“Usha Bala Elo” is a song by Sri Chinmoy, a meditation on aspiration and illumination.

The dawn is one of nature’s most glorious mysteries and life’s most magical, auspicious moments. The transformation of night into day, darkness into light, despair into hope and promise, one state of being into its polar opposite, is at once exquisitely beautiful, thrillingly wondrous and utterly exhilarating.

Imagine the very first dawn at the beginning of time: all there has ever been is complete pitch darkness and now all of creation is gradually revealed in the fullness of its pristine absolute beauty, radiance and perfection.

Sri Chinmoy’s song sings not of the outer, but of the inner dawn – the dawn of spiritual awakening; and of the power that invokes and initiates this awakening – the inner cry of aspiration. In an evocative word-and-sound picture, this song depicts the process of spiritual illumination and transformation.

For our creative visualisation exercise let us set a stage, with three characters. The scene is a street at night in a wild storm with pelting rain, thunder and lightning.

First to appear is a four-year-old child, alone and lost in the storm. Imagine you are this child: you are hopelessly lost in the raging storm – what will you do? You will cry, sincerely and utterly with absolute helplessness.

Next comes an older child, also lost and secretly afraid but determined not to betray any fear or confusion.

The third character is your adult self, in the same street with overcoat and umbrella on your way home. You see the older child marching confidently along: you don’t interfere.

Now you come across the smaller child, crying piteously. What do you do? You comfort and protect the child, and bring him to his home.

(to be continued…)