How to Tell if a Spiritual Teacher is Enlightened

lakshmana swamyEnlightenment is the falling away of the illusion of separateness and the realization of your oneness with the universal consciousness. It is rare for someone to achieve this state. And even rarer still for a person to do so and then stay alive. According to Meher Baba, many people who attain liberation drop the body a short time afterward.

Yet there is no shortage of people falsely claiming to have attained liberation. Spend some time on the internet searching for spiritual teachers. You’ll run across plenty of them playing the part of the enlightened spiritual teacher. In another article I describe the different types of spiritual charlatans.

You will not be able to tell for certain whether someone else is enlightened until you reach an advanced spiritual state. But most of us need an enlightened teacher to help us progress spiritually and reach an advanced state. How do we resolve this dilemma?

You could make an educated guess. That is what most people do. But what if you guess wrong? I see a lot of people following spiritual teachers who claim to be enlightened yet are not, in fact far from it. And I don’t want that to happen to you.

Entering the State of No Mind

Lakshmana Swamy attained liberation through the grace of Ramana Maharshi. In his biography entitled “No Mind, I am the Self” Lakshmana explains that an advanced seeker can enter a state of no mind and perceive the spiritual state of others.

If you still have a mind, then you cannot tell who is a jnani [saint] and who is not. You cannot identify a jani by what he says or does because these are mind judgments. A jnani can identify another jnani only because he himself has no mind. In that state he can easily recognize other enlightened ones who minds are dead. . . . If you are a very advanced devotee who can make the mind dive into the Self and temporarily disappear, you may be able to recognize a jnani; but only in that state when you mind is absent.

— Lakshmana Swamy, “No Mind – I am the Self”, p79

How I Learned to Perceive Someone’s Spiritual State

At the beginning of my spiritual journey, in this lifetime, I had no idea whether someone claiming to be enlightened was telling the truth. I had spent many lifetimes on the spiritual path. Yet I did not yet have access to the latent spiritual abilities acquired in previous incarnations. This is a common occurrence among seekers. Meher Baba said that often a person is working to get back to a spiritual state they reached in a prior lifetime. And that was certainly my situation.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, I started the spiritual journey by learning qigong. And within a short period, I could perceive and manipulate the energy in my energetic body. Yet, like most yogis, I could not perceive the subtle variations of energy that distinguish someone at a lower spiritual state from a liberated soul. And this inability to perceive the true state of a spiritual teacher got me into a lot of trouble.

I wasted time meditating with the worst kind of spiritual charlatan in Los Angeles. He used his knowledge of the energetic planes to impede the spiritual progress of his students.

Fortunately, I received darshan from Mother Meera and her grace helped me to find my true spiritual path. Right after meeting her, I moved to San Diego. There I was helped by a spiritually advanced yogi. And the damage that had been done during my ill-fated time in Los Angles was reversed.

Over the next five years, I received thirty darshans from Mother Meera and saw the Dalai Lama nine more times. I immersed myself in the teachings of Meera Baba and developed a strong internal connection with him. With the help of my spiritual benefactors, I gradually got back to the spiritual state reached in previous lifetimes. I am still not awake. Yet I can enter the state of “no mind” that Lakshmana Swamy describes.

I perceive a person’s spiritual state by examining the density of their form and the level at which their system vibrates. Karma is the accumulated desires that a person carries on his physical, energetic, and mental bodies. Karma distorts the light of Source as it flows through the human form. And it causes someone’s system to vibrate at a lower level than the divine light. The more karma a person carries, the denser their form and the lower their energetic vibration.

The average person has yet to begin the spiritual journey and so has a vast amount of remaining karma. Their form is dense and their system vibrates at a lower level. Yet I can still perceive the light at the core of their being; the spark of God that is present in all of us.

Occasionally, I encounter people who are surrounded by a great deal of darkness. Their energy is akin to a black hole. I project light into them and pray to the Divine Mother to help them in whatever way she sees fit.

After beginning the spiritual journey a seeker’s accumulated karma gradually dissolves, and he progresses to higher spiritual states. A yogi at a lower state has relatively more karma. There is more density to his form and his system vibrates at a lower level. Those at a high spiritual state carry less karma. Their form is less dense and their system vibrates at a higher level. An awakened soul has no karma. So there is no density to his form at all, and the light of source passes unimpeded through him.

Some advanced spiritual teachers have so little remaining karma that their system vibrates at a very high level. When I see an image of such a person for the first time it can take a few minutes to discern his spiritual state. But when I tap into his system I invariably perceive a density to his form, created by the remaining karma, which is not present in an enlightened soul.

Each liberated soul is a clear vessel for the divine light. Yet each saint has a unique energetic signature that lies on top of his enlightened state. For instance, Lashmana Swamy feels a bit different that his teacher, Ramana Maharshi. Yet both men are one with the infinite. Or as Ramana Maharshi would say, the “I” receded into the Self and never arose again.

I hope this information will cause you to think twice before following someone claiming to be enlightened. In another article, you can see my list of recommended enlightened masters.


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