“I am all that you think, all that you say, everything hangs on me, like pearls on a thread. I am the earth set, and the fires heat. I am appearance, and disappearance. I am the tricksters hoax. I am the radiance of all that shines, i am time grown old. All beings fall into the night, and all beings are brought back in to daylight. I have already defeated all these warriors. He who thinks he can kill, and he who thinks he can be killed, are both mistaken. No weapon can pierce the life that informs you. No fire can burn it, no water can drown it, no wind can dry it. Have no fear, and rise up, because I love you…..”
— Sri Krishna speaking to Arjuna –
Chapter 5 part 3. Bhagvad Gita
25. Holy men reach the Nirvana of Brahman: their sins are no more, their doubts are gone, their soul is in harmony, their joy is in the good off all.
The Light as Consciousness
The light, which is equated with the Supreme and is suppose to be the
consciousness of life, is described in the Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7.
“There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth. Beyond us
all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the light that shines in our hearts.“
Due to our outward-turning senses, tendencies, and attachments to the fruits of action, we are unable to turn our eyes inward, at least, until compelled by external circumstances. But we must be able to do so somehow, if the lower self is to become one with the Ultimate Being.
Using an illustration from the Mundaka Upanishad Swami Vivekananda says:
“Two birds of golden plumage sat on the same tree. The one above, serene, majestic, immersed in his own glory; the one below restless and eating the fruits of the tree, now sweet, then bitter. Once he ate an exceptional bitter fruit, then he paused and looked up at the majestic bird above: but he soon forgot about the other bird and went on eating the fruits of the tree as before.
Again he ate a bitter fruit, and this time he hopped up a few boughs nearer to the bird at the top. This happened many times, each time the “hop up” brought him nearer to the bird at the top. This happened until the lower bird came to the place of the upper bird at the top, and lost himself.”
He found all at once that there never had been two birds, but that he was all the time that upper bird, serene, majestic and immersed in his own glory…
But this union with the Divine is not as easy as it appears in words. The journey is filled with obstacles, darkness and ignorance, misleading visions and egotism. Therefore, in the Katha Upanishad, Yama, the God of Death, tells the young boy Nachiketa, who seeks to know what lies beyond death, that the spiritual path is for the “lionhearted” and not the sheep.
Whether it be the blindingly luminous vision of Christ that Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) saw on his way to Demascus or Arjuna’s vision of Lord Krishna in the Cosmic Form on the battle field of Kurukshetra, the experience of the transcendental Reality has often been associated with brilliance, splendor and light.
Fascinating and awesome as such visions might be the experience of light ought not be to the final goal. If that were so, the Bhagavad Gita would have ended with the Eleventh Teaching. But it does not.
According to Krishna Himself, the Supreme state in that which the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, nor the fire, for it is the Light of Pure Consciousness. These words are analogous to those found in the Svetasvatara 6.14 and Katha Upanishad. 5.15.
excerpted from Parobola Mag. ‘Light’ – May 2001
Hindu Mystics either see Maya as something to be transcended or as the Veil through which God manifests him/herself. As we gaze at a beautiful landscape or stunning landscape, God is ‘boded forth’, as Johannes Scotus put it. Another way of looking at Maya, not as a prison barring us from God but a prism through which we experience God.