The word enlightenment is used in a variety of contexts. From the perspective of the Upanishads, we have a very good word to describe the nature of enlightenment. The word is satchitananda. The word satchitananda is a composition of the three attributes to enlightenment.
The first, sat, means truth. This is is the truth of the cosmos. The truth of the present moment. The truth of who you truly are as the universe manifested in a body, as a manifestation of the divine spirit. An enlightened being finds truth in his every living experience.
The second part of the word is chit, which can be considered as awareness. An enlightened being as full awareness of the reality of the world. She is never lost to the pulls of the ego-mind, but always fully aware of the God present in all places. Ram Dass taught me the mantra – ‘I am Loving Awareness, I am loving awareness.’ It is awareness, cultivated through meditation that the enlightened one finds peace of mind in.
The final part of the word is ananda, this simply means bliss, or supreme joy. Every moment of life is extremely precious. The enlightened being savours every precious moment with supreme joy and infinite bliss. No materialistic pleasure can be compared to the infinite joy found in self-realisation.
I pray that we all find more time, more strength to practise compassion and other spiritual practises which can help us realise satchitananda in every moment of our lives.