Subtle Light and the Third Eye
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On this page you find select quotations from several sources on the third eye, and a few comments.
The face of the True (Brahman) is covered with a golden disk. Open that, Pushan, that we may see the nature of the True." [Brihadaranayaka Upanishad 5.15.1]
Paramahansa Yogananda writes, "During deep meditation, the single or spiritual eye becomes visible within the central part of the forehead. This omniscient eye is variously referred to in scriptures as the third eye, ... eye of Shiva, eye of intuition, and so on," writes Yogananda (note 5)"
COMMENT. "Don't trust a Hungarian unless he has a third eye on his forehead. (British)" - Strictly speaking, the light appears in your central field of vision, and keeping an upturned gaze helps to evoke these prana currents. The subtle light forms a yawning tunnel. The "surface" (rim) of it is referred to as the third eye. Allowing for variations, its rim is seen as a revolving golden light (Aum), the tract is blue, and deep inside it is a tiny star you should penetrate if you are genuine and up to it.
These verses are from The Cloud of Unknowing [Clu], a medieval text:
A [certain] good will is the substance of all perfection. [From Ch. 49]
You may . . . come to heaven . . . spiritually . . . so spiritual . . . neither upwards nor downwards, nor on one side nor on other, behind nor before. [From Ch. 59]
According to the Gospel of Thomas
Below are quotations from that gospel. The numbers that are not in brackets, refer to logions (sections) in it, where Jesus speaks.
All came forth from the light of the whole world
THERE is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark. 24
Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there." 77 ◊
Darkness is from the divided, not of a unified mind
JESUS said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light." 83
If one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness. 61When you are in the light, what will you do? 11
(A) slave returned and said to his master,
"Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused."
The master said to his slave,
"Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner."
Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father. 64 ◊
The childen of the living Father have come from the light too
'WE HAVE come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'
If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'
If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.' 50 [Gots]
Kriya practice opens the eye of wisdom. [Lahiri Mahasaya's 5th saying
In the earliest Buddhist tradition too, there is referral to the Divine Eye, and also the Insight Eye. Buddha told his monks that the monk Anuruddha and the nun Sakula, possessed the supernormal vision of the Divine Eye. [Maha-Moggallana, ch 7]
And in the Maha-sihanada Sutta's "Ten Powers of a Tathagatha" [MN 12], Buddha says, "With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Tathagata sees beings passing away and reappearing . . . and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions . . . with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing . . . and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions. That too is a Tathagata's power." [Cf. Sekha-patipada Sutta (MN 53); "The Three Knowledges" in Maha-Assapura Sutta (MN 39; "The Passing Away & Re-appearance of Beings" in Lohicca Sutta (Dl 12); "He penetrates the Three Knowledges" in The Awakening [MN 36, etc.]
In The Group of Threes, § 61, Buddha says: "There are these three eyes. Which three? The eye of flesh, the divine eye [clairvoyance], and the eye of discernment. These are the three eyes."
The teachings of Prem Rawat also include a method for seeing the Eye. So have the kriya yoga tradition after Lahiri Mahasaya (Shyama Charan Lahiri, also called Lahiri Baba). Self-Realization Fellowship is one of these. It, too, has canonical literature on the third eye.
If taught a fit method to see the light and condense it - at first in the forehead area - you may not see the eye full well at first. It could take years of training to some to become aware that diffused light whirls and condenses into shapes that come closer and closer in shape to the gold ring and blue tunnel etc.
I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. [Psalm 123, v 1]
Some take the third eye seriously. The following quotations are from the Bible and Yogananda's autobiography. Its index refers to many additional passages and sections on the Eye.
Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" [or confusion] [Matthew 6;22-3; cf. Luke 11;34-6]. You may look up in the bible for more gospel teachings of the single eye and special light.
"At death the consciousness of man is usually drawn to (the point between the eyebrows), accounting for the upraised eyes found in the dead." [Pa 41n]
"The divine man first made by God had his consciousness centred in the omnipotent single eye in the forehead ... The all-creative powers of his will, focused at that spot, were lost to man when he began to "till the ground"". - Yogananda [Pa 177]
Lahiri Mahasaya's wife said, "He touched my forehead. Masses of whirling light appeared; the radiance gradually formed itself into an opal-blue spiritual eye ringed in gold and centred with a white pentagonal star." - [In Pa 286]
After quoting Matthew 6;22 Yogananda adds: "During deep meditation, the single or spiritual eye becomes visible within the central part of the forehead. This omniscient eye is variously referred to ... as the third eye ... eye of intuition, and so on." [Pa 160]
Clu: Johnston, William, ed. The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Councelling. New ed. New York: Doubleday, 1973.
Gots: Meyer, Marvin, tr., and Harold Bloom, interpr. The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus. San Francisco: Harper, 1992.
Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971. Compare the 1st ed.
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