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Peace Is Here For You

At the darkest time of the year, we celebrate a festival of light. Christmas is a festival of light, lights twinkling from rooftops and windows, candle flames illuminating mantles and altars. In the stillness of a long ago night, it was a kind of miracle. A baby is born under a starlit sky. Three Kings from the East follow the light of one star in particular. As they reach the humble manger, the light of the Christ Child dazzles beyond any physical light, and they bow down in awe and wonder. Just as it happened for Arjuna—when Lord Krishna opens his spiritual eye, lifts the veil of illusion, and reveals to him the full splendour of Divinity, like the light of a thousand suns: the Magi thus received the gift of enlightenment.

Ramana Maharshi, the greatest Indian sage of the 20th Century, said that the whole of Vedanta is contained in two beautiful lines from the Bible. “I am that I am” points to Vedanta’s highest truth, the Unbroken Whole, or Consciousness—Pure and Undifferentiated—which sustains infinite forms. “Be still and know that I am God” points to the method, which is yoga. Yoga teaches the path to realisation of that truth, awakening us to the reality that difference is illusion. Divinity is all. The One becomes Many, yet the Many remain One. 

Despite all its absurd distortions and commercial embellishments, Christmas offers us beautiful means for spiritual awakening—which is called “enlightenment” for a reason. Light is singular. And the light of a single candle beside a window on Christmas Eve contains a whole universe. Let that light fill your heart this Christmas, reminding you that you are quite literally a child of the Sun, who is Surya, the outward face of divinity—which knows no boundaries of time or space. 

Festivals of light are universal. In India, Diwali celebrates the power of light (divinity) over darkness (ignorance). Christmas does the same. And everywhere the Winter Solstice makes literal the spiritual power of light. In Ireland, neolithic people built a temple called Newgrange, where the rising sun illuminates a sacred passageway—precisely on this darkest day of the year, where a single ray contains the Ultimate. 

So light a candle for the Christ Child. Light a candle for Surya, who soon begins his upward journey along the pathway of the gods. Light a candle for our world, that beautiful, mad, troubled place of small miracles and horrific tragedies—where the Sun still rises every morning to a new beginning. Light a candle for yourself, for you are light eternal, which no darkness can ever obscure. 

Yoga leads you to this light: a simple flame revealing a galaxy, bequeathing its treasure of eternal peace. True peace abides; it transcends tides of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, life and death. “The Peace that passes all understanding”, is the message of Christmas. 

Awakening to that Peace is what it’s about. 

It’s yours this Christmas. Let it fill you now.