Q: Is it at the end of complete fulfillment of experiences that I attain enlightenment ?
A: Definitely. Right from the period 1988-89, I have pondered over and realized that a person passes through four stages of graduation in every experience. They are possession , saturation, renunciation and realization. Each experience in the sensory level has this graduation. First we attain, get saturated with and then renounce it. But this is again cyclic resulting in possession again. Initially in the possession state the experiences are stored. Man is born again and again for this. There are millions and millions of pleasures. Since all these cannot be enjoyed at once, time is wasted for experiences. As you mentioned in your question Universe is for experiences. So, by possessing and experiencing, saturation is attained over a period of time . There is a complete fulfillment of each experience. Can it be called as desire fulfillment ? I don't know . May be. It attains a state of fulfillment. In the case of food, just imagine the losing of interest in various foods one by one .When interest is lost in one food , it might have only started in another. Another food comes to be known and interest to accept it just begins . It goes on like this. Don't think that all this comes to an end in a day. Something is in the possession state, something in the saturation state and some in the renunciation state. So it is with attachment that something is possessed initially. The state between attachment and renunciation is saturation. The state of fulfillment of desire . When desires are fulfilled the joy in the initial craving state is lost when the possession occurs again as told by Vasista. When this state is reached satisfaction is attained in these experiences. Saturation state can be called as fulfillment of desires or satisfaction. After this, when desires get fulfilled one by one, interest is lost in these and they are renounced . Then the cycle is repeated. Sacrifice is something to be very careful about.
Just as indulgence, renunciation also has a weightage. Keep in mind that both remain balanced. Each renouncement comes back as possession , but without attachment. There is no detachment also in it. We own it without any difficulty. It is then that the real experience occurs. Since it is an experience without greed. Just as I had earlier mentioned to Sri Jayaraj, one passes through that experience with patience and tolerance. Comprehension of all these stages again involves time. Now a question may arise. Is it not possible to experience all these in a moment? Definitely yes. It is possible. That is the possibility of the mind. But a Buddha does not use these faculties. He is fully aware that his presence here is for these experiences. He does not deny them. Knowing everything and experiencing in silence is his way. So, it is clear that in the states of possession, saturation, renunciation and realization, the state of realization does not refer to self realization. It is only the realization that possession and renunciation are one and the same. Renouncing something is the same as possessing it. The interest to disown is the same as the interest to own. The fourth stage is when one realizes that attachment and detachment are similar. When we observe one who is in this fourth stage how does he appear? He looks as one in the possession state and appears to have taken hold of all pleasures. The interest to possess leads to look for the same in him also. When a person with an interest in material pleasures moves in a crowd he is in the look out for like-minded persons.
I have some experiences. During some of our camps, some people come and warn me to be cautious about certain persons in the group. When one tells so, it is for sure that he is watching. Others need not be vigilant. Why do they say this? They always tend to gauge like minded people. This is an inherent competition found in all living beings. What prompts an elephant to be a loner? Why does a lion leave his pride? Why do stag deers compete? This is there in all beings.
There is no surprise. In the fourth state, there is a cessation to such inquiries. The realization state is then attained. Both these are equally venomous, to be shunned equally. That is realization. That is the state I meant. I will not use the words 'moksha' or salvation for this. It is the realization that possession and renunciation are one and the same. They are two sides of the same coin ; a state where one realizes this truth. Knowing this, we can now go back to your question- 'Is the fulfillment of experiences needed to attain self realization? The fulfillment of desires is a spontaneous phenomenon. There is no need to put in any effort for that because the experiences one has gone through can be remembered only when self realization is attained. Till then, memory is veiled. As I had told in a previous discussion, if such memories are recollected then it becomes unable to move forward. Hence the mind limits itself in a disciplined manner not going beyond a certain limit (neither forward nor backward).The memory is only regarding a small period after birth. It doesn't extend further on both sides. But, when one leaves the body, mind starts swinging from past to future. There is no present then. Nothing can be decided. Only thoughts. The chaotic state of experiencing the turmoil of thoughts. That is why the experiences in the past remain unknown. As you have quoted from 'Ashtavakragita' as far as he is concerned the sensory pleasures and experiences that come his way are enjoyed with neither attachment nor detachment. Just as an experience.' One need not go after such things. A fulfillment of desires takes place naturally. The mind and body of every being tend to go after experiences. It is spontaneous, like a calf which need not be shown it's food. Thus ,even the pursuit of sensory pleasures is justified. It should be like the conscious watching of a movie. Conscious that it is a movie. If that is lost ,the need for avenging a murder in the movie is felt , which drives one to insane action. If a favourite star is hurt there is a tendency. to tear the screen. This cannot be called enjoyment. Enjoyment is different. So please stop this waiting for the fulfillment of desires. What you desire will be obtained. No desire will remain unfulfilled. Desire is fulfilled in proportion with the intensity. It is waiting to be experienced. Be calm.