Question: Is there such a thing as false light?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there is false light. There are many destructive forces which attack light and use it to deceive seekers. We can tell whether it is true or false light by seeing if it is all purity. If it is false light, there will be a certain amount of impurity.

These false, destructive forces often take the form of the cosmic gods. Once a hostile force came to me in the form of Vishnu. I was meditating at about half-past two or three o’clock in the morning and this force came and stood in front of me. I was about fifteen or sixteen years of age and I had seen Vishnu three or four times before. He is a most beautiful god. When I concentrated on this being, I noticed impurity within him, so I did not bow down to him. Then a tremendous fight took place and after three or four minutes the figure of Vishnu exploded. There was a tremendous noise and my brother came running to my room. They even heard it in the house right down the street. They all wondered what had happened at that time of the morning. They thought the stove had exploded. But my brother was the only one I told. On another occasion I was attacked by a hostile force during my meditation; then, afterwards, I discovered that my mosquito net had been torn to shreds.

Very often a hostile force takes the form of a seeker’s own Guru. The seeker has to be absolutely certain it is his Guru. Otherwise, if he bows down to it, it can cause real harm on the physical plane. It can harm our limbs, even give us a heart attack or stroke. Once a hostile force appeared before the dearest disciple of a spiritual Master. When she saw her Master in front of her she was overjoyed, and she immediately bowed down. Then she was at the mercy of this hostile force and immediately suffered a heart attack. Afterwards, it went upstairs to see who else it could find. But it found only one of the ordinary disciples. When this disciple bowed down to it, the demon could not be bothered with him. It felt it was beneath its dignity in that particular case, and it went away.

So you have to be very careful that the light you see is real light. Never bow to any form which appears before you unless you feel peace and purity in it.