Think about this - if the light bulb in my bathroom fuses, how long until I replace it? It ranges between “immediately” to “very soon”! But if I have dark and negative thoughts, how much and how soon do I really try to replace them and live in the light of positivity?
Isn’t it incredible that it is our constant effort to light up our surroundings, so that we can see things clearly, yet we don’t make that same effort inside ourselves to actually SEE things clearly with our mind’s eye? There is so much darkness and ignorance, which translate in ways that keep us so far from the greatness we can aspire to.
We identify with our feelings of pain, insecurity and loss and we end up defining ourselves using these as markers. This is precisely what brings the darkness into our lives. In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that he doesn’t have to look for the light to illumine this darkness; he IS that brilliant light, if he would only but open his eyes and know this.
That light shines from the inside out, and the best part is that the same light can light up the minds and lives of others too. Rather, it is already there in everyone, but sometimes that little bit of help is needed. Just like when we use a phone torch to look for the light switch in a dark room. In a similar way, we can inspire others and we get inspired by those who shine with positive thoughts. It is so refreshing, and even contagious.
In this way, the pure quality of our inner light becomes our outer service in the world, if we let it shine out through our work and in our transactions and interactions. For that it has to be steady and unfailing. When it is uncertain and flickering, it produces a similar reflection in other people and in our experiences. It is worth checking – do I spread light to others? I will know by this if I have channeled my inner light or not.
Radiance is our true nature, so we always gravitate towards light. Want evidence? Spend two hours at home with your eyes closed. Try to do everything that you would otherwise do with your eyes open. You will notice how desperately you seek illumination! And that the solution lies with you – simply open your eyes! See the light. Be the light; individually, as well as collectively.
Now you know why the lighting of lamps has got such an important spiritual significance in Indian culture, and why so much emphasis is laid on it for every ceremony and occasion. India has always been a source of light and knowledge, especially through the undiminishing light of teachings like the Bhagavad Gita. Bask away.