The Lady of LightJun 23, 2021
Dawn arrives, shining like a lady of light
stirring all creatures to life….
Dawn’s light breaks the shadows.
Her face turned to all things across the wide world,
she rises in splendor, enwrapped in bright clothes.
Shining in golden colors, dressed in rays of light,
she guides forth the day….
-Rig Veda, 7.77.1-1 (translation: Prof. William K. Mahony)
The Vedic poets heralded the dawn as a lady of light. For me, this image evokes the majesty of the sunrise, and metaphorically, the dawning of the inner light of wisdom and understanding.
The nature of sunlight is to reveal what’s been hidden in darkness. Likewise, the awakening of self-knowledge brings awareness and clear vision.
Lately, I’ve heard people dismissing the concept of light as a bypass mechanism, expressing the sentiment that ‘love and light’ are not substitutes for the concrete action needed to address the formidable challenges we face. I can see where they're coming from, but let’s also understand that honoring the light of our self-awareness doesn’t mean we're blind to the reality around us and within us. It doesn’t have to be a “band-aid” for denying lived experience. It’s not a substitute for acting.
Rather, it’s about seeing with clarity and honesty so that meaningful action becomes possible. It’s about welcoming reality unflinchingly, facing the truth head on with a brave heart. Why? Because we know that's the only way to be an agent for real change, to contribute to the healing the world needs, and to live as a responsible and congruent human being.
Welcoming the dawn, expanding the light of inner knowledge, is a practice we continually embrace in yoga to usher in a new day within ourselves and in the world around us.