A Passage for December

With December upon us, here in California the days are getting short and, whether seasonal or simply practical, we've begun to notice the lights which reminded us of this Easwaran quote:


Every year as Christmas approaches, I like to see how people are celebrating. Each season seems to bring more lights strung over homes and fences. But putting up hundreds of lights does not mean we are celebrating Christmas. One light is enough: one light, right inside, dispelling the darkness of anger, fear, and greed.

India has a great festival called Dipavali, from dipa, light, and avali, rows. Homes all over India will be lit by rows of lights. It’s a beautiful sight, but in every religion the real festival of lights is the display within: patience, sympathy, good will, security, selflessness, love, wisdom. What a long row! We can go in the midst of people and they will receive the benefit of this light. One person being patient brightens everything around. Being patient with those who differ from us, with those who oppose us, with those who aren’t patient with us – this is the real meaning of spiritual growth.

This quote of Easwaran's inspired us to share the passage "The Shining Essence" by Fakhruddin Araqi, a Sufi poet and mystic. It contains beautiful imagery of light, and we hope you'll join us in meditating on it this month.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this remarkable passage. Share with us in the comments below:

  • Is there a line in this passage that speaks to you?
  • What qualities do you think you might get by meditating on this passage? 

The Shining Essence – Fakhruddin Araqi

I look into the mirror and see my own beauty;
I see the truth of the universe revealing itself as me.
I rise in the sky as the morning Sun, do not be surprised,
Every particle of creation is me alone.
What are the holy spirits? my essence revealed.
And the human body? the vessel of my own form.
What is the ocean that encircles the world?
A drop of my abundant Grace;
And the purest light that fills every soul?
A spark of my own illumination.
I am Light itself, reflected in the heart of everyone;
I am the treasure of the Divine Name,
the shining Essence of all things.
I am every light that shines,
Every ray that illumines the world.
From the highest heavens to the bedrock of the earth
All is but a shadow of my splendor.
If I dropped the veil covering my true essence
The world would be gone – lost in a brilliant light.
What is the water that gives eternal life?
A drop of my divine nectar.
And the breath that brings the dead back to life?
A puff of my breath, the breath of all life.