THE SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT – THE AIM OF SAADHANAA?
What is the sole aim of the Saadhana?
The end-result or goal of any kind of spiritual Saadhanaa is to ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE the SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT WITHIN...!
Whether you are following the Gyan Marga, Bhakti Marga, Karma Marga or any other spiritual path, the aim is to realize your inner oneness with the all pervading Supreme Consciousness or the Almighty, by whatever word you may like to call this all pervading entity.
What is the meaning of the word SAADHANAA? The word 'Saadhana' in spirituality means the act of fine-tuning or aligning your individual physical, mental, emotional, sentimental and spiritual being or the consciousness so that your individual consciousness one day becomes one with the Supreme Consciousness. In other words, the spiritual enlightenment is the sole aim of Saadhana.
The one who is busy in trying to achieve this fine-tuning is called ‘the Saadhaka.’ The one who has succeeded in doing so is called ‘the Saadhu.’ And the one who has further realized the inner spiritual enlightenment is known as a Swaamee/Swami like Swami Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda, etc.
To succeed in Sadhana, first the Sadhaka's physical body and mind must become pure. This purity may be achieved through numerous means like Aasanas-Praannaayaama [Naadee-Shodhan, etc], Satsangs, by being in good association of spiritual companions, etc. Then only can a Saadhaka hope to get inner spiritual enlightenment...!
Once a Yogi or Saadhaka succeeds in the Saadhana or the fine-tuning, then there follows the Spiritual Enlightenment within just as was experienced by Lord Budha after his spiritual Saadhana.
The inner spiritual enlightenment leads the Saadhaka to attain any kind of these modes of spiritual liberation/Mukte: Saalokya, Saameepya, Saarupya, Saayujya or simply merger into the eternal light. Even after the inner spiritual realization or enlightenment, the Saadhaka may still be around in this material physical world mainly so long as the store of her/his Karma [Prarbdha, Sanchita and Kiryaman karmas] isn’t fully over. This state of a spiritually enlightened Sadhaka/Saint is known as JEEVAN-MUKTA-AVASTHA. The word ‘AVASTHA’ means the state of being. ‘Jeevan-Mukta’ means that such a spiritual practitioner has actually become spiritually liberated, but still exists as a physical person only to clear her/his Karmic debt/baggage…!
You exist in this world because of the baggage of karmas being carried by you. Lord Budha didn’t leave his physical body immediately after spiritual enlightenment to merge into eternal light. He lived for a couple of more years before finally leaving this material plane.