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Dakshinamurti Ashtakam Shloka No.4




ज्ञानं यस्य तु चक्षुरादिकरणद्वारा बहिस्पन्दितम्।

जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत् समस्तं जगत्

तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये॥


GYAnaM yasya tu cakshhurAdikaraNadvArA bahispanditam .
jAnAmIti tameva bhAntamanubhAtyetat samstaM jagat
tasmai shrIgurumUrtaye nama idaM shrIdakshiNAmUrtaye ..


To Him who is luminous like the light of a great lamp set in the belly of a pot with many holes, to Him whose knowledge moves outward through the eye and other organs, to Him who shining as 'I know' makes all this entire universe known, to Him of the form of the Guru, (who has no movement or vibration) the blessed dakshinA-mUrti, is this prostration.

Shlokas 4, 5 and 6 talk about the Seer in us. It is the Light of the Spirit within that leaks out of the senses and gives Light to all the objects and experiences in the universe. This is the purport of this verse. It broadcasts from the housetops the one Truth repeatedly proclaimed by the scriptures: 'It is not lit by the light of the sun, nor by the light of the Moon, nor stars, nor by lightning nor by fire. Only through its Light do all the others shine.' (K.U. 2-2-15)

na tatra sUryo bhAti na candra tArakaM naimA vidyuto bhAnti kuto'yam-agniH.
tameva bhAntam-anubhAti sarvaM tasya bhAsA sarvam-idam vibhAti..

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्र तारकं नैमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोयम्-अग्निः।

तमेव भान्तम्-अनुभाति सर्वं तस्य भासा सर्वम्-इदम् विभाति॥

It is the Light of the universe. By its shining all else is seen. Even an ordinary light (from lamp when lit) does not need another light to show its existence. When such is the case, the Supreme Light which lights up everything does not need any other equipment to see it. It is svayam-prakASaM, self-luminous. In the dream world the one Light that is the Self lights up hundreds of objects; it needs only a little extrapolation to conclude that even in the the waking world it is the Light of the Self again that lights up everything. Ordinary matter does not have a luminosity of its own. If everything had a luminosity of its own, then a chair and a table should make their presence felt by us even when we do not 'look' at them. If nothing was ever luminous, then we would be totally ignorant of everything. Thus matter in the world needs a 'light' to make their presence felt. We wrongly think that it is the physical light that brings the knowledge of matter to us. Even the physical light has to be prompted, supported, boosted, in fact 'lighted' by the spiritual Light which is the substratum of all - this is what the scripture says when it declares that 'only by Its Light everything is lighted'.

The supreme is shining as the Light of Lights (jyotishAm jyotiH) within ourselves. This is analogous to a lighted lamp placed in a vessel with several small holes in it. The Light of the Self which is within this body of nine gates is then reflected by mAyA through the sense organs and projected as rays of bliss -- because what is inside is full of bliss. Wherever these rays fall -- on the objects of sense, for instance -- those objects come to light. The soul which identifies itself with the body and the senses wrongly thinks that the sense of happiness that he derives in 'seeing', 'hearing', 'smelling', 'touching' and 'tasting' is actually in the external sense object and it is these rays from the senses that bring him this happiness.

Take another analogy. There is a tent full of holes which allow the rays of sunlight to creep in. A child who is inside the tent may wrongly think that it is the tent that gives the light. Actually the child does not realize it is the tent that is an obstacle to the light from the Sun and it is the holes in the tent that bring the sunlight in. In the same manner we do not realize that it is the body-mind-intellect that hides the Light of the Self within and it is the holes of the sense-organs that sneak in the bliss from that Light now and then through the various sense-experiences. And we mistake the happiness we enjoy as that which arises from the sense objects. Suppose the child attempts to get the light that it needs from the very tent which prevents light from coming in; so also we are so childish spiritually that we expect to improve our happiness from the very sense objects and sense organs which prevent us from 'seeing' the Light of the Self which is already there in us. If we cast away the tent the whole place will be flooded with all the light from the sun; so also if we cast away the identification with the body-mind-intellect we will become the mass of Bliss that is natural to the Self.

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