Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Pradīpe pradīpaṁ prajvālya tamonāśāya yatamānaḥ (endeavor to dissipate the darkness with a lamp under a lamp)
A big lamp produces a greater amount of light than a tiny candle. Therefore to try to compete with the light of a lamp with that of a candle is futile.
Dīpaḥ means light, but also knowledge, and for better, transcendental knowledge (jïāna-dīpaḥ). Now, the material world means darkness in knowledge, because of not knowing who we are and what is our purpose. This darkness is a side product of transcendental light. As in the example, if there is a shadow, we can understand that there is a light that produces that shadow. If our consciousness is enveloped in darkness we can infer that there is a consciousness that is shining with full awareness. Every light produces a shadow. Shadow is not producing light. Without light, there would not be any shadow. The darkness of shadow is just a side product of the light; light being absent.
If the light is lit, it reveals surrounding objects and produces their shadows. The most powerful light manufacturer in this world is sūrya or the Sun planet, but still, being material, it lights only the upper portion of the universe. The bottom is set in deep darkness. Though, being very powerful, when the Sun is in the sky, there is no place for darkness. The same applies to jïāna-dīpaḥ, the light of transcendence. When Kṛṣṇa shines in our consciousness like the sun, there is no place for the darkness of illusion and false lies presented as knowledge. Only those under the strong sway of envy, not able to appreciate the beauty of Kṛṣṇa's, has a shadow of ignorance cast in their hearts. They carry their insignificant torch and candle lights of community, nation, race, state, humanity, and so on proclaiming it as universally important, which causes gruesome shadow-dark fears and uncertainties in the consciousness of otherwise bright-lit souls.
kṛṣṇa—sūrya-sama; māyā haya andhakāra
yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa, tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra
(Cc. Madhya 22.31)
I other words, so-called truths, which differ from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are all too many candles or maybe spectacular powerful lamps, endeavoring to dissipate the darkness of their own shadows, yet creating many more shadows and ghost lights on their own. This hardly benefits anyone. It creates great confusion about which light is the right one. With all sincerity, one has to look for to face the ultimate light of Kṛṣṇa’s grace and benefit himself and others.