I usually light a Jyoti in a small silver oil lamp in my little temple at home every morning. In the evening, I use a small brass lamp to light the jyoti. Today evening too I twisted the cotton wool to make a wick and poured in some sesame oil and proceeded to light it. As I said my prayers, my attention seemed to be drawn to the shape of the brass lamp. It had five protrusions around its upper edge. My silver lamp has a very smooth circular rim. My eyes seemed to notice the slender base of the lamp and the spiked edges. Suddenly I realized, that I was focusing more on the shape and colour of the lamp than on the Jyoti; the flame.
A divine voice in me said, “And that is how you get entangled in the outward and the worldly! Each person has the divine light immanent in him. The body of each one is like a lamp. All these lamps have different shapes, sizes and colours. But the Jyoti within is the same. Look for that light in everyone. The light within is a million times more brilliant; more effulgent and far more encompassing than this light without. The reach of light and warmth, from the flame of an oil lamp is finite. But the reach of the flame within, is infinite … unfathomable.”
I closed my eyes to block the light without, from my sight, and searched for the light within. Yes, Dear Lord! I know that I am a spark of the Divine light. I know that the soul in me is the real me. The Atma within is a small spark of the Paramatma. The day this light leaves this body, ‘I’ shall return home to merge with the Divine light.
Ironically, I remembered doing this little experiment with my Balvikas Students in our EHV (Education in Human Values) class. We had lit a large candle on a table. Each child was given a small candle to be lit by touching the flame of the large candle. How-so-ever many little candles were lit; taking the light from the large candle, the size of its flame obviously did not decrease. It was constant. One by one the students were asked to blow out their candles. The size of the central flame, remained to be the same. This was symbolic of the Paramatma (God) in the large candle, and individual Atmas in the smaller candles. We all come from God; and it is to Him that we return. That goes for the real us i.e. the spirit in us. As for the physical part of our entity, the best explanation seems to be, ‘Dust thou art and to dust thy will return!’
Continuing to reminisce, I remembered my high school teacher Mrs Roy. She had written a note for me in my diary, the day I left school, “If you cannot be a star in the sky, be a lamp in the house.” Ma’am wherever you are, if you can read this, I want to tell you that I am trying my utmost to be the brightest lamp that I can be, so that I can spread the light that I have been blessed with; with as many people as I can; with each and every one I touch in my life time.”
So help me Lord!
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Originally published at priya.tandonindia.com