Chapter 9: Only the Knowing Remains
The face of that brahman,
sitting in the midst of abundance of light,
is covered with a golden curtain.
O Lord, remove that curtain
so that I, a seeker of truth,
may attain to the supreme.
This sutra is rather difficult to understand, but it is of extraordinary significance for many reasons. First of all, we generally believe that if truth is covered, it must be covered by darkness, but the sutra says it is covered by light; hence the prayer that God will remove the curtain of light.
This is the experience of one who has made a deep search for truth. Those who have only thought will always say truth is covered in darkness, but those who have known through deep experience will say it is covered in light; and if it looks dark, it is because of the brilliance of the light. We are blinded when the light is too intense; then the light looks like darkness because of the weakness of our eyes, they are unable to bear so much light.
Look at the sun with wide open eyes, and in a few seconds you will be in darkness. The sun is so bright that the eyes cannot endure it. So those who have known from a distance and not directly - who have only thought about it - will say that God’s temple is hidden in darkness. But those who have known the experience of it will say it is hidden in light, and they will pray to God to remove that curtain. The illusion is created because our eyes are too weak to stand the abundance of light. Our being is not adequate to receive it.
As one proceeds towards truth, the light begins to increase, becoming brighter and brighter. Those who are moving further into meditation come to know, by and by, the growing illumination as their meditation becomes deeper and deeper. The Italian sannyasin Veet Sandeh told me today that there is so much light within her that she experiences rays flaring out from her, and her whole body is burning as if a sun is shining within her. The heat is not coming from without but from within, and the light is so bright that it is difficult for her to sleep at night. “When I doze,” she says, “there is light and light all around.”
As a person goes deeper and deeper in meditation this light becomes increasingly intense, concentrated and penetrating, and a moment comes when the intensity of light is so great that he experiences deep darkness. Only the Christian saints have named this moment correctly. They have called it, “The dark night of the soul.” But this night of pitch darkness is due to the excess, the abundance of light. It is in this moment that a man begs God to remove that curtain of light, “So that I can see the face of truth hidden behind it.”