Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby theanarchist » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:28 pm

If I remember Myriad Worlds by Jamgon Kongtrul right, in Buddhism has several different cosmological doctrins.
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:49 pm

theanarchist wrote:If I remember Myriad Worlds by Jamgon Kongtrul right, in Buddhism has several different cosmological doctrins.


Three in fact: the Kośa, the Avatamska and the Kalacakra cosmologies. The much vaunted Dzogchen cosmology is actually nothing of the sort, and is just a restated version of the Kośa cosmology complete with a world tree.

It also seems that the authors of the Kalacakra Tantra knew full well that the Meru cosmology was merely symbolic because their calculations for the movements of the sun, moon, stars and planets ignore it, even though it is used to set up a hierarchy of the three lokas.
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby haha » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:32 pm

In pre-buddhist literatures (some Brahmanas and Aranyakas), there are many different assumptions about realms. The conception of buddhist realms base on karma theory or meditative absorptions, in contrast, the vedic literature has different basis and sometimes more symbolic. One can compare the realm of 33 gods: it is symbolic in vedic literature, whereas abhidharma regards 33 as sentient beings.

I heard that in Puranic literature gods and demons (asura) had used Mt. Sumeru to churn the oceans. :stirthepot:

So one can put this mountain anywhere to churn out the butter – buddhist cosmology or puranic cosmology.
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mahāprāṇo hyanutpādo vāgadāhāravarjitaḥ|
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:28 pm

There is the interesting event of Buddha Shakyamuni's descent from Trayastrimsa heaven and from Mount Sumeru, after He had preached the Abhidharma Pitaka there to His former mother. In this story He comes on three staircases or ladders provided for Him by the gods. The three staircases were of gold, silver and jewels. In this story Mount Sumeru is definitely in another dimension, it is above the sky. In traditional paintings the three ladders seem to descend from the sky.

Sankassa is the name of the place in India where Buddha's descended from Mount Sumeru, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sankassa
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