please post in this thread. I will also do the same.. This kind of research will require a collaboration with psychologists, neuroscientists, even quantum physicians and the people who claim enlightenment. It cannot be accomplished by a single man. After doing years and years of research, I think a scientific progress on this subject is possible. I am just doing my part to create an awareness on this.

Just imagine... If there are scientific standards and testing available for enlightenment, then we wouldn't be seeing any false gurus taking advantage of the followers, abusing them or contaminating people's mind with their own beliefs and opinions. An MRI scan can reveal whether you are enlightened or not. But this is a long way to go. It might take another 100 years for people to see 'enlightenment testing machines'... :lol:
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