10. From Darkness to Light
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in the Unreality (of the bondage of the Phenomenal World), but lead me towards Reality (of the Eternal Self),
(O Lord) Keep me not in the Darkness (of Ignorance), but lead me towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
(O Lord) Keep me not in the (Fear of) Death (due to the bondage of the Mortal World), but lead me towards the Immortality (gained by the Knowledge of the Immortal Self beyond Death),
Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace at all levels.
The first line explains the same to us. Always we should remember to know ourselves. Ultimate goal is to attain the knowledge to know the reality in life. Once you are far away from all the un-realistic things like daily needs. So this is not a prayer asking money, shelter, food, fame, cloth, success, health etc.
So we have to decide which is true.
Pure bliss, pure consciousness and pure existence is said to be as reality.
The second line explains how to lead the life towards knowledge from ignorance which obscures our mind to understand the reality. As our body keeps generating the cells, our Universe with a constant flux, and the earth with constant distance at every moment of time with other astral bodies, we have to travel from darkness to light and death to life. It is also a constant change. Nothing in this world is constant. You feel happy, tomorrow you may be sad, yesterday you might have cried for something. These things are not at all real and constant. As like the universe is a constant change, we should be too.
As we know already that energy nor created or destroyed like soul. We shouldn’t be very keen to love this body. It is unreal. Our soul is real. That’s a constant change. This is the meaning given in the third line of the prayer.
We are leading life journey of knowledge. To know what is self, and to know what we misunderstood from what is truly “I” .
What the mantras really means is “God, please lead me to the understanding that I am not the limited body, mind and intellect, but I am, was and always will be that eternal, absolute, blissful consciousness that serves as their substratum.”