tatpurusa wrote: ↑Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:10 am
Sorry for not responding to this specific question, I thought my opinion was understandable from other posts I wrote.
This is a vast subject and I am not sure if I will be able to really explain it in a short post, but I will try anyway.
Sumeru is at the heart of Indian mythology and cosmology included in all Indian religions (with different stories though)
As I mentioned in other posts further above in this thread, I consider myths allegorical language. They refer to the truth,
but use symbols and metaphors as a device in order to point to experiences otherwise difficult or impossible to communicate,
because they are not graspable through objectification by concepts.
Another fundamental and unignorable Indian system of thought that became in a way or other integrated with all
Indian religions (at least in its terminology even Buddhism) and philosophies is Sāṃkhya (and its practical side, yoga). I do not mean classical Sāṃkhya, but its original, much older form that in my opinion predates the arrival of Indoeuropean/Indoarian tribes to India.
Sāṃkhya and Yoga are the basic worldview, the bedrock of all philosophical, spiritual and religious systems of Indian origin.
It is a description and analysis of the manifestation of the world out of the unmanifested state (avyakta prakṛti) to the now percievable world
both in its universal (outer) and individual (inner) forms. It describes the unfolding of Avyaktam (unmanifest) into Vyaktam (manifest), its components and the process of "backfolding" (returning to its unmanifest state of balance) through the practice of yoga.
The myth of Sumeru and Sāṃkhya are very much connected IMO. Sumeru is the allegorical representation of the base of both these universal and individual worlds and there are stories connected to Sumeru (like the Hindu story of churning of the Milk Ocean) describing the "unfolding" process in an allegorical way.
On the universal level, Sumeru represents the center or axis of the world: its "bearer" (dharma).
In the myth of Churning of the Milk Ocean a spur of Sumeru (called Mandara) is used to churn the ocean that lead to the emergence of the world.
The Milk Ocean is a symbol of Avyakta Prakṛti and Mount Mandara is the symbol of Puruṣa (primordial conciousness).
According to Sāṃkhya the presence of Puruṣa (though in no way connected to Prakṛti) causes the unmanifest (balanced) state of Avyakta Prakṛti to lose its inner balance and manifest its elements and later all appearances of the empirical world. This losing of balance is symbolised through the process of churning.
So Sumeru is a symbol for the primordial conciousness Puruṣa (both in the dimension of universal and individual). In the universal dimension it is the symbol of Mahat (universal conciousness).
In the individual dimension it is the symbol of center of the human being: in the physical body it is the spine (the spine is called Merudanda in sanskrit).
On deeper levels it is the symbol of individual Puruṣa (individual primordial consciousness). In a Buddhist context this would be nature of mind or Buddha nature.
Buddha had a profound knowledge of Sāṃkhya and had practiced Yoga before awakening. He used Sāṃkhya terminology and the myths connected to it in order to communicate with members of a society profoundly influenced by these.
Regarding your other question about siddhis - my short answer is: yes, I consider them real.