Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lighting Lamps - Jyot se Jyot

As I light oil lamps, one from another, alongside millions around the world, a song and story spring to mind.

Jyot Se Jyot Jalate Chalo
Prem Ki Ganga Bahate Chalo
Raah Mein Aaye Jo Deen Dukhi
Sab Ko Gale Se Lagate Chalo
My own loose translation

As you go along light another's lamp with your own
Let the river of love flow as you go
If you meet anyone with sorrow along your way
Embrace him as you go


I am reminded of a story I read long ago, yet cannot find. Here is it paraphrased (which I know is not as beautiful as the original).

A man made the long journey to the sacred fire. He crossed rivers and went over mountains. With his candle lit, he began the journey home. Along the way, he came across a women with an unlit lamp, who asked him to light her lamp with his own. Not thinking of the pains he took to light his lamp, he put his candle to hers. As he continued, the rains came down, extinguishing his light. But he had shared his light with another. So instead of having to take the long journey to the fire, he made his way back to the woman and lit his lamp from hers.


As you light your lamp, embrace the nature of its fire that does not diminish when shared with others.

Jyot se jyot jalate chalo.

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