A long time ago, there were two swamis who lived in two neighboring caves. They spent most of their time in deep meditation, except the time they ate or were visited by devotees. The people who came to visit them revered the two swamis, and enjoyed listening to them and being in their proximity. They sought their company, since they always felt more peaceful and happy when near them, and also for a long time after they went away.
One cave was dark, as caves usually are, but in the other one there was sometimes a peculiar golden light illuminating the cave. It was not strong, but enough to be noticed and to mildly illuminate the cave. The phenomenon of the light bewildered the visitors, but they could not come to an agreement about the causes of the light. Both swamis were rather silent most of the time, and did not want to discuss the phenomenon of the light.
The company of the swamis aroused calmness and peace in the visitors. Their minds slowed their incessant chatter, and they experienced a pleasant inner peace and inner happiness. The visitors admired both swamis, but believed that the one living in the illuminated cave possessed supernatural powers and was more advanced. He certainly appeared to them as a mysterious person.
One day a great sage was passing by a near village, and being recognized by the villagers, one of them approached him and said:
“Great master, we have a question to ask. There is a mystery which you might solve for us.”
“I will be glad to help you, if I can”, answered the sage.
“There are two swamis living here on the hill…”, the villager started to recount.
“Yes, I know”, answered the sage, “and you inquire about the light in the cave.”
“Yes, great master, that is true. It is something that has been a riddle for us. Can you please tell us also, if the swami in the lighted cave is more advanced, and if he really possess supernatural powers?”
“Pay attention to your inner self and not to outer phenomena. The outside world always changes, but inner self is constant. When in the presence of a teacher, listen to what he says and be aware of the influence of his words on you. Watch yourself, and see whether under his influence you become calmer and more peaceful, and your thoughts, at least for a while, slow down their mad race.”
“Yes most revered master”, said one of the devotees, “but please enlightens us on the mysterious light.”
The sage sat down, and started to explain: “Sometimes, when one works intensively on the spiritual path, and concentrates and meditates a lot, various phenomena may occur around him, such as lights, sounds or visions. This is not supernatural. The mind has a creative power, and when concentrated, can produce various phenomena even unintentionally.”
“It does not mean that one is more advanced than the other. Not all minds produce these things. Some do, and some don’t.”
“Some of the people who produce these lights may be aware of the light, and some may not. It depends on their psychic sensitivity. So it is also with the people who watch them. Not all see this light. In any case, it has nothing to do with whether one swami is more advanced or less advanced than the other one.”
“Thank you great master, you have solved for us this great mystery”, exclaimed the devotees of the swamis, who were standing by, deeply relieved and happy to understand the mystery that has been troubling them for a long time.