“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”
Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations culminate in the manifestation of the Holy Fire at the end of midnight mass. The head priest would declare that “Christ was Risen” mirroring the celebrations in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He then uses his candle to light the candle of those nearest to him, who would then in turn light the candles from each other and then the rest of the congregation. From the one candle thousands are lit.
This is the Holy Fire which manifests in Jerusalem every Easter by divine intervention. Which symbolises the Risen Christ, Light of the world. I remember since my earliest years that like all good Orthodox Christians me and my family felt duty bound to ensure that our Easter candles would arrive home from the church safely.
This proxy Holy Fire was intended to purify and bless the Christian home. So much so that the Holy Fire from Jerusalem is known to be so miraculous that it is flown by dedicated aircraft every year to Orthodox countries and communities across the world. Every Easter I was determined at all costs to protect the light of this candle from extinguishing in the wind. I would improvise. Covering it with my hand, cardboard anything to shield the flame. This flame reflects the inner flame within each of us, that spark of life which we awaken to through turning within away from the fixation with external affairs.
It is reputed that Buddha’s last plea, prior to his death, to his disciples was “Be a light unto yourself”. Buddha was filled with Christ Consciousness with the eternal spiritual flame. We are in the most fundamental sense according to quantum physics composed of light. The Guru and the spiritual master may ignite our inner candle but our duty Is to protect this flame from the raging wind of life’s circumstances. And the hardest challenge for each and every one of us during life’s journey is to prevent the roller coaster of life from extinguishing this light. The renowned Indian spiritual philosopher Osho exclaimed “Don’t live on borrowed light. Don’t live on borrowed eyes. Don’t live in borrowed concepts”. All in all let what you believe and who you are be a matter of your own experience. Grow within your own light.