World of Light

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In Mandaeism, the World of Light or Lightworld[1] (Classical Mandaic: ࡀࡋࡌࡀ ࡖࡍࡄࡅࡓࡀ, romanized: alma ḏ-nhūra) is the primeval, transcendental world from which Tibil and the World of Darkness emerged.


  • The Great Life (Hayyi Rabbi or Supreme God/Monad) is the ruler of the World of Light.
  • Countless uthras dwell in škinas in the World of Light. (A škina is a celestial dwelling where uthras, or benevolent celestial beings, live in the World of Light.[2])
  • The World of Light is the source of the Great Yardena (or Jordan River) of Life, also known as Piriawis.
  • Ether (Classical Mandaic: ࡀࡉࡀࡓ, ayar), which can be thought of as heavenly breath or energy, permeates the World of Light.[2]
  • The Mshunia Kushta (Mšunia Kušṭa) is a part of the World of Light considered to be the dwelling place of heavenly or ideal counterparts (dmuta).[1]
  • In some Mandaean texts, Tarwan is a part of the World of Light that is described as a "pure land."[3]


When a Mandaean person dies, priests perform elaborate death rituals or death masses called masiqta in order to help guide the soul (nišimta) towards the World of Light. In order to pass from Tibil (Earth) to the World of Light, the soul must go through multiple maṭarta (watch-stations, toll-stations or purgatories; see also Arcs of Descent and Ascent and Araf) before finally being reunited with the dmuta, the soul's heavenly counterpart.[2]


The idea has some parallels with the Gnostic concept of pleroma.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Buckley, Jorunn Jacobsen (2002). The Mandaeans: ancient texts and modern people. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515385-5. OCLC 65198443.
  2. ^ a b c Aldihisi, Sabah (2008). The story of creation in the Mandaean holy book in the Ginza Rba (PhD). University College London.
  3. ^ Gelbert, Carlos (2011). Ginza Rba. Sydney: Living Water Books. ISBN 9780958034630.