“The kshatriya family is the protector of the human race, according to the Vedic system. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Lord Ramachandra, He appeared in the family descending from the sun-god, known as Raghu-vamsha; and when He appeared as Lord Krishna, He did so in the family of Yadu-vamsha.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Introduction)
Friend1: We often hear God compared to the light. He is the truth.
Friend2: The Absolute Truth. The transcendental light. Beaming a natural effulgence. There is no need of electricity in His realm, which is imperishable.
न तद् भासयते सूर्यो
न शशाङ्को न पावकः
यद् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते
तद् धाम परमं मम
na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)
Friend1: God is enlightenment. The rest is ignorance.
Friend2: Tamo-guna, as it is known in Sanskrit. There is a mode of goodness, sattva-guna, but God is actually above the three modes of nature.
Friend1: He is pure goodness. There is the famous prayer to the spiritual master. It begins with admitting ignorance. We were born into the darkness of ignorance. The guru opened my eyes to a different way of thinking. He filled my heart with transcendental knowledge.
Friend2: Which was there to begin with. It is like finding gold and removing the dust. The spirit soul is the fundamental unit of existence. The individual is knowledgeable, blissful, and eternal.
Friend1: I find some of the Sanskrit words that describe the sun to be interesting.
Friend2: Such as?
Friend1: Dinakara. Divakara. These mean “maker of the day.”
Friend2: Makes sense, no pun intended.
Friend1: I would never think of the sun in those terms, but you are right. The sun is so valuable that it is literally responsible for the day. All of those things I am looking forward to tomorrow wouldn’t happen without the sun.
Friend2: The sun is one way to understand God.
Friend1: The giver of light. He appears personally in the solar dynasty as Shri Rama.
Friend2: Who is the maker of the day for the Raghu dynasty. He is the reason for living for the people of Ayodhya.
Friend1: Sita and Lakshmana literally can’t live without Him. The comparison is to the fish taken out of water.
न च सीता त्वया हीना न चाहमपि राघव।
मुहूर्तमपि जीवावो जलान्मत्स्याविनोद्धृतौ।।
na ca sītā tvayā hīnā na cāhamapi rāghava।
muhūrtamapi jīvāvo jalānmatsyāvinoddhṛtau।।
“O Rama, You should know that just as fish cannot survive when taken out of water, neither Sita nor I can live without You for even a moment.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 53.31)
Friend2: This aligns with your original premise, that God is the light.
Friend1: Which got me to thinking. Is He not responsible for everything? I get it that we can praise Him through the divakara word, admitting that Rama is responsible for each day. He is the source of my devotional life. He is my sole inspiration.
Friend2: He is what keeps us going.
Friend1: Then what about the darkness? Is He not responsible for the night? Does Rama only make the day?
Friend2: That is a very interesting question. It is similar to the duality of spiritual and material living. We know that Bhagavan lives in the eternal realm of Vaikuntha. This does not mean the material world manifests on its own.
Friend1: Right. We know that Vishnu glances over the unmanifest substance, pradhana, which triggers the subsequent creation and its accompanying variety. As His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains, both purusha and prakriti are eternal.
Friend2: They meet for some time within the material world. It is like the river carrying grass and leaves down the current. Sometimes the items associate and sometimes they separate. This is the comparison for having friends and family.
Friend1: If Vishnu is the source of matter and spirit, He must be responsible for the darkness, no?
Friend2: Ultimately, what we perceive as darkness is certainly due to Him. With respect to the comparison to transcendental light, we can take darkness to be the absence of Vishnu.
Friend1: How can God be absent any place?
Friend2: He is everywhere. He is antaryarmi. The distinction is based on our understanding. When we forget God, we are in darkness. We somehow obstruct the light that is always shining.
Friend1: I see, no pun intended.
Friend2: Rama is the maker of the day, and the illusion of maya is the maker of the night. I have a choice in my association with maya.
Friend1: Which means that we don’t have to keep producing darkness if we don’t want to.
Friend2: The spiritual guide teaches me how to make the choice. He is the first one to open the other curtain, so to speak. He gives the option for spiritual life, where there is eternal sunshine and its comforting warmth, through the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
As giver of transcendental light,
But not also maker of the night?
Since everything His creation,
How possible state of separation?
Idea that ignorance from forgetting,
Based on consciousness setting.
Since always by my side,
My best friend to reside.