(Continued from page 8)

of the sun, nor by the light of the Moon, nor stars, nor by lightning nor by fire. Only through its Light do all the others shine.' (katha-upanishad, 2 - 2 - 15):

na tatra sUryo bhAti na candra tArakaM
naimA vidyuto bhAnti kuto'yam-agniH /
tameva bhAntam-anubhAti sarvaM
tasya bhAsA sarvam-idam vibhAti//

It is the Light of the universe. By its shining all else is seen. Even an ordinary light  (from lamp when lit) does not need another light to show its existence. When such is the case, the Supreme Light which lights up everything does not need any other equipment to see it. It is svayam-prakASaM, self-luminous.  In the dream world the one Light that is the Self lights up hundreds of objects; it needs only a little extrapolation to  conclude that even in the the waking world it is the Light of the Self
again that lights up everything . Ordinary matter does not have a luminosity of its own. If everything had a luminosity of its own, then a chair and a table should make their presence felt by us even when we do not 'look' at them. If nothing was ever luminous, then we would be totally ignorant of everything. Thus matter in the world needs a 'light' to make their presence felt. We wrongly think that it is the physical light that brings the knowledge of matter to us. Even the physical light has to be prompted, supported, boosted, in fact 'lighted' by the spiritual Light which is the substratum of all  - this is what the scripture says when it declares that 'only by Its Light everything is lighted'.
The supreme is shining as the Light of Lights (
jyotishAm jyotiH)
within ourselves.  This is analogous to a lighted lamp placed in a vessel with several small holes in it. The Light of the Self which is within this body of nine gates is then reflected by
mAyA through the sense organs  and projected as rays of bliss -- because what is inside is full of bliss.  Wherever these rays fall -- on the objects of sense, for instance -- those objects come to light. The soul which identifies itself with the body and the senses wrongly thinks that the sense of happiness that he derives in 'seeing', 'hearing', 'smelling', 'touching' and 'tasting' is actually in the external sense object and it is these rays from the senses that bring him this happiness.
Take another analogy. There is a tent full of holes which allow the rays of sunlight to creep in. A child who is inside the tent may wrongly think that it is the tent that gives the light. Actually  the child does not realize it is the tent that is an obstacle to the light from the Sun and it is the holes in the tent

July 31, 99  ©Copyright  V. Krishnamurthy  Home  Contents   Next