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How to reach enlightenment?

Enlightenment is a very heavy term, though at some instances it can mean as something that lifts the weight up from people spiritually speaking. There are plenty of ways to be enlightened depending on who to ask, some have a very shallow perception of how enlightenment is achieved while others have a concrete and on point definition of how a person can be classified as something that is enlightened.


Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha is one who has attained Bodhi which when translated to English it means wisdom, Bodhi is an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection which can be achieved by man through purely human means. The term Buddha literally means enlightened one, a knower, Buddha was also the one who introduced this beautiful concept to the world, It shows people how to end suffering, the main thing that gives people pain. He also pointed out that with temptations, come suffering. Enlightenment basically means the realization of futility of everything, how one can identify the things in their life that causes suffering and one has a strong will enough to be able to avoid it. An enlightened person is said to be happy and joyful. one who has a cheerful disposition most of the time, and is willing to share that joy with others. An enlightened person is always optimistic that all challenges have a resolution. Even though the resolution may not be the most desirable, he is confident that he is capable of being at peace with it.


The concept of enlightenment is capped and greatly practiced in the Buddhist culture. Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, which is a form of bliss that is brought by enlightenment by following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC. This religion has no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible so instead of preaching a deity, they preach a very peaceful and contented way of living. Which is another trait of an enlightened person, having the feeling of content and not wanting to give into temptations that come their way.


There are a few concrete steps to attain Nirvana and have the bliss of enlightenment and one of which is following the eightfold path which was formulated by Gautama himself, one of the ones who reached enlightenment. The eightfold path is the eight pursuits of one seeking enlightenment, comprising right understanding, motives, speech, action, means of livelihood, effort, intellectual activity, and contemplation. Following the Noble truths, the Eightfold Path leads to liberation in the form of nirvana. The eightfold path consists of the following views in life; right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This eightfold path is symbolized by a wheel that is quite popular in the Buddhist tradition, it actually signifies how the eightfold path are not just basic steps that one would go through and would go along their way on their path to enlightenment. It shows that these practices should be done repeatedly, over and over, like a never ending cycle. One must not break it to attain being enlightened.


Aside from following the eightfold path, another classic way to attain enlightenment is through meditation. This is actually how Buddha himself attained Nirvana and became enlightened. He meditated for 49 straight days, without moving or changing his spot under a Ficus Religiosa tree.  A shrine called Animisalocana cetiya, was later erected on the spot where he sat. There are plenty of other ways to be enlightened but in Buddhist tradition, meditation and the eightfold path are pretty much the main ones. They might seem too easy but of course, no great thing can be achieved without hard work.