The Tao te Ching says:
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi started teaching Transcendental Meditation throughout India and around the world in 1955, he proclaimed that enlightenment is, in fact, the most normal, natural state of life. This was news to the West, where enlightenment was not often a topic of conversation in religious discussions, promoted as a possibility in church services, or part of most people’s educational experience. Enlightenment has long been regarded as a state reserved for a few rare individuals, a state that can only be gained by living a recluse life in a cave or in a monastery somewhere. It has been thought that enlightenment is very difficult to achieve, requiring one to give up all worldly possessions and to lead an austere life.
What is enlightenment? is a question that is commonly asked and there are certainly many views on the answer. Enlightenment means living fullness of life, enjoying happiness or bliss 24 hours a day, every day. It means enjoying 200 percent of life—100 percent of the inner spiritual content of life along with 100 percent of the outer material value of life. It also means gaining the full support of natural law, which allows you to effortlessly fulfill your desires.
Living enlightenment begins even with the first experiences of transcendental consciousness, the fourth major state of consciousness. Regular experience of transcendental consciousness during the Transcendental Meditation technique spontaneously stabilizes the reality of pure consciousness, the foundation of and the bridge to higher states of consciousness–growing enlightenment. The final stroke of enlightenment is unity consciousness, in which you feel a connection and oneness with everyone and everything in the universe. In unity consciousness you enjoy the infinite, universal value of your own pure consciousness in every object of perception and feel spiritually fulfilled, enjoying the totality of life.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Enlightenment (Seven States of Consciousness)
Many people around the world throughout time have had glimpses of higher states of consciousness, but most never had a framework to understand the experience, and more importantly, a systematic technique to develop the experience. Fortunately, today Maharishi gives a very clear understanding of higher states of consciousness and has brought to the world the technique of Transcendental Meditation to unfold and stabilize pure consciousness in daily life.
Every student should grow up enlightened, enjoying his full potential and the ability to achieve anything he desires. Enlightenment is no longer a far-off concept. It is within the reach of everyone because pure consciousness is within everyone and is easily and effortlessly experienced through Transcendental Meditation.