"Ananda, those beyond the Brahma Heavens govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfected. With their minds tranquil and unmoving, they emit light in profound stillness. Such beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Light.
Ananda, those beyond the Brahma Heavens govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfected. Those at the next level above the Heaven of the Multitudes of Brahma, the Heaven of the Ministers of Brahma, and the Great Brahma Heaven are capable of governing in the Brahma beings in these heavens. That's because they have perfected their cultivation of pure practices.
With their minds tranquil and unmoving, they emit light in profound stillness. When their minds are clear and calm, and they are profoundly tranquil for a long time, they produce a kind of light.
Such heavenly beings are in the Heaven of Lesser Light.
Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal. Such beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Light.
Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal. Their lights shine on one another. They illumine one another. Have you ever noticed how lights are compatible? There aren't any that won't unite. If you have light and someone else has light, the two lights will not contend. They will not fight with each other. Really! Lights don't fight. Their attitude is, "You have your light, and I have mine." Lights never say to one another, "Your light is bigger than mine, so you're bullying me." There's no fuss among lights, no matter how great or small they are. That's what's being described here by the phrase, the "lights illumine each other." The combined illumination of these lights is infinite. It reaches throughout the ten directions, and everything seems to turn into crystal.
Such heavenly beings are in the Heaven of Limitless Light.
"Those who sustain the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching, producing a purity of infinite functions. Such beings are in the Light-Sound Heaven.
Those who sustain the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching. They mutually absorb and maintain this perfect light and use it as the mode of teaching. In the Light-Sound Heaven, beings do not have to speak out loud to communicate with one another. They use light for voices. They communicate by means of light instead of spoken language. They use light to exchange opinions and understand one another's ideas. Thus, light is the substance of teaching in that heaven. They simply shine their lights, and everyone understands. There is a saying, "The mind understands without a word being said." When they shine on each other in that heaven, each knows what the other is communicating. Each knows what the other wants to say. These beings use light to transmit their ideas,
producing a purity of infinite functions. They generate a pristine radiance replete with inexhaustible uses.
Such beings are in the Light-Sound Heaven.
"Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels will not be oppressed by worries or vexations. Although they have not cultivated genuine Samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. This is called the Second Dhyana.
Ananda, those who flow to these three superior levels, the beings in these three heavens–the Heaven of Lesser Light, the Heaven of Limitless Light, and the Light-Sound Heaven–will not be oppressed by worries or vexations. In the heavens of the First Dhyana, they were not oppressed by suffering or affliction. However, they were still subject to worry. If something came up, they had somewhat of a hard time putting it all down. They tended to get hung up in things. Now, in the Second Dhyana heavens, there are no worries and no hang-ups. They do not become weighed down by anxiety inside. They are not like ordinary people, who get hung up on anything that comes along and spend all day from morning to night worrying about one thing or another.
Although they have not cultivated genuine Samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. These heavenly beings have not been intent on cultivating true Samadhi. However, their minds are pure to the point that their coarse outflows are under control. They have yet to deal with the subtler outflows. On the surface of things, then, the gods in the Second Dhyana heavens appear to be without any worry or hang-up.
This is called the Second Dhyana. When cultivators sit in meditation and enter the Second Dhyana, their breath will cease. In the First Dhyana, the pulse stops. Actually, it doesn't really stop. Do you remember what I told you earlier about the analogy of the young boy and girl in Taoism? There are certain basic similarities between Taoist practice and Buddhist practice. They are largely the same, with minor differences. When someone's pulse stops, doesn't that mean he or she is dead? No, not in this case, because, although the external evidence of a pulse is gone, the pulse of the inherent nature is active. The same applies to the breath. The true breath and pulse of the inherent nature awaken and take cover, so the coarse, physical pulse can stop.
When the external evidence of breath ceases in the Second Dhyana, so that no breath can be detected at the nostrils, it does not mean the cultivator has died. Rather, he has entered the samadhi of the Second Dhyana and has obtained a certain purity and bliss. Still, only his coarser outflows–the ones that are perceptible–have been subdued. He has yet to completely extinguish all outflows.
To be continued