The candles. The flowers. The children. The dark night outside; still and silent. The song in the heart busting out into the throats. Deeper than song, the silence in the heart. Deeper than that silence, again a layer of song in the heart. All wrapped in the light of love beaming out from eyes. The St. Nicholas Day celebration in Germany. Just recently.
If St. Nicholas came to your room tonight, and offered you the fulfillment of a single wish, what would you ask for? - someone inside me inquired. Someone inside me answered. I will ask this: May I be born simultaneously, all sparks of my soul scattered to the million corners of the world, in all the tribes, all nations and sub-nations, among all the million chosen peoples of the earth. Yes, I wish to be born in all of them at the same time. So that, so that, so that, I could savour each one's song, let my tongue lick the language of each, dance each one's seadance, sundance, moondance, stardance, crystal dance, immerse myself in the stream of sanctity that flows through each one's sacred text of revelation - whether written or spoken or silently remembered. Oh would that my mind and soul could experience the richness and plenitude of each nation's ritual and festival and the manner in which they exchange gifts of love. Oh, to know the mantras of the shaman and the priest and the mystic and the visionary and the soothsayer of each of these nations.
And after I have worshipped each one's sacred tree, the Oak, the ficus Indica, the holy basil, the Christmas tree, then to sit under one of these, like a Christmas gift under the light-laden tree, with all seven candles burning, yes, and gather together in me the power of all these mantras and the grace from all these acts of worship offerings, make it into a round crystal ball, and hold that within my mind. Then, when the light divine within has fully illuminated the crystal, then to let it burst out of me, like the Sermon on the Mount, like the light-pregnant words at Sarnath, like the Silence at Gaya at the banks of Niranjana. Burst out and let the tiniest possible shards of crystal, a trillion, fly in all directions and impregnate every mind in the universe with the most profound stillness. Oh, declare this to be the silent night of peace on earth as it is in heaven.
This is my prayer, my wish, my gift of love for you at this moment of transition of the season. May all your senses be stilled into such a night even for a nanomement and in that nanomoment you be granted the grace of the clear vision of the lightladen tree that is the body of God as the universe.
I give you as the season's gift the crystal of this vision. And if you unexpectedly come round to look at your lovely Christmas tree and see under it a recently enlightened new Buddha sitting in stillness, may your Christmas tree be thenceforth known as the new Bodhi tree of the millennium from whose branches all nations plant a fresh tree each in their soil.
And may God plant into your Guru-sprinkled soul Herself as your eternal Light, as you the Being Light.
May you thenceforth live in a world that is a song of silence, a silence of song, silence and song of the sanctity of stillness, all your own, all You alone. May in your internal universe echo the declaration: All One, All One, All One.
Happy Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Year, Happy Millennium, Happy next breath, Happy next creation. May stillness be your joyful celebration.
Swami Veda Bharati