Another way to understand it is this: it is always easy to give up unhappiness; that we can fight against. But if happiness comes our way, it is very difficult to fight against it – it is almost impossible. How can we fight against it? But liberation is impossible if we are caught in and attached to happiness. As I told you this morning, happiness will create a heaven for you, and in that heaven you will find yourself in bondage again, enticed into pleasure and love; there is no liberation here.
This prayer, this desire of the sage to remove the curtain of light and see the face of brahman which is covered by such blinding light, reveals the final helplessness of man’s mind. Man’s mind has no wish to be free from light or happiness or heaven. But one has to be free from them. The sage is standing on the threshold. On one side is his human nature which urges him to dance with pleasure in the light, to identify himself with light and be absorbed in it; while on the other side is his deep longing within for truth, which urges him to go beyond. It is in this difficult and decisive moment that he utters this sutra, this prayer, “O God, remove your curtain of excessive light.” He prays, “Please remove this delightful, heavenly form so that I may see that utter, naked truth, which is you!”
Those who live in misery do not know that happiness has its miseries. Those who live among enemies do not know that friends have their own conflicts. Those who live in hell do not know that heaven has its own troubles. How can those who live in darkness imagine that light becomes a prison?
As long as there is duality there is nonliberation, there is bondage. Then what will remain when light is removed, when darkness is removed? What is the face of truth? What is seen? At present, as far as our imagination can go, as far as our thoughts can fly, as far as our minds can reach, the utmost we can imagine is that if truth has a face it will be of light – brilliant light. Why do we think so?
Understand one or two points. We have not yet seen light. You may well reply, “What do you mean, we have not seen light? We do see light. We see light when the sun rises in the morning. We see light at night when the moon shines and there is moonlight everywhere.” No, I repeat, you have not seen light yet. You have seen only lighted things. When the sun rises you see lighted things – mountains, rivers, streams, trees, people. The electric bulbs are giving you light now. You will say, “We see light.” But no, you do not see light. You see the electric bulb shining. You see the people standing in its light. You see objects, not light. It is not possible to have any experience of light in the world outside. Only illuminated objects are seen, and when they are not seen we say it is dark. When is there darkness in this hall? When nothing can be seen in the hall we say there is darkness, and when objects are visible we say there is light.