XXI - Page 207 Home | Index | Previous | Next

The Atmic Light gets Hidden by the Impure Senses

In the Gita, the human body has been compared with a container having ten holes, within which is an inextinguishable light. If you were to cover this container with a thick cloth, then you would not be able to see any light shining through it. If, however, you gradually lift this thick cloth covering the container, then you would be able to see the light shining from each of the holes. At that point, it looks as though there are ten lights. But when you take the container away and leave the light, you realize that there was always only the one light. That one light shining within the container, which is the body, is the self-effulgent atma.

The splendorous light of the atma has been covered by the body and its sense organs. There are five gross and five subtle sense organs associated with the human body, which can be thought of as the ten holes in the container through which the light of the atma shines. This container of the body, in turn, has been covered by the thick cloth of my-ness and attachment, which obscures the pure light of the atma. First of all, you must remove this cloth of selfishness and my-ness. This my-ness stems from ignorance. It is a form of delusion which makes you feel separate and keeps you bound up in duality. It arises from the cosmic illusion, or maya. Maya can be thought of as the outer vesture or garment of God. God has been described as having illusion as his outer form. This illusion veils and hides him from view. Once you take away this cloth of illusion, then the inner light becomes revealed, shining radiantly through the sense organs.

The light which you see through your eyes is but a reflection of the one self-effulgent divine light that is inside you. Every sensation you feel through your skin or hear through your ears is but a reaction to that same inner light. And every sound which you make through your mouth is but the resound of that one divine inner light. All that you have been able to do and experience through the senses is only a reflection, a reaction or a resound of that one splendorous radiance which is your immortal self, the atma. But as long as you still identify yourself with this container of the body, you will not be able to see the one atmic light. Only when you identify yourself completely with the atma will you be able to experience this one atmic light instead of a multiplicity of many different lights.