Enlightenment Definition

Introduction to Enlightenment Definition

Spirituality is a very wishy washy word these days and refers to almost anything that anyone does which may be seen as alternative! However the Sikh Gurus have taught that an enlightened person has very distinct perspectives on life and will exhibit and experience very specific phenomena some of which are described within this essay.

Recognise Only One God

People who have experienced oneness will know that the same light permeates the whole of creation. They will recognise and love only the One Primal being.

“The Lord’s Lotus Feet are the Support of the soul. They see only the One, and obey His Order. There is only one trade, and one occupation. They know no other than the Formless Lord. ||2||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.181)

“Those who surrender to the True Guru’s Will are imbued with the four-fold Love of the Lord. This is the unique and distinct life-style of the Gurmukhs: listening to the Guru’s Teachings, their minds blossom forth. ||25||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 314)

No Longer Believe in Mine and Yours

Spiritual people regard everything they have as being gifts from the One and so they do not consider anything to be theirs.

“O Nanak, blessed, blessed, blessed is that soul-bride, who enjoys her True, Sublime Husband Lord. ||2|| I go and ask the fortunate, happy soul-bride, “How did you attain Him – your Husband Lord, my God? She answers, ‘My True Husband blessed me with His Mercy; I abandoned the distinction between mine and yours. Dedicate everything, mind, body and soul, to the Lord God; this is the Path to meet Him, O sister’.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.561)


This is an absolute requirement for anyone who wants to become enlightened. Without this quality there can be no spiritual growth.

“Those humble beings who are filled with keen understanding and meditative contemplation-even though they intermingle with others, they remain distinct. ||2||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.28)

“Those humble beings who are in love with the True Guru are pure and true.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.65)

“They are attuned to the Love of their Husband Lord, and they experience the pleasure of His Love. They remain powerless, even while they have power; they remain humble and meek. O Nanak, our lives become profitable if we associate with them. ||2||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p. 85)


As a spiritual person meditates and focuses their attention on God, they become more and more like their focal point and thus eventually become fearless like God.

“Meditate, meditate in remembrance on God, and become fearless.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.184)

“I have become fearless; the Saint has removed my doubts. The All-knowing Lord is pervading everywhere.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.215)

“They remain fearless, in the Love of the One Lord; O Nanak, they have surrendered their minds to the Lord.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.711)

Sweet Speech

Spiritual people show kindness in their speech and will avoid bitter talk.

“Her speech is sweet, and her way of life is humble. She enjoys the Bed of her Husband Lord.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.31)

“Their minds and their speech are immaculate; they are my hope and ideal.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.121)

“His body and mind become immaculately pure; his speech becomes immaculate as well, and he merges in the Truest of the True.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.602)

Compassionate and Forgiving

Dharma (spiritual lifestyle) is regarded as the son of compassion. So truly spiritual people will always exhibit this quality.

“Purity, contentment, compassion, faith and truthfulness – I have ushered these into the home of my self. “ (Guru Granth Sahib, p.379)

“Make compassion the cotton, contentment the thread, modesty the knot and truth the twist. This is the sacred thread of the soul; if you have it, then go ahead and put it on me. It does not break, it cannot be soiled by filth, it cannot be burnt, or lost. Blessed are those mortal beings, O Nanak, who wear such a thread around their necks.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.471)

Conquering the 5 Thieves

The 5 thieves include lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride. These are controlled through a combination of personal effort and divine grace.

“Obtaining the Fruitful Vision of the Guru’s Darshan, I discard my pride and attachment. ||3|| I am embellished with truth, contentment, compassion and Dharmic faith. My spiritual marriage is fruitful, O Nanak; I am pleasing to my God.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.812)

Those who live a spiritual lifestyle – they alone are true. What can the false know about the secrets of liberation? ||1|| Those who contemplate the Way are Yogis. They conquer the five thieves, and enshrine the True Lord in the heart.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.223)

“Conquering the thieves, she dwells as the mistress of her home, and administers justice wisely.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.765)

“The five thieves run away, when one joins the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.810)


It is common to find many religious people who regard themselves as good and others as bad or inferior. These types of judgemental religious people are not regarded as spiritual. It is similar to the intolerant Muslim rulers of India who were religious (recited prayers etc) but were not spiritual.

In Sikhism, a spiritual person regards themselves as merely the dust under the feet of the enlightened Saints.

“One who calls himself good – goodness shall not draw near him. One whose mind is the dust of all – says Nanak, his reputation is spotlessly pure. ||3||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.278)

“Tell me, who should I call good or bad, since all beings are Yours?” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.383)

“I am not good; no one is bad. Prays Nanak, He alone saves us!” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.728)

Performs Good and Selfless Deeds

Good deeds are a very important aspect of Sikh lifestyle. Selfless service without asking for any rewaed is regarded as a form of worship to God.

“Modesty, humility and intuitive understanding are my mother-in-law and father-in-law; I have made good deeds my spouse. ||2|| Union with the Holy is my wedding date, and separation from the world is my marriage. Says Nanak, Truth is the child born of this Union. ||3||3||” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.152)

“The Gurmukh practices doing good deeds; thus he comes to understand this mind.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.159)

“The God-conscious being delights in doing good to others. The God-conscious being has no worldly entanglements. The God-conscious being holds his wandering mind under control. The God-conscious being acts in the common good. ” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.273)

Internally Hear Shabad

Naam is the primal vibration which created the creation and it is also the principal tool for spiritual evolution of the soul. Bani is a term which describes the musical attributes of Naam. Bani is a subtle continual music that can be heard by the inner ear of spiritual people.

“O mind, swim across, by focusing your consciousness on the Shabad.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.19)

“Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Shabad be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.24)

Experience Internal Amrit

The experience of Naam also includes a sweet taste on the tongue called Amrit. This is a milestone in an individual’s spiritual development.

“Their mouths savour all the sweet delicacies when they sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.166)

“I have tasted the Ambrosial Nectar of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, by meeting the True Guru. It is sweet, like the juice of the sugarcane.” (Guru Granth Sahib, p.170)


Spirituality is a journey during which we will experience many phenomena and a small fraction of these have been detailed to give an enlightenment definition.

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