Entering the World of Light

“Wisdom is the source of light in the world;
Mindfulness, in the world, is the wakeful one;
Cattle are the colleagues of those living by work;
One’s course of movement is the furrow.” — Pajjota Sutta (SN 1.80)

Ordinarily people think that the sun and moon are the sources of light in the world, but here the Buddha affirms that actually it is wisdom. Why? The moon and sun are unreliable; sometimes they are visible, and at other times they disappear below the horizon. Sometimes the sun and moon are hidden by clouds; the moon also waxes and wanes.

But the light of wisdom is always accessible, always brilliant, never fading. One kind of wisdom-light is the Suttas, the Buddha’s teaching illuminated by intelligence. Another kind of light is seen in meditation: the light of Nibbāna. This light can be sun-like or moon-like; in the third jhāna it is fiery, blazing like the sun, and in the fourth jhāna it is cool and moon-like. In both cases it is very beautiful.

In any case, the world of light experienced in jhāna (deep concentration) is extremely pleasurable. People think of meditation as dry, difficult, something to be endured. There may be various reasons for this, but usually it boils down to clinging. The heavy solid mental energy of clinging to ‘I’ and ‘mine’ obscures the light of Nibbāna like clouds covering the sun and moon, blocking the way to authentic realization.

Real meditation begins when we are ready to die to ‘I’ and ‘mine’, to let go of all that we cling to and enter into the world of light. In the world of Nibbāna there is no suffering, no cognition, no sense-consciousness, no space or time. No one can describe or measure it, yet all who have tasted it agree that it is wonderful. Once entering the world of light, one loses taste for everything in the ordinary world of duality.


Published by

Dev Jacobsen

Musician, author and yogi, developer of Palingenics.

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