Once upon a time, there was a congregation of fish, who got together to discuss who among them had seen the ocean. None of them could say they had actually seen the ocean. Then one fish said, ‘‘I think my great grandfather had seen the ocean!’’ A second fish said, ‘‘Yes, yes, I have also heard about this.’’ A third fish said, ‘‘Yes, certainly, his great grandfather had seen the ocean.’’ So they built a huge temple and made a statue of the great grandfather of that particular fish! They said, ‘‘He had seen the ocean. He had been connected with the ocean.’’
The same is the case with seekers on the spiritual path who are curious about enlightenment. What is Enlightenment? I tell you, enlightenment is like a joke! It is like a fish in the ocean searching for the ocean. Enlightenment is the very core of our being; going to the core of our Self and living our life from there.
We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence. We were born with silence and as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We lived in our hearts and as time passed, we moved into our heads. The reversal of this journey is enlightenment. It is the journey from the head back to the heart, from words back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence. Although very simple, this is a great achievement.
Enlightenment is that state of being mature and unshakeable under any circumstances. Come what may, nothing can rob the smile from your heart. Going beyond the limited boundaries, and feeling ‘‘all that exists in this universe belongs to me,’’ is enlightenment.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar