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Turn Desire towards Wisdom to Gain the Divine Light

A great sage used to say, "If you sing hymns of praise to the Lord and offer a light to him, then the entire world will shine with the effulgence of that light." In your worship you take a flaming lamp, and offer the light to the Lord. Your mind, which is made up of many desires, can be likened to the oil, the wick can be likened to the sacred wisdom you have gathered. When you join these two together, using your wisdom to turn your desires to God, then you get the effulgence of divine light blazing forth from their union.

For this oil and wick there must be some holder. The body can be thought of as the container which holds this oil of desires and the wick of wisdom. The blissful joy that you feel is the effulgence of the light coming from this sacred lamp. If there is only a wick and you try to light it, it will not burn. Or, if you want to light the oil itself, you will not be able to do it. But when the wick is associated with the oil, then it will be able to burn, and you will have light.

Another way of seeing this oil and the wick, is to think of action or work, which is associated with the mind and its desires, as the oil. The buddhi, or the intuitive intellect, which is associated with wisdom, can be thought of as the wick. When you combine these two, namely, action and buddhi, in other words, when you make all your actions sacred, following the dictates of your highest inner motivator, then the light will shine forth. This light is the eternal light of the atma. When all your actions become sacred, you will come into awareness of your eternal truth, you will be basked in the light of the one immortal self.

Now, the flame in the lamp has a number of individual characteristics. When there is a breeze, the flame will flicker. When water comes on it, it will sputter, making some sound. If there are impurities in the oil, it will give forth smoke. It also gives off heat; if you touch it, it will burn you. And, depending on the type of oil and the flow of air there will be different colors to the light emerging from the flame. These various characteristics belong to the flame, but they are not associated with the radiance that emerges from the light of that flame.

There is only one characteristic to that radiance; that is, it envelops all it touches in the splendor of its effulgence. The flame has a number of different attributes, but the effulgence of the atma has only the one attribute of illuminating and removing darkness. That immortal inner light of the atma is given equally to all people. That is its one all-encompassing quality. But, for the flame of life, there will be many individual characteristics. Many changes and problems will come into it.