Curiosity & Enlightenment

Curiosity is meant for the Self and this world only and it doesn’t apply to God because we get curious about matters we know partially. Curiosity is not useful for something we already know fully or in case we know nothing. Although one additional point to note – partial knowledge is sometimes even more dangerous if we assume it to be total and suffer from I-know-all attitude, the requirement is to remain open, curious for truth then one becomes a true seeker and invokes scientific temper.

We don’t know anything about God, and so HE is not the subject of curiosity, rather, can only be believed in. We know something about Self as “I am” and the world – “it is there” but “what and who I am” and “why and what this world is for” we don’t know. All this concludes that right application of our hunger to know is for knowing Self and the real nature of this world. 

Although going by the scriptures, God can also be a matter of curiosity but it is really for those who trust scriptures or any devotee or a Saint. In beginning, it is only the trust factor that engages anyone in the journey to know God. People who don’t believe in scripture or any devotee, they remain shut to the inquiry about God.The experience of God is not that evident as that of Self or World, so some trust in God and others not. Owing to this stance by people, we see both kinds of philosophies. But curiosity for knowing Self and the world can prove instrumental for all – whether believers or otherwise.

A seeker of truth, like others, does have a sense of individuality, ego. Until he has this ego of “I am a seeker” till then he can learn many theories intellectually but is not able to gain experience of truth as-it-is and benefit enlightenment. But if he explores sincerely and remains committed then his curiosity gradually transforms to unrest and he starts contemplating seriously on his learning objectives that “I have learned a lot but still I haven’t moved an inch further into the experience of Truth, ultimate peace, and absence of evils and erratic reactions. I still get disturbed and impacted by highs and lows of life.” This unrest and intensity of hunger make him lose all interest in ego or individuality, and this further melts the seeker in him to just seeking – just the burning curiosity without the “I” element in it. Seeker is lost in his hunger to know the truth. Then, this intense curiosity transforms automatically into enlightenment or realization of truth. Enlightenment eliminates ego and the reality remains and shines forth as-it-is.

One more important point to grasp is that experience happens only about ego as our false identity and nature of this world as transitory but we don’t gain any objective experience of consciousness, just like we experience any pastry or any feeling or thought, this is not so. Experience of Essence is subjective and there the experiencer and experience do not remain two different entities. Essence is knowingness and self-illuminated but clarity doesn’t dawn due to the undue importance given to world, desires and we believe it as real and permanent. Once the truth is realized then nobody remains to claim as experiencer. Knowingness remains without the knower. Enlightenment remains without the enlightened one.


Note: This is the 4th post in my translation series of Sahaj Sadhna, book by Swami Ramsukhdas Ji (1904 – 2005), chapter name – Jigyasa Aur Bodh. The striking point in this post is that curiosity is really crucial in our evolutionary journey and upon contemplation, we come to know that curiosity is born when we take our doubts seriously and don’t suppress giving priority to desires. The takeaway is – value doubts, safeguard curiosity and gradually convert it into unrest, then everything else is taken care by wonderful design of the universe. Just like if there is no hunger then all food festivals are pointless for us. The second takeaway is spirituality is not about beautifying ego but losing it in search of Truth, with ego protected we don’t gain any clarity, confidence, and spiritual understanding in life. 

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