Degenerate age

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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tomschwarz
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Degenerate age

Postby tomschwarz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:57 am

Hello brothers and sisters,

This idea that we were born in a degenerate age has always intrigued me. Of course any verbal theory has limitations and becomes meaningless as the ever expanding context dwarfs the context in which the theory was devined.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Ages_of_Buddhism

In that spirit, my questions are:
1) if this is the degenerate age, what was the age of the dinosaurs?
2) can't there be really different things going on in one age?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

muni
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby muni » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:35 pm

'Commit not a single unwholesome action,
Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
To tame this mind of ours,
This is the teaching of the Buddha.'

I cannot answer the questions, maybe others can it better.

But in order to stop suffering and awaken for the sake of all in degenerating time, is conduct crucial.

Guru Rinpoche:
“Though the view should be as vast as the sky, keep your conduct as fine as barley flour.

‘View like the sky’ means that nothing is held onto in any way whatsoever. You are not stuck anywhere at all. In other words, there is no discrimination as to what to accept and what to reject; no line is drawn separating one thing from another. ‘Conduct as fine as barley flour’ means that there is good and evil, and one needs to differentiate between the two. Give up negative deeds; practice the Dharma. In your behaviour, in your conduct, it is necessary to accept and reject.”
Spending your time with true spiritual friends will fill you with love for all beings.

Sentient beings, self and others, enemies and dear ones-all are made by thoughts. It is like seeing a rope and mistaking it for a snake. We have been deluded by our thoughts. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby Lucas Oliveira » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:34 pm

Cakkavatti Sutta: The Wheel-turning Emperor

Translator's Introduction

The body of this sutta consists of a narrative illustrating the power of skillful action.

In the past, unskillful behavior was unknown among the human race. As a result, people lived for an immensely long time — 80,000 years — endowed with great beauty, wealth, pleasure, and strength. Over the course of time, though, they began behaving in various unskillful ways. This caused the human life span gradually to shorten, to the point where it now stands at 100 years, with human beauty, wealth, pleasure, and strength decreasing proportionately. In the future, as morality continues to degenerate, human life will continue to shorten to the point were the normal life span is 10 years, with people reaching sexual maturity at five. "Among those human beings, the ten courses of action (see AN 10.176) will have entirely disappeared... The word 'skillful' will not exist, so from where will there be anyone who does what is skillful? Those who lack the honorable qualities of motherhood, fatherhood, contemplative-hood, & brahman-hood will be the ones who receive homage... Fierce hatred will arise, fierce malevolence, fierce rage, & murderous thoughts: mother for child, child for mother, father for child, child for father, brother for sister, sister for brother." Ultimately, conditions will deteriorate to the point of a "sword-interval," in which swords appear in the hands of all human beings, and they hunt one another like game. A few people, however, will take shelter in the wilderness to escape the carnage, and when the slaughter is over, they will come out of hiding and resolve to take up a life of skillful and virtuous action again. With the recovery of virtue, the human life span will gradually increase again until it reaches 80,000 years, with people attaining sexual maturity at 500. Only three diseases will be known at that time: desire, lack of food, and old age. Another Buddha — Metteyya (Maitreya) — will gain Awakening, his monastic Sangha numbering in the thousands. The greatest king of the time, Sankha, will go forth into homelessness and attain arahantship under Metteyya's guidance.

The story, after chronicling the ups and downs of human wealth, life span, etc., concludes with the following lesson on kamma and skillful action.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.26.0.than.html


:anjali:


Yuga

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuga

:namaste:
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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby javier.espinoza.t » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:14 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:[b]Cakkavatti Sutta: The Wheel-turning Emperor

... In the future, as morality continues to degenerate, human life will continue to shorten to the point were the normal life span is 10 years, with people reaching sexual maturity at five. "Among those human beings, the ten courses of action (see AN 10.176) will have entirely disappeared... The word 'skillful' will not exist, so from where will there be anyone who does what is skillful? Those who lack the honorable qualities of motherhood, fatherhood, contemplative-hood, & brahman-hood will be the ones who receive homage... Fierce hatred will arise, fierce malevolence, fierce rage, & murderous thoughts: mother for child, child for mother, father for child, child for father, brother for sister, sister for brother." Ultimately, conditions will deteriorate to the point of a "sword-interval," in which swords appear in the hands of all human beings, and they hunt one another like game...


Sounds just like the entire middle-age and early renaisance in europe -in the western history time-period terms-, where people lived very short lives and killed each other for power, wealth, confusion, plots and so -even between relatives-.

am i too optimistic? i really hope not.

tomschwarz wrote:
In that spirit, my questions are:
1) if this is the degenerate age, what was the age of the dinosaurs?
2) can't there be really different things going on in one age?


in the rumination of the idea, i think that dinosaurs were something like animals, and that time was an empty human realm in this world -just like there are pure realms where are no hells, animals, hungry ghosts nor asuras-
so, i feel that the Blessed-One only concerns about the Dharma time periods where humans exists.

in afterthought, in the Lotus Sutra the Blessed-One was visited by another Blessed-One's student from another world, so there are other worlds -planets- whith life -which seems to be obvious but not prooven by sciences-. Curious, ETs existence came to human buddhist knowledge since the mahaparinirvana of the Buddha but not the dinosaurs, and the ETs does not came to human scientific knowledge and the dinosaurs did came.

this also makes me think that the Blessed-One only concerns about the Dharma in time periods where humans exists.

Also makes me think that there are other worlds -infinite planets, since universe size is still a deduction or induction- where we can reborn.

in the surangama sutra the Blessed-One explains the great fire and the deva plains that are not destroyed. So there is an end of the world -planet-. And explains about the fall of a confused deva who rebirths memoryless in the inmediate lower plane in total lonelyness, and due to the karma of other beings that appears in the diferent planes of that world that naturally developed -just like the confused deva plane- making him believe that he created them in his desire -like objects-.

This makes me think that this that we call "the world" develops through our desire, just like the devas create objects. Maybe that's why the desire realms are all destroyed during the great fire, and why we see the world as an object perceibed by a subject -our duality vision-.

wow this made me turn in a wheel. i feel that your question is valid due to the confidence -in the perfect knowledge sense- to keep in the buddhadharma, and might try to elucidate it one day when i'm capable.

and so, what do you mean by "different things going on in one age"? if it's a question related to dinosaurs, appears that we can go from a world to another -between planets- while transmigrating, where our karma fits the conditions to manifest, so kaliyuga is happening in many worlds.

or maybe the little cosmology explained by the Blessed-One is only an expedient, an skillfull mean.
or maybe i'm wrong haha.
Proof of anything will come in time.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:09 pm

27. A Book of Genesis

There comes a time, Vāseṭṭha, when, sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period, this world passes away. And when this happens, beings have mostly been reborn in the World of Radiance; and there they dwell, made of mind, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, traversing the air, continuing in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. There comes also a time, Vāseṭṭha, when sooner or later this world begins to re-evolve. When this happens, beings who had deceased from the World of Radiance, usually come to life as humans. And they become made of mind, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, traversing the air, continuing in glory, and remain thus for a long, long period of time.

Now at that time, all had become one world of water, dark, and of darkness that maketh blind. No moon nor sun appeared, no stars were seen, nor constellations, neither was night manifest nor day, neither months nor half-months, neither years nor seasons, neither female nor male. Beings were reckoned just as beings only. And to those beings, Vāseṭṭha, sooner or later after a long time, earth with its savour was spread out in the waters. Even as a scum forms on the surface of boiled milky rice that is cooling, so did the earth appear. It became endowed with colour, with odour, and with taste. Even as well-made ghee or pure butter, so was its colour; even as the flawless honey of the bee, so sweet was it.

Then, Vāseṭṭha, some being of greedy disposition, said: Lo now! what will this be? and tasted the savoury earth with his finger. He thus, tasting, became suffused with the savour, and craving entered into him. And other beings, following his example, tasted the savoury earth with their finger. They thus, tasting, became suffused with the savour, a craving entered into them. Then those beings began to feast on the savoury earth, breaking off lumps of it with their hands. And from the doing thereof the self-luminance of those beings faded away. As their self-luminance faded away, the moon and the sun became manifest. Thereupon star-shapes and constellations became manifest. Thereupon night and day became manifest, months too and half-months, the seasons and the years. Thus far then, Vāseṭṭha, did the world evolve again.

https://suttacentral.net/en/dn27



:anjali:
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tomschwarz
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby tomschwarz » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:53 pm


and so, what do you mean by "different things going on in one age"? if it's a question related to dinosaurs, appears that we can go from a world to another -between planets- while transmigrating, where our karma fits the conditions to manifest, so kaliyuga is happening in many worlds.

....still reading through the amazing sutra on this thread..

But a brief answer to your question.... an "age" is something like a time interval with a start, stop, and duration. Unless all sentient beings are doing the exact same thing within that time interval, how can you characterize the behavior of all sentient beings in that age? At best its a gross generalization right?

Like right now, I see almost nothing degenerate in his holiness the tender hearted monk and dalai lama of tibet's behavior. Yet if you take for example Muslim people of Pakistan who kill their children because they married based on their own choice, I would say there is degenerate behavior.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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KarmaOcean
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Re: Degenerate age

Postby KarmaOcean » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:55 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:...in the surangama sutra the Blessed-One explains the great fire and the deva plains that are not destroyed. So there is an end of the world -planet-...


Hi Javier. I'm looking over the surangama sutra. I can't find the explanation of the great fire and deva plains that are not destroyed.

Could you help me locate it?


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