(Based on the teachings of Guruji Krishnananda)
It begins with the understanding at the intellectual level that we are souls and not these bodies. This understanding may come from reading a book or from some other source.
This understanding may lead to the realisation that we are just visitors to this planet and we are not permanent residents here. We realise that we come from a different Source, which is our true Home, and we have to go back someday. This is another awakening.
When we realise that we are particles of Light, which is God Himself, and that we are here to experience the Creation, it is yet another awakening.
The Creation was brought forth by God with the sole purpose of providing us the opportunities to experience.
The intellectual understanding that we are souls should ultimately lead to the realisation of this Truth by direct experience. We must be able to experience that we are not our body.
That is the beginning of Enlightenment.
Becoming aware of God’s Presence is an important step in Enlightenment. When we become aware of God’s Presence, we love Him and His Creation. We love this earth and everything on it because God created it. This realization is not easy.
When we love God, we should manifest it by loving all of His Creation, which also is not easy for many.
We must realise that life-force is an important factor in Creation and we must manifest it. We bring out life-force when we celebrate life by living life fully. Life-force is what makes us sing, dance and dream. All poetry comes from life-force.
We experience the joy of living when we bring out life-force. This also is a part of the awakening process.
A person on the way to Enlightenment will accept all the imperfections of this world without grumbling, complaining or getting angry. He will always be happy because he lives in Light and is on the way to becoming Light.
Even after Enlightenment (becoming Light), Sadhana continues under the guidance of God Himself. He is the Guru after Enlightenment. We require His guidance forever.