na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kuto’yamagniḥ |
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti ||
The verse is from the Isha Upanishad, which is a part of the ancient Indian scriptures known as Upanishads. Here's the meaning of the verse:
"There, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars.
Nor do lightning shine there. How could this fire shine?
Everything shines after that divine Self alone.
By its light, all this shines."
Meaning : Neither does the sun shine there, nor the moon with all the stars, nor does this lightning shine. What to say of this fire? Everything shines after him who alone shines. By His light all this shines variously.
The verse inquires, "nemā vidyuto bhānti kuto’yamagniḥ?" – "How could this fire shine?" It challenges us to contemplate the nature of light itself. If even lightning, a symbol of intense brilliance, cannot compare to the divine radiance, how can we grasp the true essence of that eternal brilliance?
The verse then provides the answer: "tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃvtasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti॥" – "Everything shines after that divine Self alone. By its light, all this shines." The Upanishad reveals that the source of all light and radiance is the divine Self, the ultimate reality that pervades everything. This eternal radiance illuminates not only the external world but also the inner realm of consciousness.
This verse reflects the idea that the ultimate reality, often referred to as the "divine Self," is the source of all illumination and existence. It suggests that the worldly sources of light like the sun, moon, and fire are temporary and limited, while the true source of light is the eternal and infinite divine presence. The verse encourages contemplation on the ultimate reality beyond the material world.