Akhanda Jyoti ~ The Eternal Light
(Heart Space – Jamie Kaminskas)
”The Atman, the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains all and shines and makes everything to shine.”
~ Adi Shankaracharya
In the centre of the Heart Space (Anahata Chakra) one can visualise an eternal flame, which is the divine spark in all of us.
It represents our luminous consciousness, which is infinite, eternal, blissful and radiant.
It is the Atman, or divine light, or soul.
Regular meditation on this eternal light in the core of our hearts is recommended. It is visualised as an intense and unflickering light, and this visualisation is done however best appeals to you.
Sometimes, this flame is represented internally by a ‘bana lingam’ or a small egg-shaped stone which is radiantly golden, and which is said to burn with the steady light of ten thousand suns.
This akhanda jyoti or eternal light is symbolised in many traditions by an external light in the sanctum, a flame which is never allowed to be doused. It is there in the Ner Temid in Synagogues, the Sacred Heart Light in Christian traditions, the atar in Zoroastrianism, the eternal lamp in ashrams and sacred spaces.
(Art by Julie Dillon)
Referring to the Atman, the Katha Upnaishad says..
”That being the size of a thumb dwells deep within the heart. He is the lord of time…
That being..is like a flame without smoke..He is the immortal self..”
Ramana Maharishi said clearly that only the enquiry ”Who Am I?” is necessary, but he also mentions the special place of the heart centre with respect to the arising of this ”I”. He describes his experiences of this infinite light in the heart…
”The entire universe is condensed in the body and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole universe. This world is not other than the mind, the mind is not other than the Heart; that is the whole truth.
The Self is the Heart. The Heart is Self-luminous. Light arises from the Heart and reaches the brain which is the seat of the mind. The world is seen with the mind, that is by the reflected light of the Self. It is perceived with the aid of the mind. When the mind is illumined it is aware of the world. When it is not itself so illumined, it is not aware of the world. If the mind is turned inward towards the source of light, objective knowledge ceases and the Self alone shines forth as the Heart.”
”There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart ”
~ Chandogya Upanishad