The English terms "awakening" and "enlightenment" are the Western translations of various Buddhist terms, most notably bodhi and vimoksha. The concept of Awakening comes from the verbal root, Budh, derived from Vedic Sanskrit, which means "to awaken" or "to recover consciousness." The concept of Enlightenment is derived from vimoksha, a term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism for various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release.
The term "awakening" is event-oriented: an experience of release from ignorance and delusion, whereas the term "enlightenment" is process-oriented: a life-time of spiritual development resulting in personal illumination.
The term "enlightenment" was popularised in the Western world through the 19th-century translations of German-born philologist Max Muller. It has the Western connotation of general insight into transcendental truth or reality. The term has also been used to translate several other Buddhist terms and concepts, which denote (initial) insight (prajna (Sanskrit), wu (Chinese), kensho and satori (Japanese), knowledge (vidya); the "blowing out" (Nirvana) of disturbing emotions and desires; and the attainment of supreme Buddhahood (samyak sam bodhi), as exemplified by Gautama Buddha. In the Western world, the concept of (spiritual) enlightenment has taken on a romantic meaning. It has become synonymous with self-realization and the true self and false self, being regarded as a substantial essence being covered over by social conditioning.
We have previously explored several explicit aspects of the Perennialist practice of assisting initiates to achieve Awakening and Enlightenment:
- Achieving the Capacity to Discern the Supersensible Domain
- Participating In The Supersensible Plenum
However, beyond these explicit aspects of a Perennialist Teacher's explicit practice of assisting initiates to achieve awakening and enlightenment, it is an element in everything that a Perennialist Teacher does, in her own life and in assisting initiates.
In his Work, the Perennialist Teacher uses a number of seemingly unconnected (and apparently non-spiritual) processes and traditions. To persons unfamiliar with the Perennial Tradition, this use of apparently irrelevant means or procedures may seem irrational or foolish. The focus is always on the achievement of awakening or enlightenment, not on appearing consistent, rational, or traditional.
In this Special Essay, we shall explore some of these seemingly unconnected and apparently non-spiritual processes and traditions which the Perennialist Teacher uses in assisting students to achieve awakening and enlightenment. The essay has been created in a manner that allows a reader willing (and able) to participate in its Theurgic Magic to achieve Instant Awakening and Total Enlightenment.
- Sufi use of the Nasrudin Tradition:
"Mulla (Master) Nasrudin is the classical figure devised by the dervishes partly for the purpose of halting for a moment situations in which certain states of mind are made clear. . . . A Nasrudin tale . . . bridges the gap between mundane life and a transmutation of consciousness in a manner which no other literary form yet produced has been able to attain . . . making possible the attainment of Sufic realizations and mystical experience."
Idries Shah. The Sufis
3. Actualizing the supersensible form: Commonwealth