The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

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Coëmgenu
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The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:23 pm

According to the dispensation to the Pāli śrāvakāḥ, after the destruction of the kāmadhātu by the elements at the end of a kalpa, beings inhabit the Brahmāloka until they descend back into the kāmadhātu, beginning with Brahmā.

According to the dispensation to the Sarvāstivāda śrāvakāḥ, the Brahma heaven is destroyed by fire at the end of a kalpa. Instead, the Bṛhatphalāḥ (廣果天) are not destroyed.

What is the common ground between these two?

According to the dispensation to the bodhisattvāḥ, various other places are not destroyed at the end of a kalpa, but I assume the dispensation to the bodhisattva is likely to follow the Sarvāstivāda over the Pāli recension in having Bṛhatphala amongst those places rather than the Brahmāloka.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

Motova
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by Motova » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Maybe it depends....
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:58 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:23 pm
Brahmāloka
I'm too much of a pedant to let this go:

brahmālokāḥ
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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pueraeternus
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by pueraeternus » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:18 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:23 pm
According to the dispensation to the Pāli śrāvakāḥ, after the destruction of the kāmadhātu by the elements at the end of a kalpa, beings inhabit the Brahmāloka until they descend back into the kāmadhātu, beginning with Brahmā.

According to the dispensation to the Sarvāstivāda śrāvakāḥ, the Brahma heaven is destroyed by fire at the end of a kalpa. Instead, the Bṛhatphalāḥ (廣果天) are not destroyed.

What is the common ground between these two?

According to the dispensation to the bodhisattvāḥ, various other places are not destroyed at the end of a kalpa, but I assume the dispensation to the bodhisattva is likely to follow the Sarvāstivāda over the Pāli recension in having Bṛhatphala amongst those places rather than the Brahmāloka.
There is no contradiction. Even in the Pali sources, the universal destructions come from 3 elements: fire, water, then air. Destruction by fire is up to the heavens of the 1st jhana, water up to heavens of 2nd jhana, and air to the heavens of the 3rd jhana. Only Brahmas who dwell in the 4th jhana and above are spared from universal destruction. Thus the Brhatphala.
"Men must want to do things out of their own innermost drives. People, not commercial organizations or chains of command, are what make great civilizations work. Every civilization depends upon the quality of the individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness - they cannot work and their civilization collapses."
- A letter to CHOAM, attributed to the Preacher

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:31 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:18 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:23 pm
According to the dispensation to the Pāli śrāvakāḥ, after the destruction of the kāmadhātu by the elements at the end of a kalpa, beings inhabit the Brahmāloka until they descend back into the kāmadhātu, beginning with Brahmā.

According to the dispensation to the Sarvāstivāda śrāvakāḥ, the Brahma heaven is destroyed by fire at the end of a kalpa. Instead, the Bṛhatphalāḥ (廣果天) are not destroyed.

What is the common ground between these two?

According to the dispensation to the bodhisattvāḥ, various other places are not destroyed at the end of a kalpa, but I assume the dispensation to the bodhisattva is likely to follow the Sarvāstivāda over the Pāli recension in having Bṛhatphala amongst those places rather than the Brahmāloka.
There is no contradiction. Even in the Pali sources, the universal destructions come from 3 elements: fire, water, then air. Destruction by fire is up to the heavens of the 1st jhana, water up to heavens of 2nd jhana, and air to the heavens of the 3rd jhana. Only Brahmas who dwell in the 4th jhana and above are spared from universal destruction. Thus the Brhatphala.
Looking back into where I remembered reading this, I actually made a mistake, the Pāli dispensation has the ābhāsvarāḥ undestroyed. It is in the Aggaññasutta right at the end of the section called "Catuvaṇṇasuddhi".
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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pueraeternus
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by pueraeternus » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:15 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:31 pm
Looking back into where I remembered reading this, I actually made a mistake, the Pāli dispensation has the ābhāsvarāḥ undestroyed. It is in the Aggaññasutta right at the end of the section called "Catuvaṇṇasuddhi".
So that probably refers to a destruction by water. I don't have all the exact canonical sources rights now, but this book refers to how Buddhaghosa, Vasubandhu and other early masters address this.
"Men must want to do things out of their own innermost drives. People, not commercial organizations or chains of command, are what make great civilizations work. Every civilization depends upon the quality of the individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness - they cannot work and their civilization collapses."
- A letter to CHOAM, attributed to the Preacher

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The Brahma Heavens vs the Bṛhatphalāḥ

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:06 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:15 pm
this book refers to how Buddhaghosa, Vasubandhu and other early masters address this.
The expansion and contraction of world-systems

According to Buddhist cosmological systems the universe is constituted by innumerable "world-systems" or "world-spheres." (loka-dḥātu, cakkavāḷa) comprising just thirty-one levels of existence (36). Much as the mind is not static or stable, neither, on a grander scale, are world-systems; they themselves go through vast cycles of expansion and contraction. According to the exegetical traditions of both the Theravādins and Sarvāstivādins, the formula I quoted from the Aggañña-sutta, referring as it does to the rebirth of beings in the realm of Radiance (ābhassara/ābhāsvara) (37) at the time of world contraction, describes this contraction as the result of destruction by fire. Both Buddhaghoṣa and Vasubandhu provide some further details about how the destruction proceeds (38). According to Buddhaghoṣa, world-systems contract in great clusters - he speaks of a billion (koṭi-sata-sahassa) world-systems contracting at a time (39). Both writers describe how, when they contract, world-systems contract from the bottom upward. Thus in the case of destruction by fire, the fire starts in the lower realms of the sense sphere and having burned up there, it invades the form realms; but having burned up the realms corresponding to the first jhāna/dhyāna, it stops. The realms corresponding to the second, third, and fourth jhānas, and the four realms, are thus spared the destruction. But destruction by fire is not the only kind of destruction, merely the most frequent - water and wind also wreak their havoc. When the destruction is by water, the three realms corresponding to the second jhāna are also included in the general destruction, while destruction by wind invades and destroys even the realms corresponding to the third jhāna. Overall, only the seven realms corresponding to the fourth jhāna and the four formless realms are never subject to this universal destructions (40).

So what becomes of the beings that occupy the lower realms when fire, water, and wind wreak their destruction? They cannot disappear from saṃsāra; they must go somewhere. Here we touch upon a question which passed something of a problem in the Buddhist tradition and to which its answers are not entirely consistent. The simply answer is that Buddhaghoṣa gives in the Visuddhimagga is that at the time of the destruction of a world-system by fire, all the beings that occupy the lower realms - including hell beings (nerayika) - are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma realm (corresponding to the second jhāna) or above it. But since rebirth in the Brahma realm can only occur as a result of the practice of the jhānas Buddhaghoṣa has a problem. The chaos and hardships that are a prelude to the destruction of the world are hardly conducive to the practice of jhāna. Moreover, certain beings simply do not have the capacity to attain jhāna even if they try.
There is no rebirth in the Brahma world without jhāna, and some beings are oppressed by the scarcity of food, and some are incapable of attaining jhāna. How are they reborn there? By virtue of jhāna acquired in the Deva world. For at that time, knowing that in a hundred thousand years the aeon will come to an end, the sense-sphere gods, called ‘Marshals of the World,’ loosen their head-dresses and , with dishevelled hair and pitiful faces, wiping their tears with their hands, clothed in red and wearing their garments in great disarray, come and frequent the haunts of men saying, “Good sirs, a hundred thousand years from now the aeon will come to an end: this world will be destroyed, the great ocean will dry up, and Sineru, king of mountains, will be burnt up and destroyed. The destruction of the world will reach the Brahma world. Develop loving kindness, good sirs. Develop compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. Take Take care of your mothers and fathers; honour the elders of the family.” Hearing their words, both men and the deities of the earth are for the most part moved; they become kind to one another, and making merit by loving kindness and so on, they are reborn in the Deva world. There they enjoy the food of the gods and having completed the initial world on the air kasiṇa, they attain jhāna.

However there are others who are reborn in the Deva world by virtue of their kamma “that is to be experienced at an unspecific time.” for there is certainly no being wandering in saṃsāra devoid of kamma that is to be experienced at an unspecified time. They also similarly acquire jhāna there [in the Deva world]. So all beings are reborn in the Brahma world by virtue of their attainment of jhāna.
(Williams, Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, Vol. II, The Early Buddhist Schools and Doctrinal History; Theravāda Doctrine, 110-112)

Footnote 40:
Vism 13:55-62 describes destruction by fire, water, and wind; Vism 13:65 and Abhidh-k-bh 3:102 detail the sequence and frequency of destruction by these three elements and are in complete agreement: seven cycles of seven destructions by fire followed by one by water (fifty-six destructions); followed by one cycle of seven destructions by fire followed by one by wind (sixty-four destructions); thus the Brahmās who live in the Subhakiṇha/Śubhakṛtsnā realms - the highest of the third jhāna/dhyāna realms - have a lifespan of sixty-four aeons.
Later in the text, it mentions that Ven Vasubandhu has a similar explanation for a universal attainment of dhyāna predicated on “the trace (vāsanā) of previous […] attainment.” (Williams 113, citing footnote 48: “Vyākhyā to Abhidh-k-bh 8:38c-d: upadeśam antareṇāyataḥ pūrvadhyānavāsanāyāṃ satyāṃ dhyānotpattir iti.")
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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