THE SUN BEHIND THE SUN

A Post by Michael McCann (Spandan)

As the One Sun illumines the whole world, so does the in-dweller illumine the whole body-mind field” 

Bhagavad Gita

In the language of symbols, the sun is the universal symbol of spiritual light. In some Indian teachings, there is reference to “the sun behind the sun”. This is an immeasurably greater sun, concealed in dazzling darkness, “behind the sun”. 

To quote the Sufi poet, Rumi,

Dost not thy know that the light of the sun is the reflection of the sun behind the veil?”  

The great solar mantra, the Gayatri, is a meditation on this sun, and the Divine Light (bhargo devasya) which radiates from it.  This Light, traditionally deified in India, is celebrated as the source of our being, our consciousness and bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda).  

While sunlight makes things visible, the light of consciousness is the pinnacle of illumination. Without it, the sun would simply not exist, for it could neither be known or experienced.  

There is a beautiful saying in the Upanishads to convey this:.

That by shining, everything shines

Mundaka Upanishad

While the “sun behind the sun” seems impossibly remote, the seers of the Upanishads made the incredible discovery that it is also seated in our heart centre, as the Atman or Spirit.  

The face of truth remains hidden behind a circle of gold. Unveil it, O God of light that I who love the true may see!

O life-giving sun, off -spring of the Lord of creation, solitary seer of Heaven! Spread thy light and withdraw thy blinding splendour that I may behold thy radiant form: that spirit far away within thee is my own inmost Spirit”.   

Isa Upanishad

And in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

He who, dwelling in the sun, yet is other than the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is, who controls the sun from within- He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal”. 

The same insights are expressed in Christian mysticism where the Solar Christ describes himself as “the Light of the World”; and there is a psalm which says: “Lord, we shall see light by Thy Light”.   

Let us recall in these dark but sunny days that “Buddha” means the “Awakened One”, sharing the same root as “bud”. 

May we all awaken and blossom in the Divine Light of the sun behind the sun.  

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