Monday, March 29, 2010

Buddhism Life On Other Planets

Buddhism Life On Other Planets Image
Diagram in Thai script purporting to show the extrasolar planets Amornrakoyan, Buppaviteha, Auttrarakuru, as well as our star Sol.

In the (Tri-Pitaka, Three Parts of the) Buddha's teaching (Vol. 11, p. 61 and Vol. 23, sutanta pidok 25, Thai edition), the Buddha talks about life on other planets. He refers to life on three planets in particular: (1) Amornrakoyan, (2) Buppaviteha, and (3) Auttrarakuru.

1. The first has a continent (dipa, lit. "island") and an ocean. The dominant life form there is human like but the beings there have faces that look like the moon. The beings there are [on average]10 feet (300 centimeters) tall and their life span is 500 years.

2. The second has a continent and about 400 smaller continents or isles. The beings there are human like but their faces look like cups. They are 15 feet (450 cm) tall and their life span is 700 years.

3. The third are flatlands with human like life forms with faces that look more cubical. They are 21 feet (650 cm) tall and their life span is 1,000 years.

This information comes from Mr. Terran. He is a Buddhist studying the Tripitaka (a generic name for the Buddha's teaching divided into three segments -- conventional discourses (Dharma, sutras), discipline (vinaya), and "higher teachings" called (Abhi-dharma).

* Modern readers may not believe this ancient cosmography. Who can say what is real or whether or not the Buddha really said this or that or simply had it attributed to him? One can ask monastics, scholars, and practitioners about what is recorded in the texts. The oldest existing Buddhist tradition is from Southeast Asia and is called Theravada ("Teaching of the Elders," the "elders" being the enlightened disciples of the Buddha's time. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Central Asian, and Tibetan traditions are called Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") -- which, not coincidentally, are very Christian -- are later developments with many changes and additions.

Response


Oceanrider likes this post and would like to know more. What I know about Buddhism is Buddhists like to use metaphors to explain things. When I went to a Buddhist temple, the teacher was very confidently explaining spirituality using the metaphor of computer equipment accessing a network. Briefly, the Tripitaka contains three divisions: ethics (vinaya), conventional teachings (sutras or "discourses"), and higher teachings (knowledge books).

* Moon: a reflection of self (ethics).
* Cup: the self as a vessel of knowledge (discourses).
* Cube: a physical record or knowledge (knowledge books).

That is how my crazy head works anyway. If it is not straight out fact, although I think it might well be, it may also be explaining metaphysical realms not unlike the Bardos. Thanks for the post, Mr. Terran. I will be checking that one out and reading about it.

You also may enjoy this free books:

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - The Cave Of The Ancients
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Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - Wisdom Of The Ancients

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