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Thread: Radiance

  1. #1


    Dear friends,

    This is a sutta quote from Chapter 12 of the book "The Island" by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro.

    “Bhikkhus, this mind is radiant, but it doesn’t show its radiance because passing defilements come and obscure it.

    (Pabhassaramidam bhikkhave cittam, tañca kho agantukehi upakkilesehi upakkilittham).

    The unwise, ordinary person does not understand this as it is, therefore there is no mind development
    in the unwise, ordinary person.

    “Bhikkhus, this mind is radiant, it shows its radiance when it is unobscured by passing defilements. The wise, noble disciple understands this as it is, therefore there is mind development in the wise, noble disciple.”

    ~ A 1.61 & .62

    Here's another version from an Anguttara Nikaya Anthology Part 1 :

    This mind, O monks, is luminous, but it is defiled by adventitious defilements.
    The uninstructed worldling does not understand this as it really is; therefore for him there is no mental development.

    This mind, O monks, is luminous, and it is freed from adventitious defilements. The instructed noble disciple understands this as it really is; therefore for him there is mental development.


    Any comments ?

  2. #2
    As it seems as though it might be relevant, i thought I'd add this quote from page 120 of Ajahn Sumedho's book "The Sound of Silence"

    We don’t always have to look at something from our acquired conditioning. So when the Buddha talks about the ‘Buddha-mind,’ it’s very flexible and malleable; it’s universal. We can see things in so many different ways. The mind has a radiant quality to it. Consciousness has a radiance; it has a light itself. So when we begin to let go of always limiting ourselves through the distortions of our conditioned mental states, then we begin to understand things as they really are, to know the Dhamma – enlightenment.

    This is not something remote and impossible, unless you want to hold to those views from a personal attitude about them. You can be holding your perceptions so high that they’re way beyond your ability to achieve them. This is because you haven’t awakened to what you’re doing. You’re merely operating from a conditioned view of everything.

  3. #3
    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Obvious is the example of filtering; blind acceptance of our given mental proclivities vs. direct experience and application to the real.

    What I find especially helpful is the contextual meaning this sutta gives to a common stock-phrase for what Sumedho summed-up as ‘enlightenment’: yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti “knowing what is actually present”.

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