LIGHTING THE LAMP OF WISDOM

Once a Sadhaka, who had great ambition to know something about the divine, wanted his eye of wisdom to be opened. He entered a cave where a guru was residing. While entering the cave he saw a small light. As he moved forward even that little light got extinguished. In darkness one feels frightened, and in fear, we think of God very intensively. Thus he uttered loudly the word 'Namahsivaya and on hearing this, the saint asked him who he was. He said that he had come to seek his grace. The great saint, who was sustaining himself in the cave only by breathing the air around him, had the competence to know the mind of his visitor. He said that he will answer his question later but asked him first to go and light the light lamp, which had been extinguished. The visitor took a matchbox and tried to light the lamp but did not succeed. He told the guru that he had finished all the matchsticks and yet he had not succeeded in lighting the lamp.

The guru then asked him to open he lamp, put out all the water and pour oil in it, and then try to light it. The person did this but the lamp would not light even then. The guru then said that the wick was probably wet with water and asked him to dry it nicely in the open and then attempt to light the lamp. He did this and succeeded. Then the person ventured to mention his need and sought it to the guru. The surprised guru said that the appropriate answer was being given all the while. The visitor pleaded that, being an ignorant man he was not able to understand the significance of the teaching and requested the guru to explain to him in clearer terms. The guru said: In the vessel of your heart, there is the wick of your Jiva. The wick has been immersed all these days in the water of your sensuous desire. Therefore you are not able to light the lamp of wisdom. Pour our all the water of desires from the vessel of your heart, and fill it with Naamasmarana of God. Take the wick of Jiva and dry it in the sunshine of Vairagya; squeeze out of it all the water present in the form of desire and put into the heart the oil of devotion of Naamasmarana. It will be possible for you to light the lamp of wisdom.