Am I scared of the dark..
“yella banna masi nungitu” the dark devoured all the colours is a popular saying in Kannada, so to me darkness harboured this monstrous creature that devoured anything and everything that came its way.
Let me not lie, I was, there was this great fear that I could not see, and when I cannot see I am defenceless. I remember times as a child when I would not go to the bathroom, simply because the darkness scared me.
Somewhere I realized that darkness like all this in the world, manifested both in the physical world, and in my inner world. There was this side of me that I was scared off, and not the night. The dark was the unknown reactions and thoughts that had harboured. It was when I was thirteen and had practised transcendental meditation for about an year realized, that the unknown need it not destructive, but could be constructive too. I needed to accept the dark and understand it. that made a whole difference in things.
Darkness I realized was more inclusive since it absorbed all the colours while light reflected them all.
Eventually I realized the importance of the night or the darkness, when I studied the Ratri Suktam of the rig Veda. This particular rik or hymn deals with the concerns of the night. It is so beautiful,
Ratri.. is “ra” or to give, “tri” is to protect the hymn talks of how the goddess of the night, slowly and gently eases into the sky, she takes over from the sun who sets a blaze, and gives way to the Usha, so there is no conflict anywhere.
She spreads her dark sari which is endowed with the twinkling stars that light the world just enough for her to keep a watch. The birds return to the roost and normally active and noisy world calms down.
In the warm circle of the night, who like a wise old lady we confide our woes, we expose our inner selves, she heals us without passing judgements. As a doctor, I would say she guides us with her many options during the predictive phase of sleep and flushes the unwanted through venting third stage of sleep. The soothes, she repairs, she rejuvenates nourishing us to face the challenge of the new day.
Darkness metaphysically is also the space to introspect. I like this particular hymn from Ratri Suktam.
“Sa no adya yasya vayam nite Yavvanavilesmahi vrkse na vaslim vayam rnavati”
This translates to the tree offers its expansiveness for the birds to rest, so too the night time gives us her time or period to rest.