This is not enlightenment, though many think it is. It is just a total reorientation of values and perspectives away from illusion. You now navigate towards the Absolute, rather than just being totally identified with the ego-
After Awakening and with diligent meditation, you may begin to get short bursts of oneness with the Self. With practice they become longer and longer. This direct experience of the Self of course changes one's consciousness into another level, which can be called Transcendental Consciousness since one has become aware of the Self (which at this point is experienced as being transcendental).
As Transcendental Consciousness becomes habitual, you become established in the second most subtle state of ignorance: the I AM. This is still not enlightenment. Most people delude themselves at this point that they have become enlightened; that their personhood somehow has expanded or evolved to a higher state of being. Oh, so wrong! They think: "I am enlightened!" It is total nonsense and such grandiose narcissistic notions should be given up as soon as possible.
After giving up I AM you have to surrender the basic "I-
With diligent meditation after I AM, you may eventually merge into an oneness with the Self that is so complete, that there is no returning back. This no returning back comes from the basic I-
Having realized Shiva within, you now have to realize not only Shiva without, but also Shakti within and without. In other words, to progress further you have to a
When kundalinī awakens, it won't necessarily rise right away. You may feel heat in the spine and pressure in the brain as the crown chakra begins to open. Bliss states will grab you in meditation. The interesting thing is that if kundalinī awakens before Self-
God Consciousness (Love-
In this phase, you are somewhat mad. You are so madly in love with God, you cry for years (not constantly of course) and still your tears do not run dry. You begin to sense Mother Shakti in everything and perceive this as sensing God (in whatever form you like) in everything. It is an extremely blissful phase that may last several years in which you find God permeates everything, including you and your body. Every cell of the body vibrates with bliss (lovebliss). God Consciousness is not a stable state in itself, as Self-
As time goes and you merge more and more with the bliss, Shakti begins to long for Shiva, so to speak. The next phase is a fusion of Shakti and Shiva. The bliss then diminishes and you may wonder if you have lost everything you had hitherto reached spiritually, but you have not, you are just moving beyond. However, many remarkable saints keep this bliss and let it grow more and more, they are usually avatars, but that was not the case for me. My lot was to lose it and suffer, and in that suffering, die unto everything but Shiva-
Eventually the silvery kundalinī “snake” leaves its resting place just above the perineum, enters the spine, moves up inside the spine and dissolves into blazing white light filling the spine, and finally merges back into the void (Shiva) in the brain. It is beyond outrageously blissful. Way beyond the bliss of God Consciousness. Which in itself is way beyond the bliss ordinary people experience in moments of rapture or sex.
Eventually, as Shakti merges back into Shiva, you realize you are Shiva-
Many people feel "oneness with everything", especially nature, and think this is Unity Consciousness. It is not. It is just a mood of belonging to a holographically conceived universe and it totally belongs to the mind. Delving in such is a complete waste of time. No ego can ever enter oneness with anything; it is just another example of narcissistic grandiosity to have such notions about oneself.
Unity Consciousness goes up and down in clarity. Sometimes you do not sense the Self in everything, yet you are of course completely aware of this oneness with nothing and of lovebliss inside (oneness is not the right word, because it implies multiplicity fused into one. Such multiplicity is false, but language presses us to express ourselves in terms of multiplicity). At other times, you are totally one with everything (again "everything" is a term borrowed from the multiplicity-
As time goes by the fluctuations of Unity Consciousness flatten out and you enter a stable state of Unity. Sahaja Samadhi does not have new qualities from Unity Consciousness, it is just that it becomes a completely stable state of constant awareness in your everyday life. "Sahaja" means "natural."
Becoming a true Siddha
If the above states are rare, this is extremely rare. It can only be reached through Siddha Yoga, which means the Yoga of Shaktipāt. In this yoga, which is also known as Kundalinī Maha Yoga, you get visions of what we call pearls: small luminous dots appearing in your field of vision whether your eyes are closed or open or whether you are meditating or not. In the beginning, they come in meditation, but later also when out of meditation. There is a white, a black, a red and a blue pearl. The Blue Pearl is the highest and seeing it is actually a blessing in itself, even though you may feel no different from it. If you are fortunate enough to enter the Blue Pearl, you enter an infinite cyan-
Other systems and schools use the word "Siddha" differently, so don't think that just because someone calls himself or herself a Siddha, it means they have had this "experience". Usually it just means they are students of a so-
Once inside the Blue Pearl and immersed in (merged with) the Blue Infinite Void, you may get the darshan (graceful meeting with) of Lord Shiva. He may appear as Krishna, or whom so-
If you enter the Blue Pearl and the pearl explodes so that you become permanently One with this Blue Infinite Void, then you become established in Shiva Consciousness. Or rather become Shiva Consciousness. I am not in this state, though I have experienced it clearly enough, so I will refrain from further comments.