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Heavenly Light and the Third Eye
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Heavenly Light and the Third Eye

Heavenly Light, Buddha's Eye On this page you find select quotations from several sources on the third eye, and a few comments.

The spiritual eye 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]

Strictly speaking, the light appears in the central field of vision. The subtle light forms a yawning funnel. The "surface" (rim) of it is referred to as the third eye. Allowing for variations, its rim is seen as a revolving golden light, the tract is blue, and deep inside it is a tiny star -

"That which man does not see with the eye, that by which man sees the activities of the eye, know That alone to be Brahman (Divinity)." [from the Kena Upanishad] Sage Bhrigu saw that Brahman is joy: for from joy all beings have come, by joy they all live (etc)." [From the Taittiriya Upanishad.] 'Saw' . . . The word "realise" is not far from it also.

Goadings to see subtle light and further as a "ring of gold" at the rim and as a funnel from there could be a diversion as compared to great meditation, such as Bhrigu was instructed to do before he realised the value of joy.

Here is something Swami Sivananda writes:

Various kinds of lights manifest during meditation . . . In the beginning . . . in the forehead at the space between the two eyebrows . . . Yellow and white lights are very commonly seen [if or when] you are progressing . . . The vision of lights is a great encouragement. . . . The experiences vary in different individuals. The experience of one man may not be the same as that of another . . . Many erroneously believe that they have realised the Self when they get these experiences. [Sivananda. Kundalini Yoga, Chap 4, "Mystic Experience – Visions of Lights"]

The main thing is appropriate Self-focus. Sivananda describes a menu of yogi ways to choose among, but he does not rank them or adapt them to individuals. In consequence all the guidelines offered may not give the form of help that could be needed. And that is a "thing" with general guidelines in general . . . How to choose among them and adapt the problaby fit ones to yourself may not be fully covered there.

It is not an either-or - not heavenly lights or joy of Self. It can be both, as long as we focus well on the Self. Lights may appear, lights may disappear; Self remains, old teachers of yoga-meditation say.

Bottom Lines So Far

  1. No specific calling is needed to benefit from deep and well done meditation.
  2. Let those who notice things from the spirit-side, tell from it.
  3. Counteract evil at work. This constant strife depends on grace. It often takes rest.

Words on Light in the Gospel of Thomas

Numbers in brackets refer to logions (sections) in it.

  1. Big and small, all came forth from the light of the whole world. [24, 77]
  2. Darkness is from the divided, not of a unified mind. [83, 11, 64]
  3. From the subtle light. [50 (Gotz)]


The Divine Eye

Kriya practice opens the eye of wisdom. [From a garland of 108 Lahiri Mahasaya sayings]

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, chap. 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."

Swami Sivananda explains how more advanced yogis train themselves to see the pranic Eye. The kriya yoga traditions after Lahiri Mahasaya (Shyama Charan Lahiri, also called Lahiri Baba) - including Self-Realization Fellowship do it too. Besides there is ancient Hindu literature that tells of 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.

Select Quotations on the Third Eye

The following quotations are from Yogananda's autobiography. He draws on Bible snippets too [Matthew 6;22-3; cf. Luke 11;34-6]. The autobiography index refers to many additional passages and sections on the Eye.

The spiritual eye section

"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]

Parallels. Near-death experiences and more

Heavenly light, non-blinding light, spiritual eye, giant's eye, third eye, divine eye, Literature  

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

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.

Kay: Sivananda, Swami. Kundalini Yoga.. 10th ed. Shivanandanagar: The Divine Life Society, 1994.

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971. – Compare the 1st ed.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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