asato ma sad gamaya!
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya!
mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya!
Shantih! Shantih! Shantih!
Lead me from the unreal and the untrue to the Real and True!
Lead me from darkness (of ignorance) unto light (of consciousness)!
Lead me from mortality to immortality!
Peace! Peace! Peace!
Perhaps this ancient Vedic prayer, asking to be led from darkness to light, is especially relevant at this moment. Today, as these words are being written, it is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, when daylight is brief and darkness is most expansive. Tomorrow the light begins to increase.
Coincidentally, this is also the day—which has not happened for 800 years—when the great planets Jupiter and Saturn move so close to one another that to the eye they appear as a single dot of light in the heavens. Jupiter is mythologically associated with expansiveness and dharma (virtue, the good), and Saturn is associated with contraction. It has been said by a Vedic Astrologer that this conjunction of these two great planets signifies a dark period in the world, when dharma is at a low point. Tomorrow, like the hours of sunlight, dharma will again slowly (over years) begin to increase.
So, if it seems that the world is small and dark and filled with dangers and evils, take heart. The light is beginning to return.