I grew up with the aurora borealis in Northern Sweden. Binay and I named our business Northern Lights in honor of the beauty and vivid colors seen in this dramatic phenomenon of the winter sky.
In this poem, Paramhansa Yogananda relates his external experience of seeing the beauty of the Northern Lights with his inner vision and expansion into an internal state of cosmic awareness.
From the heart of the northern horizon
A dim, palpitating fountain of flame
Through the dark, stray clouds and the milky way,
And across the space overhead
Softly glowing liquid fleecy lights
Rose, quivered, and flooded the southern land.
Aurora lit the sky,
Played with shadows within the deeps of the limpid lake
Fluttered scintillating transparent lights o'er the stars
And the sky o'erhead, shone on the rippleless lake beneath
Then floated like dream waves of light
In my mental sea.
Still thoughts, like stars, would flutter
Through the dim mental clouds;
My wisdom's aurora light would rise from medulla's horizon
And spread, tremblingly, lighting
The dark vapors of mind.
Thou lone matchless imitator of all these
O Aurora! Spreader of light and joy
O'er cloudy hearts
Thou reminder of bursting, glowing light in my forehead!
Some invisible lamps on the left or extreme right
Would throw sudden iridescent red or blue sky kissing searchlights
Then the ends of those lights would send out ethereal mystic flames,
Which joyfully bounded and vanished in the eternal ray.
Ever-burning radium, thou Aurora
My fountain of strange colors
Flooded my mental sky,
Illumining the opaque darkness
Behind which the Light of all lights hides.
It was a vision of ever-changing, rolling, molten light
Trying to coax the stars, trees, water, earth, and all matter
To melt their grossness
And become the Cosmic Light.
Aurora, there is hope,
For I shall liquefy in my samadhi's fire
All grossness of my mortal being and all creations dust.
Matter shall change to light;
The darkness will burst into atoms of leaping fire;
The little soul will breathe with the eternal breath
And with each birth of my breath new solar systems will be born,
And with the escape of each eternity's breath of mine
Many a universe shall cease to breathe;
The feeling of the body will fly
To feel the universe.
No more shall I clasp but a little clod,
But in my bosom I shall bear the burden
Of the twinkling atomic vapors of nebulae,
All shining stars, planets, and manifold living things.
For I am the life
And my big body is the universe.
I am smaller than all little things made
I can hide behind a speck of electron;
And I am bigger than the biggest thing that breathes.
I am the life which shattered its littleness
Into the bigness of all big things.
I am most subtle, the subtlest of forces is thick enough to hide me
Yet everything speaks of me.
I wake with the dawn,
I exercise my vital muscular rays in the sun;
I sleep in the night
oft peeping through the twinkling lights.
I smile in the moon,
I heave in the ocean,
I paint, and wipe away the pictures on the canvas of the sky.
I make the dewdrop and conjure the flowers with my invisible wand;
I whistle in the canaries and sing in the nightingales;
I melt and sigh in human breasts;
I whisper through conscience and roar in the thunder;
I work in the noisy wheels of factories,
And I play hide and seek with the sky, stars, clouds and waters
As the mystic light of the aurora.