there is a meditation technique that supposedly was given to v. moggalana by buddha wrote here like this:

“If you do not abandon your drowsiness by doing that, Moggallāna, then you should pay attention to the perception of light – the night as the day, the day as the night. In this way you should develop an open mind, a mind of unveiled radiance. By doing this it is possible that you will abandon your drowsiness.

but then another script is saying it's delusion:

“There are some contemplatives & brahmans, brahman, who have the perception of ‘day’ when it is night, and of ‘night’ when it is day. This, I tell you, is their being in a dwelling of delusion. As for me, I have the perception of ‘day’ when it is day, and of ‘night’ when it is night. If anyone, when speaking rightly, were to say, ‘A being not subject to delusion has appeared in the world for the benefit & happiness of many, out of sympathy for the world, for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of human & divine beings,’ he would rightly be speaking of me.

which one is correct? both? or perhaps it depends on context? what is the context?

a related post: How to "attend to the perception of light"?

  • it's just for sloth and torpor?
    – blue_ego
    Nov 21, 2022 at 16:49
  • i'm thinking the two verse have nothing to do with one another...
    – blue_ego
    Nov 29, 2022 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


I think that there are similarities between the two suttas that you quote: Both refer to "perceptions" (fabrications / saṅkhāra).

In the first sutta, the Buddha (Or is it just a daydream while nodding, a delusion?) urges Ven. Mahā Moggallāna to use perception skillfully to help keep himself awake (and also aware that perceptions are fabricated).

In the second sutta, the Buddha points out that sometimes we have mistaken perceptions (like those mentioned in the sutta that give rise to fear and terror), and use them unskillfully, and thereby delude ourselves.

Regarding a "line" between delusion and imagination: I think of them as different things. One is mistaking belief for truth, the other is a very conscious mental fabrication.

  • yes, the last statement is quite insightful, but do you consider that perception is fabrication?..perception is recognition. one recognizes imagination, and hopefully delusion. of course it is a fabrication day as nite, nite as day...perhaps the meaning is all fabrications are delusion? but if one recognizes the fabrication as fabrication is it still delusive?
    – blue_ego
    Nov 22, 2022 at 16:05
  • @blue_ego Perceptions may be accurate or not, delusions are by definition inaccurate. One dictionary definition for delusion: "holding (clinging) to a view despite superior evidence." dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_79.html: “And why do you call them ‘fabrications’? ‘They fabricate the fabricated,’ thus they are called ‘fabrications.’ And what is the fabricated that they fabricate? For the sake of form-ness, they fabricate fabricated form..." Nov 22, 2022 at 20:37
  • @blue_ego The heart of delusion is ignorance, wrong view, and clinging, thus the delusion is not recognized. If the person wakes up enough to see what's going on (see their wrong view), then the delusion / illusion is shattered, and the word is no longer appropriate. Hope this helps. Nov 22, 2022 at 20:39
  • @blue_ego You might try "The Varieties of Fabricated Experience" by Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu for a better explanation of perception and fabrication. dhammatalks.org/books/Mirror_ofInsight/Section0007.html Nov 22, 2022 at 21:15
  • thanks!...my comment was missing the point
    – blue_ego
    Nov 23, 2022 at 7:07

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