[Advaita-l] Three steps towards Enlightenment

sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org
Wed Mar 2 06:59:09 CST 2005

Three steps towards Enlightenment

"O Fire! The one who kindles you in his house (heart); or the one who
gives food (victuals) to them that desire it; Increase their provisions
(i.e. wealth, so that he may be able contribute more and more). O You the
mighty one! And the one that you send forth in battle (against vices) with
his chariot; may he obtain (divine) wealth (wisdom, virtues)." Rig-veda

The Vedic word used in this hymn for "house" is "dama(s)" which is very
identical to the Latin term "domus", which means the same (= house) and
from which the English term "dome" has been derived. According to the
Spiritual Interpretation of the Vedas the word "house" would mean "the
heart" (a heart which is fully under our control), in which one needs to
kindle "Light" by constantly meditating upon it. How is this practiced?
First, one kindles the fire on his altar in the Censer, then worships it
as a symbol to the Supreme Light. Then by performing the Vedic rituals of
Yajna (Havana = Fire ceremony) he tries to meditate upon the Light
residing in his heart. He tries to focus his mind on that Light
(Dhaaranaa, the 6th limb of Ashtaanga Yoga) and then meditates upon it
(Dhyaana = the seventh limb of Ashtaanga Yoga), and then eventually he
becomes one (Samaadhi = the eighth limb of Ashtaanga Yoga) with his object
of meditation, the Light. He is enlightened then. Such a contemplator is
the first type of the 3 persons that have been mentioned. This person is
in the final stage of Self-realization. He has taken the 3rd and the last
step of the Devayaana path (the path of the Divinities, the path of Light)
that leads to immortality and emancipation from all troubles.
The second type of the 3 persons mentioned here is a person who is
benevolent, he is a philanthropist. He gives to everybody whatever that
person needs and whatever he can give. He serves the humanity and animals
alike. He tries to see the presence of that Light in every creature and
thus loves all and serves all. This person has taken the second step and
is in the second stage of Self-realization. This is a very very essential
step towards Enlightenment. Only by taking this second step a person can
burn all the bad Karmas that hold him back in darkness, ignorance and
The Holy Prophet Paraashara, the son of Shakti, beseeches the Lord of Fire
(The Supreme Consciousness manifested in the form of fire or light) to
grant all provisions to such a person, so that he can serve all humans and
creatures endlessly.
This is a central idea to Vedism that money has not been given to us for
our own sake, for our enjoyments, once we have satisfied our daily needs,
money should be used for others, it should be used to obtain the
long-lasting joy of philanthropy. All money that has been given to us
above our own daily needs belongs to others. Then comes the golden rule,
the more you give, the more is given to you.
Then there is the first type of these 3 persons. This is an aspirant, who
is working hard to overcome his internal enemies, anger, lust, hatred etc.
He has waged a battle against all vices existing in his heart, so that
virtues can takeover the place occupied by vices, and then eventually so
that the Light of Wisdom can be kindled in his heart. This body is our
chariot, which has been given to us to wage this battle against darkness,
ignorance and our inherent vices. We become the soldiers of Light, as
mentioned by the Essene monks in the Dead See Scrolls from Qumran
The metaphor becomes very clear when we consult the Katha Upanishad, "The
Charioteer is the soul, the body is the chariot, the intellect is the
chariot-driver, the mind is the rein and our senses are our horses."
Such a person obtains wisdom. But he has to fight for it and really work
hard for it. This is the first stage and first step toward
Self-realization. And this is also the most essential step, since the rest
of the steps just follow this one. This is the first grand step taken
towards Enlightenment or Heaven.
So the sequence is as follows – fight vices, serve, and be enlightened!
Love you all,
Siddhartha Krishna

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list