Buddhist Cosmology

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Buddhist Cosmology

Post by joy&peace » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:34 am


If other worlds are Samsaric, should we go to share Dharma there?

:heart: :buddha1:

Best wishes to all . .

Does Buddhist Cosmology reflect natural observation? I.e., what Hubble and others have pictured...



Posts: 1022
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 4:53 pm

Re: Buddhist Cosmology

Post by joy&peace » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:43 pm

'Buddhist cosmology can be divided into two related kinds: spatial cosmology, which describes the arrangement of the various worlds within the universe; and temporal cosmology, which describes how those worlds come into existence, and how they pass away.

Spatial cosmology
Spatial cosmology can also be divided into two branches. The vertical (or cakravāla; देवनागरीः चक्रवाल) cosmology describes the arrangement of worlds in a vertical pattern, some being higher and some lower. By contrast, the horizontal (sahasra) cosmology describes the grouping of these vertical worlds into sets of thousands, millions or billions.

Vertical cosmology
In the vertical cosmology, the universe exists of many worlds (lokāḥ; देवानागरीः लोक/लोको) – one might say "planes/realms" – stacked one upon the next in layers. Each world corresponds to a mental state or a state of being. A world is not, however, a location so much as it is the beings which compose it; it is sustained by their karma and if the beings in a world all die or disappear, the world disappears too. Likewise, a world comes into existence when the first being is born into it. The physical separation is not so important as the difference in mental state; humans and animals, though they partially share the same physical environments, still belong to different worlds because their minds perceive and react to those environments differently.'


'Formless Realm (Ārūpyadhātu अरुपधातु)
The Ārūpyadhātu (Sanskrit) or Arūpaloka (Pāli) (Tib: gzugs med pa'i khams; Jpn: 無色界 Mushiki-kai; देवनागरीः अरुपधातु / अरुपलोक) or "Formless realm" would have no place in a purely physical cosmology, as none of the beings inhabiting it has either shape or location; and correspondingly, the realm has no location either. This realm belongs to those devas who attained and remained in the Four Formless Absorptions (catuḥ-samāpatti चतु-समापत्ती) of the arūpadhyānas in a previous life, and now enjoys the fruits (vipāka) of the good karma of that accomplishment. Bodhisattvas, however, are never born in the Ārūpyadhātu even when they have attained the arūpadhyānas.

There are four types of Ārūpyadhātu devas, corresponding to the four types of arūpadhyānas:'


'Vijñānānantyāyatana or Viññāṇānañcāyatana or more commonly the contracted form Viññāṇañcāyatana (Tib: rnam shes mtha' yas; Jpn: 識無辺処 shiki mu hen jo; देवनागरीः विज्ञानायातन) "Sphere of Infinite Consciousness". In this sphere formless beings dwell meditating on their consciousness (vijñāna) as infinitely pervasive. Total life span on this realm in human years - 40,000 Maha Kalpa. This realm is placed 5,580,000 yojanas above the Plane of Infinite Space(Akasanknayathanaya)'

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