After reading a lot of articles on different websites and watching videos concerning different philosophies and views, I seek to ask a question here to get an emphatic and most importantly, a true answer.

In the modern world, light is portrayed as the elimination of depression and sadness, and the source of happiness and joy. Many say that God is the most pure, divine and brightest shining light ever while others say that God is complete darkness. And by this they do not mean that God is evil or unholy, they just say that God is darkness because God created light and before light, there was nothing but darkness. And this kind of makes sense.

So, the exact questions that I need answers to are stated below.

  1. Is God light or did God create light? And if He created light, then what is God? Darkness?
  2. Scientifically, light is a thing and the absence of light is known as darkness. Darkness is not a thing. Hence, by this explanation, I would assume that there was darkness before light and that God is darkness. Or maybe my assumption is wrong. But regardless of that, if the answer to the first question is "light", then what is your explanation for this scientific fact?

And please present any scriptural verses regarding your explanation. That will be very helpful!

  • 2
    Gita 11.12 - "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One." Apr 3, 2017 at 4:55
  • 2
    God is not light, nor darkness. But the cause of both.He is self luminated. Krishna says in Gita that there is no need of Sun,moon or fire in his abode because everything there including God is self luminous. Apr 3, 2017 at 7:59

5 Answers 5


Brahman is the one constant, shining light that is beyond even the darkness that engulfs the universe at pralaya.

Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita said -:

ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम्।। BG 13.18।।

jyOtiSAmapi tat jyOtiH tamasah param ucyatE|
jnyAnam jnyEyam jnyAna gamyam hRdi sarvasyadhiSThitam ||

Translation: It is said to be the light of lights; that which is beyond darkness. It is the knowledge itself, the knowable (i.e. the destination of knowledge) and is reachable through knowledge. It resides in the hearts of all.

There are several upanishad vAkyAs also that mean the same.

  • 1
    I understand a lot better now sir! Please forgive me for replying so late as I had posted this question at an unwise time when I had to prepare for my examinations so I couldn't answer. Thank you very much for your help sir! I understand this concept a lot better now and have learnt something new. The problem was that I was looking at this question from a scientific and materialistic perspective. I didn't know the true meanings of the words "light" and "darkness" themselves. But no I understand better than before. Thank you very much again for your help sir! God bless you! :) May 4, 2017 at 20:04
  • @PardeepKumar You are very welcome. I hope you did well in your exams. sukheebhava!
    – user1195
    May 5, 2017 at 13:18
  • I hope so too! Thank you very much for the good wishes! Please pray that I may pass with good grades. :) May 7, 2017 at 16:25

God dispels the darkness of ignorance and hence we are sure that at least he is not darkness.

But then is God light?

Now when we think of light, we think of light that is visible to our eyes. And something that is visible to material eyes is also material. But God is Sat-Chit-Anand i.e full of bliss, knowledge and eternal.

hence the answer here would depend on what you call as light .

  1. If we are referring to light as perceived by our eyes then No. God is not light.
  2. But if I say here light as knowledge then yes God is Knowledge,God is light.

BG 4.37

As a blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities.

We cannot apply the idea of our limited mind to God. God is beyond the imagination of our mind. Nor we can think of him as something black or white as in we cannot say that if He is not Darkness then He must be light.

So who is God?

vedanta Sutra says

JanmaDyasya yatah (1.1.2)

Meaning:From whom birth etc.

God is He from whom everything emanates i.e. from whom light, darkness etc everything has come.Everything that our mind can possibly think of and not think of emanates from Him only.

What is light?

In very simple terms light is energy of God; Material energy to be specific. And God is energetic. Just like Sun is the Source of Sunshine and Sun Shine is his energy.

But if you call Knowledge of self, Knowledge of God as light then that is God. Knowledge of God and God are non-different.

In Gita Krishna Says

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.

So Krishna says that by His energy he pervades the entire universe and yet He is not the part of this material cosmic creation. he is beyond it. He is fully spiritual.

later in Gita Krishna says

That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.

So to answer your query in Nutshell.

God is neither light nor darkness but the very Source of both. Light or Darkness are just expansion of His energy or one of His unlimited energies.

But Light of Knowledge(Knowledge of self) is God.

  • Light is sattva, darkness is tamas. That which leads us to God is sattva. Saguna Brahman is pure light. But Nirguna Brahman is beyond both, beyond the sensual universe. See Brhadaranyaka U. II.iv.14, Katha U. II.i.10, and Chandogya U. VII. xxiv.1 Apr 3, 2017 at 9:26
  • Very interesting! I still need to understand this concept more. Though what I know now is that I've recognised what I don't understand. I stated above that I was looking at this problem from a materialistic perspective which is why I had trouble understanding it. It is definitely true that God can not be physical light or darkness that we see through our eyes. But what can be true is that light may very well be Sattva and darkness may be Tamas as Swami Vishwananda said above. May 4, 2017 at 20:59
  • Or by rephrasing it, we can say that light represents Sattva and darkness represents Tamas. Just like there are Sattvic foods and Tamasic foods and clean things and dirty things. So in that sense, God is neither light nor darkness. But living the Sattvic way of life or doing Sattvic acts leads one to the path of self-realization and moksha, right? So maybe that's why it's said that God is light because light represents Sattva and Sattva guna is the quality of truth. And as many great saints and sages have said "God is true." But that's just me thinking. Please correct me if I'm wrong. May 4, 2017 at 20:59
  • @PardeepKumar yes I think you are right. Light is goodness(satva) and darkness is ignorance. Thats because Light gives knowledge and darkness brings illusion. May 5, 2017 at 4:32

This question is one among many which leads to a much deeper discussion about time and eternality. The way I have come to understand this is that both God/Krishna and light exist without beginning. There are several references where it is stated that Krishna is the origin of everything as well as the resting place, including Brahma-samhita (specifically, first verse) and Bhagavad Gita (Ch.10, verse 3 and Ch. 10, verse 8).

It is important to note that Krishna describes Himself as "beginningless", and the same can be said of most things in creation, such as the individual jiva souls (all of us, Gita Ch.2, verse 12), or the spiritual world. So, while light originates in Krishna, this cannot be traced back in time, and therefore the discussion about what existed before light came into being does not fit in with the paradigm of eternality.

Explaining this in another way,

when we say that Krishna or God is the source of light, that's an expression to explain the hierarchical relationship between the two, and does not refer to a specific act of Krishna creating light (which could have a 'timestamp' associated with it.)

  • Now that I think about it. All of this makes sense and is supporting what has been stated by other users on this post. But I still need to learn more on this to fully understand. Thank you very much for your help sir! It has really helped me in understanding this question better. God bless you! :) May 4, 2017 at 21:06

The supreme one is comparable to light.

BG 5.16 - But whose ignorance is destroyed by Knowledge of Self (Atma), their Knowledge, like the sun, reveals that supreme Reality. Like Sun, their Knowledge lightens up the Beyond (param)

In fact, the Sun has so much importance that, during the death of a person depending on Sun's position, it's determined if the person may attain Moksha or not.
How can we know that an Aatma got Moksha?

If we consider one Sun to be with stupendous light then, the true self of Brahman is equivalent to several such Suns.

BG 11.12 - Should the effulgence of a thousand suns blaze forth simultaneously in the sky, that might be similar to the radiance of that exalted One.

The light is something "existent". But the supreme one is beyond "existent" and "non existent"; incomprehensible due to non-dual. Hence it can be said as "light beyond light" as well.

BG 13.18 - That is the Light even of the lights; It is spoken of as beyond darkness. It is Knowledge, the Knowable, and the Known. It exists [specifically] in the hearts of all.

"Scientifically, light is a thing and the absence of light is known as darkness. Darkness is not a thing. Hence, by this explanation, I would assume that there was darkness before light and that God is darkness."

Here is another POV of science:

  • The light is said to be made up of photons. But they are weightless & sizeless. They are just name given to a concept. They can't be stopped and since they travel at speed of light, for them the time is permanently stopped. Isn't it more looking like timelessness of Brahman? :-)
  • Darkness is believed to be made up of "dark matter" by many scientists; Keeping that in mind, we can also say that in reality everywhere it's light and it was light. Just that dark matter took some place to cover it!

Again both of above points are mere speculations. But from the scriptures it seems that God is equivalent to light. We naturally get cheerful upon seeing light and sometimes depressed when we don't see sun for a long.


God is neither light nor darkness. God can not be compared with any human experience.

" Brahman is without comparison. It is impossible to explain Brahman by analogy. It is between light and darkness. It is light, but not the light we perceive, not material light."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

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