by Shri S. C. Pathak

Light is life because without light nothing can survive. This light is VIDYA (knowledge) which expels the darkness of ignorance (AVIDYA). As life cannot survive without light, so also human society cannot survive without the light of gainful knowledge (Vidya).

The source of light that we get on earth is the sun, and the sun in its turn gets it from the self-refulgent God, who is the eternal store-house of light. The sun does not keep that light confined to itself, but passes it on to all the members of its cosmic family since they also need it for their survival. Like the sun, Agni (fire) also gives us light, and energy also, which is necessary for our survival. It helps us in keeping our environment pure by burning the impurities of objects that we need for our life. Can we not draw a lesson from such benevolence of the Sun and the Agni ?

We all know that fire begets fire. Nothing can be drawn from nothing. There has to be something to draw something out of it. Therefore, if we want to give light of life to others, we have first to obtain it from the Omniscient God. One who himself is hungry cannot feed others. Unless we ourselves have knowledge of the Vedas and other scriptures we cannot pass on their message to others. Only an enlightened person can give light to others.

However, care has to be taken that while imparting knowledge to others one should be absolutely free from ego, anger, and greed; and should be polite in one's talk, free from self-praise or sense of pride. An ideal preacher, who has gained knowledge and power of good speech by the grace of God, should pass that on to his disciples without aspiring for any material reward in return. He should pass on that light of knowledge (Vidya) to others like a selfless lamp. For that, he does not have to make any special efforts. His mental attitude and way of life will speak for themselves. His words will carry conviction with his audience.

If you are a preacher or a teacher, first enlighten yourself with divine knowledge and then share it with others for their benefit, always remembering the important directive given by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, "No one should be contented with his own progress only but should regard the progress of others as his own."

From the authors book, Perennial Thoughts for Self-Development, available from Sultan Chand & Sons Publishers, 23 Darya Ganj, New Delhi-110 002, INDIA

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