AYP Home

Public Home  |  Plus Home  |  Main Lessons  |  Tantra Lessons  |  Public Forum  |  Plus Forum  |  Books-eBooks-AudioBooks

Topic Paths | Site Search | Training-Retreats | Testimonials | AYP Survey | Interviews | Illustrations/Videos | Downloads | Contact


Help Yourself
And Others


What's New on
AYP Plus?

AYP Retreats
Worldwide Listing

AYP Teacher Training

Local Contacts
Meditation Groups,
Training & Retreats

Key L

Start Lessons Here

Desire - Bhakti

Deep Meditation


Spinal Breathing



Sambhavi Mudra

Asanas - Postures


Yoni Mudra

Uddiyana - Nauli

Navi Kriya

Kechari Mudra

Chin Pump

Eight Limbs of Yoga

Samyama & Siddhi

Spinal Bastrika

Heart Breathing

Yoga Nidra
Cosmic Samyama

Mantra Enhancements

Solar Centering



Vajroli Mudra

Whole Body Mudra

Yogic Diet






Nectar Cycle

Kundalini Assistance

Sensitivity Issues

Spirits & Entities



End of Suffering

Karma Yoga

Dare to Dream

Evolution of Action

Prayer & Healing

Yoga for Children


Summary of Practices

Time Management

Modifications to
Baseline System





More Resources

AYP Plus

Public Forum

Plus Forum

AYP Survey

audioicon1.jpg (812 bytes)
AYP on Radio & TV

Yoga FAQ

Sanskrit Glossary

AYP Books & Audio


AYP Books Flyer

Extended Booklist


Press Releases

Articles & Media


Website Statistics

AYP-Related Websites

Social Networks


Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons

Previous  |  Next

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 20 - Enlightenment without God?  (Plus) (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Fri Nov 30, 2003 4:02pm

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: I am an atheist. A friend told me about this group. Frankly, I find the religious overtones annoying. But I was curious and tried the meditation, and have been pleasantly surprised. I would like to continue because it calms my nerves, and I remain curious as to what I might learn about myself. But I am still an atheist! Is there such a thing as enlightenment without God?

A: There is enlightenment both with and without God. This is because human beings are inherently enlightenable, transformable to a higher state of evolution, regardless of the belief system utilized. We could say that all of existence is headed in that direction, from the rocks up through all the kingdoms of living things. Everything is moving forward. Humanity is no exception. We humans have an added ability to consciously accelerate the process, to choose a fast track, which is what advanced yoga practices are about. We can turbo-charge the evolutionary process.

There has always been a mystique about human spiritual evolution. It is a practical mystique, a mystique with a purpose. The conception of God by humanity has been a necessary relationship structure. It has enabled humanity to surrender to its higher destiny, and approach it enthusiastically. At its best, this is what belief in God is - Belief in humanity's highest destiny, emerging from within us, and ultimately experienced all around us. Belief in God helps people to personally participate in the most exciting part of the human journey - the enlightenment process.

Is it necessary to believe in God for this unfoldment to occur? No. But it is necessary to believe in something in order to move in the direction of enlightenment.

If we are sitting in a café in New York, and I tell you there is a wonderful place called California three thousand miles away and that you should go see it, why would you go? Suppose you didn't believe me, didn't believe such a place existed at all. How could you find the motivation to go? It would be hard. Having never been west of the Mississippi River, you might believe that everyone who has gone past the Mississippi fell off the edge of the earth. This is, in fact, how Europeans felt about the Atlantic Ocean until people like Columbus and Magellan proved that there was a new world on the other side, and more.

To be motivated to do something about moving forward, you have to believe in the possibility of the destination. For many, the journey toward salvation is fueled by a belief in God. But it doesn't have to be about God. It can also be about truth, and believing that there is a final truth about us, in us, and that we can live it, become it. It can also be a belief in a personal process of transformation, and our own experience of it as we practice meditation and other yoga methods. Experiencing the journey naturally unfolding through practices can be more than enough to believe in, once the process has gotten underway and our experiences of deep silence and bliss light the fire of our desire to go for more and more. Whether we are selling out to our own rising experience of peace and bliss, or to the idea of pursuing the ultimate truth of life, or to a relationship with God, the result will be the same - an unwavering devotion to becoming one with "That" which is true.

Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."... No mention of God there.

The word "God" does not exist in Buddhism or Taoism. Each has found its own intellectual and emotional motivations for approaching the infinite within. In all approaches it is the same thing that is sought, that great inner truth which lies deep within our heart, mind and senses -- That which we can merge with by direct means, which, in turn, brightly illuminates our heart, mind and senses. This is the joining. By any name or belief structure, the outcome will be the same, so long as the aspirant has found the motivation to apply the methods of transformation on a daily basis.

So, it does not matter exactly how you have come to believe in a place called, "California." You may even call it by some other name. If you believe enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually be dipping your toes into the Pacific Ocean. If you don't believe it is there, you aren't likely to put forth the effort to get there. It's that simple.

Think of enlightenment in whatever way that inspires you the most, and use that inspiration to meditate every day...

Be tolerant of your brothers and sisters who cherish beliefs that are different from yours. We will each develop our own unique passion for the journey, and we are all headed home.

The guru is in you.

Related Lessons Topic Path

Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum

Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book, and AYP Plus.

Previous  |  Next

News and
Events Near


Direct Download

eBooks - PDF, EPUB

FREE eBooks with
MP3 AudioBooks

SAVE  with Bundled
Multi-Title Downloads

AYP Book Translations

Preview AYP Books

(PDF Books Flyer)

Easy Lessons

Advanced Yoga Practices Book

Adventure Novel

Enlightenment Series

Deep Meditation Book

Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book

Tantra Book

Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book

Samyama Book

Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book

Self-Inquiry Book

Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book

Eight Limbs of Yoga Book

Eight Limbs of Yoga Book

Questions & Answers





      © 2003-present    (see copyright notice)

Public Home | Plus Home | Main Lessons | Tantra Lessons | Topic Paths | Interviews | Videos | Site Search | Links Section | Testimonials | AYP Survey | Books | Downloads | Contact