Clear up your doubts: What is lighting? How do you get it?

In this section Javier Ruiz Calderón offers answers to our doubts about yoga, its philosophy and its techniques from an updated and critical view of the yophytic tradition. We are all invited to write to Javier raising our doubts or uncertainties.

Question: What is lighting? How do you get it?

Answer: The term "enlightenment" is often used to translate the term Bodhi, which literally means "wake up". Siddhartha Gáutama is therefore called "the buddha», that is, "the awake". And what did Buddha wake up from? Del dream of ignorance: we are all asleep, we believe that we live in a world made of stable, substantial things and that, as it is, they can give us happiness. In reality, everything is fleeting and insubstantial and, therefore, if we stick to anything we are doomed to suffer unnecessarily. On the contrary, when you wake up to reality you overcome attachment and reach a state of equanimity, peace and inner freedom; and, since there are no longer obstacles to empathizing with other sensitive beings, great love and universal compassion are born.

Other spiritual traditions such as yoga, Vedanta, Taoism, etc. also affirm that the dream of ignorance is the origin of all our ills and that we have to awaken to the direct knowledge of the reality of our true being (the pubrusha), the Absolute (Brahman), the DaoEtc. Moving from ignorance to knowledge of reality: that is the spiritual awakening, better known as "enlightenment".

How do you achieve awakening? Each tradition proposes a path: the noble octuple path of Buddhism; the eight stages of Patáñjali yoga; the nine practices of yoga of devotion; listening, reflecting and meditation Advaita vedanta; The Asanas, pranayamas, mudras and bandhas, shatkarmas and meditation on the inner sound of the hatha yoga traditional; the seven abodes of the inner castle of Santa Teresa; etc, etc.

All traditional spiritual paths have a first phase more focused on cultivation of ethical virtues (non-violence, truthfulness, no stealing, etc.); then comes a more ascetic phase, of mastery of one's own will and control of the body and mind; and culminate in a more contemplative, mystical stage of direct experience of the Transcendent.

This direct knowledge is precisely that awakening or enlightenment which, when it becomes usual and spontaneous, implies the definitive liberation of all our apparent limitations, the fullness of life in communion with everything and with everyone. That is the ultimate goal of existence, the Divine Life that Shri Aurobindo and Swami Shivananda; and every time we extend the yoga mat or cross our legs trying to meditate we get a little closer to her.

Javier Ruiz Calderón (Shankara) He holds a doctorate in philosophy specializing in Indian thought and philosophy of religion. He is a professor at the Comillas University (Madrid) and a disciple of Amma. He has been studying and practicing yoga, vedanta and meditation for forty years. He teaches these disciplines, as well as Sanskrit and Vedic singing, and has published six books and dozens of articles on these subjects (see

Upcoming activities in Madrid and at a distance: Classes of Soft Yoga and Philosophy and meditation; Seminar Study of the Bhagavad G.T.; Course Introduction to advaita ved-nta (information: Tuesday 25 February: presentation of the collective book Veda dárshana 2. Vedic vision (information:

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By • 17 Feb, 2020 • Sección: Signatures, Javier Ruiz Calderón