How do buddhists regard light? In their statues the eyes of Buddha are most times closed. Do they consider light a low worthy thing or something else. Newton showed gravity to be a powerful competitor of light. Hindi poetry considers the sun a selfish object despite the sun is supporting life. From this a doubt came to my mind that maybe buddhist regard light as a lowly?
Light has cleansing and illumination quality, Islam stress upon physical cleaning before praying. Does buddhism consider bodily cleansing a high virtue?

2 Answers 2


The Buddha was a psychologist rather than a physicist or house cleaner. The Buddha is called the 'Spiritual Doctor'. For the Buddha, the most important light was the 'light' of wisdom.

Also, the Buddha mostly enjoyed living in the forest or jungle therefore was not overly concerned with keeping marble temples clean; similar to how Muḥammad (PBUH) formerly enjoyed meditating in a cave & would wrap himself in blankets when giving a revelation.

Therefore, the Buddha's eyes are closed so the mind can be understood internally, in particular, how the mind generates sufferings & how the mind frees itself from suffering.

That said, the Buddha was also a mystic and taught one meditation called the 'perception of light', which can be used to develop psychic powers. The Buddha had the 'Eye of God' (dibba-cakkhu) therefore could see, hear & know what people were doing from within his mind. That is why his eyes are closed. The Buddha did not have to open his eyes to know what was going on the world.

And what is the development of mind using concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowing & seeing? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of mind using concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowing & seeing.

Samadhi Sutta


According to the suttas, contemplation of light is said to and does lead to wakefulness. This contemplation can be done in the dark or with eyes closed by recollecting a bright light. There is also a key Buddhist meditation upon light "aloha kasina", this requires the eyes to be open, even partially, until the counter part sign is established. (This is a very elementary description, so please Google the term for more details)

Physical cleanliness and hygiene are highly regarded in Buddhism. However morality, generosity, compassion and wisdom are even more highly regarded.

In Buddhsim, material objects or phenomenon, like light, are not considered lowly or holy per se. Instead it the actions of beings that are classified as lowly or holy.

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