Question from JANET ATTWOOD: Swamiji, can anyone achieve enlightenment?
SWAMI VEDA BHARATI: "There is nothing to achieve. The light was burning all the time. What did the light achieve when the purple, red and yellow lampshades, or the curtains from around it, were removed? The light achieved nothing. The light was always there burning the same way. That is why we have a phrase in Sanskrit, very commonly used, describing the nature of Atman, the pure spiritual self. It’s a nice rhythmic word for non-Sanskrit-speaking friends who are listening in. They will also enjoy this phrase: Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Svarupaya. Nitya Shuddha, ever-pure. Nitya Buddha, ever-wise, ever-enlightened. Nitya Mukta, ever-liberated, ever-free. Not that this purity, this light, this freedom has been achieved. No. It is there by Svarupaya, by its own being. Ipso facto: it simply is the nature of one’s being, so there is nothing to achieve. There’s only to unveil. There’s only to remove the coverings. That is why in the Vedas, we have a prayer, the face of truth is covered with a golden lid. Lord, remove that golden lid from me."