Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

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theanarchist
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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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Malcolm
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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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Aemilius
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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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Coëmgenu
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Coëmgenu » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Malcolm wrote:Pretty hard to square this opinion with the Buddha's recognition that the Gayatri Mantra is the supreme among mantras (tat savitur...etc.) in the Pali Canon.

Do you have a credible source for this? I very much doubt this is "in the Pali Canon"...

Maitri,
Retro. :)
This is a very old post, but I have a tendency for lurking the dead threads at DharmaWheel for interesting information. The reference is Snp 3.4, the pretty obscure Sundarikabhāradvājasutta from the Suttanipāta in the Khuddakanikāya:
Brāhmaṇo hi ce tvaṃ brūsi mañca brūsi abrāhmaṇaṃ, taṃ taṃ sāvittiṃ pucchāmi tipadaṃ catuvīsatakkharaṃ.

If you call yourself a brahman but call me a non-brahman, then I ask you about the Sāvittī with three lines and twenty-four syllables.
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby BuddhaFollower » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:25 am

Buddha says the Gayatri mantra is the supreme mantra in Samyutta Nikaya 111, Majjhima Nikaya 92 and Vinaya i 246 of the Pali Canon.

aggihuttamukhā yaññā sāvittī chandaso mukham.
Sacrifices have the agnihotra as foremost; of meter the foremost is the Sāvitrī.


Described on page 119 of this:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/article/view/76/96

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Fortyeightvows » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:00 am

Malcolm wrote: the Kośa


This is from vasubhanduu right?

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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby BuddhaFollower » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:06 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Malcolm wrote:Pretty hard to square this opinion with the Buddha's recognition that the Gayatri Mantra is the supreme among mantras (tat savitur...etc.) in the Pali Canon.

Do you have a credible source for this? I very much doubt this is "in the Pali Canon"...

Maitri,
Retro. :)
This is a very old post, but I have a tendency for lurking the dead threads at DharmaWheel for interesting information. The reference is Snp 3.4, the pretty obscure Sundarikabhāradvājasutta from the Suttanipāta in the Khuddakanikāya:
Brāhmaṇo hi ce tvaṃ brūsi mañca brūsi abrāhmaṇaṃ, taṃ taṃ sāvittiṃ pucchāmi tipadaṃ catuvīsatakkharaṃ.

If you call yourself a brahman but call me a non-brahman, then I ask you about the Sāvittī with three lines and twenty-four syllables.



This is another instance of the Buddha talking about the Gayatri mantra.

The Buddha of the Pali Canon seems obsessed with Srauta.

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Indrajala
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:36 pm

BuddhaFollower wrote:Buddha says the Gayatri mantra is the supreme mantra in Samyutta Nikaya 111, Majjhima Nikaya 92 and Vinaya i 246 of the Pali Canon.

aggihuttamukhā yaññā sāvittī chandaso mukham.
Sacrifices have the agnihotra as foremost; of meter the foremost is the Sāvitrī.


Described on page 119 of this:
http://jocbs.org/index.php/jocbs/article/view/76/96



It is also a part of the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna.



Chapter 4 ( 'Inquiries' 衆相問品) sees Puṣkarasārin now delighted and convinced before asking Triśaṅku about his background, past lives and knowledge. Triśaṅku recites mantras highlighting how even he as a caṇḍāla can know them, one of which notably appears to be the Gāyatrī mantra from the Ṛg Veda (3.62), but called the 'brahmin mantra' 婆羅門呪:

菴 浮婆 蘇婆 旦 娑婆鬪婆利茹 被瞿 提婆斯 提麼 提由 那 婆羅提那

*oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ tat saviturvareṇyaṃ bhargho devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt
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tingdzin
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby tingdzin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:02 am

A very good book on the early days of Buddhism and what grew into what is now called "Hinduism" is Geoffrey Samuel's The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. A lot of popular assumptions about both are shown to be distorted.

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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Dharma Flower » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:06 pm

What if, instead of the Buddhist cosmology being similar to Hindu cosmology, it's the other way around? In the Agganna Sutta, the Buddha describes the universe as being in a cycle of contraction and expansion, and as the human race on this planet originating in a process of devolution from beings of a higher realm. What if the Buddha reached these profound insights in the Agganna Sutta from a state of samadhi, and then Hinduism copied the Buddha's insights afterward?

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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Invokingvajras » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:30 am

Indrajala wrote:Buddhist cosmology and Vedic cosmology are understandably similar given that they both stem from Indo-European cultural backgrounds. You can see similar cosmologies to Mt. Meru in Iran and Europe too such as Olympus in the Hellenic world.


This is a fascinating point. While Mt. Meru essentially functions as the axis-mundi in several Indian traditions, cosmologies could potentially overlap in certain traditions. Imagine the Germanic Yggdrasil replacing Mt. Meru if Buddhism had become standardized in European territories before Christianization. Alexander Duncan compared certain aspects of Buddhist cosmology to the Tree of Life in Kabbalah, though this may or may not be somewhat contrived.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fSXBhutn-U (Chart introduced at 5:30)

It's nevertheless an interesting idea.

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Indrajala
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Re: Is Buddhist cosmology essentially Vedic?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:57 am

Invokingvajras wrote:Alexander Duncan compared certain aspects of Buddhist cosmology to the Tree of Life in Kabbalah, though this may or may not be somewhat contrived.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fSXBhutn-U (Chart introduced at 5:30)

It's nevertheless an interesting idea.


Remember that Jewish traditions are rooted in Semitic and Mesopotamian traditions, which are ultimately different from Indo-European traditions.

Similarities between Buddhist cosmology and that found elsewhere are largely due to a shared Indo-European heritage.

In India, perhaps starting around the fifth century onward, Indian intellectuals became truly aware that the world was spherical in shape, following the introduction of what was originally Hellenistic mathematics that provide proofs for a round earth (such material was even translated into Chinese in 718, but it never caught on).

Before this time there is little evidence to suggest that anyone in India believed in a round earth. It seems that Buddhists never really accepted this new knowledge, which is why the flat-earth Mt. Meru cosmology was maintained, perhaps because the Buddha's testimony was not to be contradicted. Buddhadharma is also not inherently interested in mathematics and science. Buddhadharma is comprised of systems of thought and practice designed at liberation from suffering.
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