Rays of the One Light
Weekly commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within. The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Week 3: Is God Present Even There, Where There Is Ignorance?
The Gospel of St. John, Chapter 1, makes a reference to the divine light that is obscure to the rational faculty, but that enlightens our higher nature: “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” Reason recoils from this statement with innumerable questions. What is this darkness? Is it conscious, that it should comprehend anything? What sort of light would be capable of shining in darkness without transforming at least that part of the darkness in which it shines into light? Does this light shine only at night? And if so, why only then?
The solution is that, to divine sight, even daylight seems darkness. The sun itself, like the moon which shines only by reflected light from the sun, is but a kind of reflection of the cosmic light, which, being immaterial, is invisible to the eyes but which is the Great Source of all material reality.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda describes his youthful visit to Ram Gopal Muzumdar, the “sleepless saint,” who lived in the vision of that hidden light. “Around midnight,” Yogananda wrote,
Ram Gopal fell into silence, and I lay down on my blankets. Closing my eyes, I saw flashes of lightning; the vast space within me was a chamber of molten light. I opened my eyes and observed the same dazzling radiance. The room became a part of the infinite vault which I beheld with interior vision.
“Why don't you go to sleep?”“Sir, how can I sleep in the presence of lightning, blazing whether my eyes are shut or open?”
“You are blessed to have this experience; the spiritual radiations are not easily seen.” The saint added a few words of affection.
This is the “light that shineth in darkness.” It has been described variously in the great scriptures. In the Bhagavad Gita, the eleventh Chapter, the devotee, Arjuna, is given an experience of the infinite state and exclaims in awe:
If there should rise suddenly within the skies
Sunburst of a thousand sunsFlooding earth with beams undeemed-of,
Then might be that Holy One's
Majesty and radiance dreamed of!
Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Copyright © 1996 by Hansa Trust