24. What is it to be "Enlightened" or "Awakened"?
Peter Harvey [+]
University of Sunderland
The term bodhi means “enlightenment” or “awakening.” At bodhi, according to one Pali text, there arises “vision, knowledge, wisdom, true knowledge, and light.” “Bodhi” is related to the verb meaning “understand,” so it is an awakening from ignorance. As an “awakening,” bodhi does not mean the awakening of something, i.e., a beginning of something, but a final awakening from delusion, etc. and to deep insight into the nature of reality. To be enlightened, in a Buddhist sense, is to be completely free of any attachment, hatred, or delusion; to have experienced the complete destruction of greed, craving, grasping, and clinging, whether in attachment to certain things or aversion to them, and the destruction of spiritual ignorance in the sense of an ingrained blindness to, and misperception of, the nature of reality.