My Teacher said the man who discovered fire was named Noor, and thus the light of fire came to be named after him. He was God’s own person, and traveled from place to place to share his discovery with many tribes.
In one tribe, those who he taught decided to keep it as a secret to themselves. They ordained themselves as priests, and gained power and affluence, even as the common man trembled in the cold. Once a year, people would see the fire from a long distance, and marvel at the miracle.
The second tribe soon forgot the way to make fire, but started to worship the instruments that Noor left with them. A temple was made, and the instruments kept in a secure iron cage, and people bowed and prayed without much understanding. They knew the instruments could give birth to something remarkable, but had no knowledge of what that might be.
The third tribe forgot the art of making fire, and even lost the instruments. They then fashioned a huge statue in the presumed likeness of Noor, and installed it in a temple, where they commenced elaborate rituals of prayer, music, and dance. But the tribe did not know about fire.
And yet the fourth tribe only wrote the legend of Noor and fire into their books, but did not learn the art. Sometimes they would read the book, but most of the time it was wrapped in finery, and worshipped without being opened. The fifth tribe learnt from Noor, and the art was widely taught to all its citizens. They sang praises of Noor, and used fire every day, bringing much comfort to daily life.
The allegory is true for the spiritual path. Only he is adept and wise, who practices the teaching in his daily life. The Guru Granth Sahib tells us:
By mere words, Yoga is not attained:
One who (practices) seeing Him in all, only he is a Yogi.