Faith

The path of light

Sage Parasara in his Vishnu Purana says that the One who knows about what happens to the atmas, their births and deaths, that One is the Paramatma. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about two paths — the path taken by those who reach His abode and the path taken by those who go to svarga. Those who reach Sri Vaikuntha remain there, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse. The other category of people perform meritorious deeds, and reach svarga.

But stay in svarga is not permanent. Once a person’s punyas are exhausted, he leaves svarga, to be born again and the cycle continues. But the one who goes to Sri Vaikuntha never returns to the earth. The path that leads to Sri Vaikuntha is called archiradi marga, the path of light. The path that leads to svarga is called dumadi marga, the path of darkness. In other words, archiradi marga takes one to the Supreme One. In the path that leads to Sri Vaikuntha, one is welcomed at each stage by different deities, each presiding over that particular segment of the path.

On the other hand, the path taken by the one who merely performs meritorious acts is known as dhumah gati, or the path of darkness. He does these acts, with a view to enjoying the fruits of his actions. His performance of good deeds gets him svarga as a reward. There the atma enjoys many pleasures, before returning in its next birth. This path that leads to svarga also has presiding deities. These are the deities of smoke, the dark night, the waning phase of the moon, dakshinayana (Southern solstice). Upanishads also speak of the bright and dark paths. Krishna says that a jnani cannot exist even for a moment without thinking of Him. A jnani takes the archiradi marga, or the path of light, to reach the Lord.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:46:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/the-path-of-light/article36618461.ece

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