Since I wrote this, Archangel Michael corrected me. Mine was a Fourth-Chakra experience of enlightenment.
I should have known that because I knew that the experience happened when the kundalini reached the Fourth Chakra.
It intrigued me that Archangel Michael would characterize my heart opening as permanent:
AAM: And, yes, your heart is open. The opening is, and will, and shall continue.
S: You mean permanently Lord, really?
S: Oh my! Please!
AAM: Because, you have said yes! (1)
The only permanent heart opening I had been aware of until then was the enlightenment deep within the Fifth Dimension called “sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi.”
Achieving sahaja samadhi is the end of our unfolding Ascension process.
Let’s look at the differences between the very joyful experience that I had, which was not enlightenment, and sahaja, which comes a ways down the road and is the culmination of our present phase of evolution.
First of all, though a “permanent heart opening,” mine did not result in a realization of the Self, not even a glimpse. Bliss, yes, but not enlightenment. Sahaja is a stage of illumination. Mine was a stage preliminary to illumination.
Moreover, rather than leaving me in the permanent enjoyment of that love and bliss, it left me in a state of potential. I had access to the love that flows through the heart and in the breath, but I had to work for it.
So effort was involved and sahaja is known to be effortless. Sahaja means “natural.” Mine was not that.
So the only thing common to the two experiences is the fact that both are said to be heart openings and permanent.
Let’s look in more detail at what the sages – primarily Sri Ramana – have to say about sahaja.
Sage Dattatreya said millennia ago: “A man is said to be free even in this life when he is established in illumination.” (2)
So first of all, there must be illumination or enlightenment and secondly the individual must be “established” in it. “Established in it” implies permanence.
In a conversation, Ramana compared sahaja with the next level of enlightenment “below” it: seventh-chakra Brahamjnana, or God Realization, which Ramana calls kevalya nirvikalpa samadhi.
“Sahaja is also Nirvikalpa [trance with no movement in the mind]. You are probably meaning Kevala [sic] Nirvikalpa, which is temporary, while the Samadhi lasts. The Sahaja Nirvikalpa is permanent and in it lies liberation from rebirths.” (5)
Ramana tells us that, unless enlightenment is permanent, effortless, and natural, we’ve only glimpsed, rather than realized, the Self.
“By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized.
“Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural and your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self, only glimpsed it.” (6)
Sage Dattatreya tells us what the reward of sahaja is: “[The seeker’s] bliss is unending. He almost forgets this world of appearances. This highest Consciousness is identical with liberation.” (3)
We’d say that the individual with Sahaja would forget the Third Dimension, which is, comparatively speaking (since all that we know is illusion – Fifth, Sixth, and all dimensions),the world of appearances or illusion.
This is the stage called sahaja: being “established” in enlightenment. And this is liberation. (4)
Tomorrow we’ll conclude our look at sahaja as a permanent heart opening.
(1) Personal reading with Archangel Michael and Steve Beckow through Linda Dillon, March 13, 2015.
(2) Dattatreya in Swami Chetanananda, Avadhuta Gita. The Song of the Ever-Free. Calcutta: Advaita Ashram, 1988, 95. [Hereafter AG.]
(5) Ramana Maharshi in S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993, 88.
(6) Ramana Maharshi in Paul Brunton and Munagala Venkataramaiah. Conscious Immortality. Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rev. ed. 1996, n.p.
(3) Dattatreya, AG, 95.
(4) So many people consider Brahamjnana as the point at which liberation occurs and it’s not. During the seventies we used to call Brahamjnana “full enlightenment.” Not even sahaja is that.