How can you tell ?

existentialist_mystic's picture

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Forgive my ignorance ... but how can you a tell if a person is enlightened ? I look at people like Osho, Nome, M. Ishwara ( for some reason or another I find myself to be instinctively drawn to these three ) and think to myself, " Are these gentlemen really enlightened or are they just REALLY smart and cunning ( for lack of better words ) ? ". Do enlightened beings act a certain way in mannerisms and so forth ? I must say, when viewing Osho's picture as well as M. Ishwara's picture, their eyes really stand out ... it almost seems, in my opinion anyways, that they're here, but not really " here " ... if that makes sense. Again, forgive my ignorance ( as I am new to this site and path ). I am only asking out of curiousity.

One more question, by the way. If a person becomes " truly enlightened " how are they able to still function in the world ? Wouldn't you need a few fragments of the ego to function ? I certainly can't imagine a person being able to function in this world with no ego ? Thanks for your time, guys. Lots of love and may the creator bless you all !

- J

lalo's picture

Cheat sheet to recognize a bogus guru

You will find the answers to your first question in A cheat sheet to recognize a bogus guru.

As to your second question: he will function technically the same way he functioned when he was not enlightened, i.e. when he was identified with his body. Can a car manage in the world without the driver being identified with it? It can, same is the body. Regarding ego and absence of ego - stop and ask yourself what is the exact definition of ego beyond the connotations and you will get an answer.

lalo | Wed, 11/25/2009 - 09:20
existentialist_mystic's picture

Thank you

Thank you for your answer. :)

existentialist_... | Wed, 11/25/2009 - 15:03


Enlightenment is a subject of spirituality which has been spoken in all the authenticated religions of the world. This is a state of being uplifted through the methods of spirituality. There are thousands and thousands paths pertaining to it as per the liking of various individual bent of mind but all these paths reach to the same goal which is called the state of ENLIGHTENMENT, the state of 'Godhead' experience. This is 100% true but there are the rare ones, the blessed ones who may succeed on this path.

NIDHI PARKASH | Wed, 11/25/2009 - 16:45
SUMIT604's picture

enlighted persons

i think if u see any enlighted person ,u should try to know the past life of that that way u will be able to know how to reach your aim...
first question is what is spirituality...and i will relate it tour aim in life because spirituality may be different for different people however ultimately it is the true peace of heart but in which job u find that peace of soul...
that is ur true aim of life and the medium to meet god..
everyone isnt made by god to be a teacher,a painter ,a one should be aware of his aim on the earth...
by looking at the past of these people one will come to know this fact....

SUMIT604 | Thu, 11/26/2009 - 08:06

> enlightened the Man

Hello Sumit,
My good brother, you have been from Uttar Pradesh, the largest populated state of India which the state has been one of the hub of Spirituality in India wherein have born uncountable devotees/gyaanis/spiritualists/yogis/non-dualists/shad darshanaachaaryaas/vedaachaaryaas/munis/jatis/bhikshus etc. which means that you have been physically residing among the culturally one of the most vibrated place of spirituality in India. However, fish may be spoken thirsty in-spite of residing in the splendid ocean.

We must not try to see other's past life(the life of previous births) which is the objective aspect but we must be subjective in present which means we see ourselves within us as we have been actually at present; if we have to follow spiritual path, otherwise all is nothing except amusing to mind. Through the seeing of past of others we make our bonds strong more and more on account of which our salvation is delayed as well as our liberation is suspended.

What is spirituality? Prior to answer it please mention what is alchemy in chemistry? Alchemy may be understood as well as explained from the point of view of chemistry. Chemistry is a mode of education to know the truth. Facts which are revealed through science must be considered as truth. Commerce, philosophy, arts etc. are the complementaries to science; through which truth gets its expansion for the welfare of masses. There is a science of stars,heavenly bodies. There is also a philosophy of stars and heavenly bodies. So, as it is, spirituality is a mode of education of the 'Spirit'. Spirit is also called as soul, 'AATMAA'. Now, the education, knowledge, science and philosophy through which may know, feel, experience this soul is called spirituality. As per the subject of spirituality soul is our eternal conscious entity. This the soul is our real entity in which we have to get our establishment again; after such establishing of us in our soul, we will be in our eternal swaroopa----reference to Yoga Aphorism and 'Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda'. This state of establishing in soul is called enlightenment, poising in the self. Just like the chemistry spirituality has also have uniform principles all over the whole universe. These principles of the spirituality are the inscrutable rules of the Mother Nature and science is the candle/lamp in the light of which these methods, rules, phenomena of spirituality can be known to as well as experience. Spirituality is the harmony of the whole nature.

Answer to question -what is spirituality- needs vast study and Uttar Pradesh has Many Institutes/organizations for such studies.

Each one must choose ones own aim for the choosing of which if needed help of books and trustworthy teachers should be sought and the name of one of such books is given as below:-
'SOME GUIDELINES TOWARDS THE GOAL SUPREME' written by Swami Gokulananda, Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi.

Visit at:



NIDHI PARKASH | Fri, 11/27/2009 - 18:01
Gilana's picture


Hi, I don't know if you got the answer to your question or not. I can give you my slice and see if it adds anything to what you already have.

Enlightenment is simply: the light goes on. Once I was stuck in line at Disneyland for the Space Mountain ride. They had to turn the lights on to fix the track and everybody there could see the complex mishmosh of closely resembled a ball of string! They turned the lights off as soon as possible, but we had all seen it.

Just because the lights went off didn't mean we didn't know anymore. Remember, these were not "the chosen people," we were just whoever was in line, at the time. Everybody in line had a different thought about what it really looked like...before the lights went on. After that, everybody had the same thought about what it looked like.

Since then, it's possible that some people forgot, some people modified their memory, some people were still amazed by it (but rarely thought of it), some people would talk about it to whoever they could and were possessed by it for a time but slowly got sucked back into moment to moment demands (to one extent or another) and (and this is where I get metaphorical) some people let the amazement and adoration of the mystery, complexity, and perfection of it take over their life...and become more engrossed in it than what was happening and changing moment to moment. And some people were so affected by it and so unprepared to handle it that they just went nuts.

So there you have it. Notice there were no personality changes, no sudden auric bursts, no monetary boosts, no alleviation of suffering. Just knowing changed. Each person handles it different and the consequences (which could include those things, but are not consequent of it) come from that, but God is the roller coaster...perfect, unchanging, living and breathing eternity and infinity. Here's something's living and breathing in you right now. (If you really understand it, the more accurate statement is: It is living and breathing you right were just it's idea.)

Gilana | Fri, 12/04/2009 - 16:38
existentialist_mystic's picture

Thank you

This really does clear it up ! Thanks ! :)

existentialist_... | Fri, 12/04/2009 - 17:15
Gilana's picture

Beloved existentialist..

You are welcome...please remember that this is only my little piece of it. My Guru has told me that he has had many, many enlightenments, so it must go deeper and deeper (probably as deeply as existance itself). Let's see what others can contribute to round this out.

Namaste with love,

Gilana | Fri, 12/04/2009 - 20:05
existentialist_mystic's picture

Thank you again !

Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking about enlightenment ... it is always on my mind ...

Your comment regarding your Guru's many enlightenments really moved me ... it's rather hard to explain how and why ... it just strikes a chord in me ...

Thank you again for the contribution and may the creator bless you and your loved ones.

With lots of love,


existentialist_... | Fri, 12/04/2009 - 21:39
ramadvaith's picture

how can you tell

it was a coincidence that after several months, i looked up your mails!

my master nithyananda says you can't tell if you are not yourself enlightened, but you can smell!

enlightenment is called samadhi in Sanskrit, which just means returning to base. We are all enlightened. it is just that we are not aware and have not experienced that state or even if one has temporarily in a meditative or devotional state been able to experience that state, one is not been able to hold on to that experience.

saint or sinner, billionaire or hobo, we are all at the same distance from that experiience. All that happens is that the realzation we are something more than body and mind. It is the understanding that we are eternal energy rather than perishable matter.

A Zen master said: before enlightenment a mountain was a mountain. During the journey, the mountain was not a mountain. Upon enlightenment, the mountain was again a mountain.

Nothing changes. Yet, everything changes in terms of our relationship with the world. We realize that we are no longer a wave in the ocean but the ocean itself.

There are many layers and levels of enlightenment. One gate leads to another. It is a peak experince but not a final experince.

Yes, one can function normally upon enlightenment, which is the entire teaching of Bhagavad Gita. There are technical terms such as savikalpa samadhi , nirvikalpa samadahi, sahaja samadhi and so on to distinguish but without detailed guidance they tend to confuse rather than explain.

Do read Nithyananda ( , Ramana Maharishi, Osho, Parahamsa Yogananda, Ramakrishna etc who are all truly enlightened masters who have spoken about their experiences.


ramadvaith | Mon, 12/07/2009 - 16:13
existentialist_mystic's picture

Thank you

Thank you VERY MUCH for the reply ! I am very happy to hear from you ! :)

existentialist_... | Mon, 12/07/2009 - 16:46
not_me's picture

How can they still function?

What mostly changes is the realtionship, the identification - there is not more attachement and identification with the body and mind, they keep on functioning but in a lower gear of course.

not_me | Sat, 12/05/2009 - 08:08
SUMIT604's picture


By past life i didnt mean previous births....i simply meant past of his present life

SUMIT604 | Sat, 12/05/2009 - 09:36