Does This Path Lead to the Highest Possible Enlightenment?
In Buddhism they talk about two levels of spiritual realization: The level of an
The path of Kriya Yoga leads to Self Realization.
Here is Swami Kriyananda’s explanation (taken from his article: The Journey to Enlightenmet: The Final Challenge, Clarity Magazine):
Liberation from the ego does not come with the first glimpses of cosmic consciousness. Samadhi comes in two stages: sabikalpa and nirbikalpa. The first stage, sabikalpa samadhi, is conditional and temporary. From this state it is still possible to fall spiritually, for one has not yet overcome ego-consciousness completely.
In the highest samadhi, nirbikalpa samadhi, there is no longer any danger of slipping spiritually. The ego no longer exists. At this point the soul is no longer aware of the ego in human terms, but knows it solely as a manifestation of the Infinite Reality. Every moment of one’s life, and every atom of one’s body, is permeated throughout with divine bliss.
Truth seekers must understand that finding God is not like the supreme effort required, say, to climb Mount Everest, the accomplishment of which is more arduous at the end than at the beginning. Finding God is the simplest, most obvious, and most supremely natural thing to do in the world! At the end, one doesn’t find himself straining with desperate, heroic zeal to merge in Him. Rather, one relaxes, supremely, into perfect Bliss. Strain, tension, ardor, heroic zeal: these end forever for the soul. What is left is Satchidananda: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss.
What happens is that in your meditations you reach a point where you’ve gotten rid of all self-definitions. There’s nothing to cling to anymore. You’re not a woman or a man. You’re not American or Indian or French. You’re not rich or poor. You’re not young or old. You’re not beautiful or ugly. You’re none of these things.
Gradually, as the devotee keeps trying, his higher nature takes over, and a power he thought impossible for him, manifests itself, giving him the strength necessary to make the effort to continue on to victory. Yogananda writes that the supreme state, nirbikalpa samadhi, comes in time “with a natural inevitability to the sincere devotee. His intense craving begins to pull at God with an irresistible force.”
So, in the beginning, the process of finding God is a matter of constant struggle until, as Yogananda put it, “efforts end in ease.” After a while it becomes natural; there’s no struggle involved. The truth is that you can get out in this lifetime if you work at it-especially, Yogananda said, with the practice of Kriya Yoga, which dissolves the seeds of karma that hold you back spiritually.
However, only by mental attunement with the consciousness of an already-liberated guru can we make that leap across the yawning abyss which separates the ego from infinity. Most important of all is an attitude of deep loving receptivity toward one’s God-ordained guru.
The magnetism emanated by a true master lifts his disciples above their egos. What the guru does for us is primarily on a level of consciousness. He works from within, on our thoughts and feelings. Our job, above all, is to offer our hearts and minds up to him, that he may transform us. Gradually, his ego-less consciousness seeps into our ego-centered consciousness, and transforms us with new understanding of our own reality. Once ego-limitation has been demolished by selfless love, nothing remains to prevent self-awareness from expanding to infinity.
The storm of duality is finally stilled, and the self, no longer in rebellion against God, merges completely into the Infinite Self, becoming the Infinite. This, and this only, is the state of salvation, of final liberation from all the bondage of delusion.
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