The International Day of Light is be held on May 16th every year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields. The International Day of Light is not just about lasers and science. It also includes aspects of art, culture, entertainment – everywhere light is present in fact!
Light plays a central role in our lives. On the most fundamental level, through photosynthesis, light is at the origin of life itself. The study of light has led to promising alternative energy sources, lifesaving medical advances in diagnostics technology and treatments, light-speed internet and many other discoveries that have revolutionized society and shaped our understanding of the universe. These technologies were developed through centuries of fundamental research on the properties of light – starting with Ibn Al-Haytham’s seminal work, Kitab al-Manazir (Book of Optics), published in 1015 and including Einstein’s work at the beginning of the 20th century, which changed the way we think about time and light.
The International Day of Light celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The celebration will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies.
The International Day of Light is celebrated on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.
Freedom and Light are what man needs more than anything else. He needs them even more than breath. That is why he is miserable when bound and in the dark. Man struggles like a fish in a dry bowl, frantically, to return to God, which is his home, and Bliss, which is his element. He seeks God (or Bliss, which is but another Name of God) up in space, down in the bowels of the earth, alone or in crowded congregations, in silence or in noise. But all the time the spring of bliss lies in his own heart. He can tap it if only he knows how to delve into the poise of deep meditation.
Meditation on Light
View the full screen version of this meditation here
The most effective method of meditation
Set aside a few minutes, every day, in the beginning for this; later, you are sure to extend the period, when you experience the thrill of peace. Let it be the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed by sleep and the peregrinations of day-time have yet to impinge on the senses and distract physical and mental energy. Have a lamp, with a bright little flame, steady and straight, or a candle, before you. The flame does not diminish in lustre, however many lamps may be lit therefrom. So, the flame is the most appropriate symbol of the eternal Absolute.
If you can, sit cross-legged; if your are not able to sit thus, then sit in any comfortable position, in front of the flame. Look on the flame steadily and closing your eyes, try to feel it inside you, between your eyebrows. From there, let it descend down into the lotus of your heart, illumining the path. When it enters the heart, in the centre of the chest, imagine that the petals of the lotus bud open out, one by one, bathing every thought, feeling, emotion and impulse in the Light and removing darkness. There is no space now for darkness to take refuge; it has to flee before the flame. Imagine that the Light becomes wider, bigger, brighter. It pervades the limbs; they can no more busy themselves in dark, wicked, suspicious activities. They have become, you are conscious of it, instruments of Light, that is to say, of Love.
The Light reaches the tongue. Falsehood, slander, bragging and spite vanish from it. It reaches the eyes and the ears. All dark desires that infest and infect them are destroyed by the brilliant Light of Wisdom and Virtue. No more puerility, no more poisoning of the ear. Let your head be charged with Light; all wicked, vicious thoughts disappear, for, these are denizens of darkness. Imagine that Light in you more and more intensely — and it will be so. Let it shine all around you, enveloping you in the brilliance of Love; let it spread from you, in ever widening circles, taking into its fold your kith and kin, the loved ones, friends, companions — nay, strangers, foes, rivals, enemies — all men all over the world, all living beings — all Creation.
Do this every day, without break; for as long as you enjoy it; do this deeply and systematically; a time will certainly come when you can no more relish dark and evil thoughts, no more yearn for dark and sinister books, no more crave for toxic food and drinks, no more handle ugly demeaning things, no more suffer infliction of infamy or injury, no more formulate evil designs. You are then in the realm of the Divine, of Peace beyond words.
Stay on in that thrill, witnessing Light, being Light, everywhere, for all. If you are used to adoring God in any form, visualise that Form in that Light. For, Light is God; God is light. When light meets light, it is all Light. There is no boundary between your light and His Light. They merge, they fulfil.
In this peacelessness that is confounding the world, you must seek the higher spiritual peace; in that higher spiritual peace you can visualise Supreme Splendour and in that Supreme Splendour, the all-embracing Light (immanent and transcendent splendour, boundless, benign) is experienced; in that all-embracing Light, the Universal Eternal Absolute is experienced. When the individual meets the Universal it becomes Universal. I and I become we; we and he become only we. Practise this meditation, regularly everyday. At other times, repeat the Name of God (any name that arouses in you the spirit of adoration and devotion), always taking care to be intensely conscious of His Might, Mercy and Munificence.
You may download an MP3 file with the (jyothi) Light Meditation (given above) here.
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