Buddhist Cosmology: Philosophy and Origins by Akira Sadakata, Hajime Nakamura

By Akira Sadakata, Hajime Nakamura

This greatly researched and illustrated quantity deals Western readers an extraordinary advent to Buddhism's complicated and engaging perspectives concerning the constitution of the universe. The booklet starts off by means of truly explaining classical cosmology, with its symmetrical, India-centered universe and multitudinous heavens and hells, and illuminates the cosmos's relation to the human matters of karma, transmigration, and enlightenment. It strikes directly to talk about the Mahayana perception of the universe as a lotus flower containing uncountable geographical regions, each one with its personal buddha. Then, reading alterations within the notions of hell and the gods, the writer strains Buddhism's sluggish shift from a faith to a mythology. all through, remedy of Buddhism's historic, geographical, and doctrinal origins enhances precise cosmological descriptions. eventually, the writer indicates us how this historical philosophy resembles the fashionable clinical view of the cosmos, and the way even this day it may well support us lead extra gratifying lives.

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Also mentions hell in the same way. "Injuring someone with developed self, overwhelmed by ignorance, he does not know that defilement (is) the road which leads to hell" (277). , trees as sharp as blades, iron stakes, and a ball of heated iron), and their denizens (black and spotted dogs, ravens, and worms), which recall similar passages in the Abhidhannakosa. <;iarika, and Paduma. ), to the origins of these names. , abbuda), or as onomatopoeic words to describe the cold of those hells (abaha, ahaha, atata).

The area shown in black in the center of the square land in figure 18, the Palace of Victory belonging to lndra. occupies the center of this drawing as well. The other thirty-two gods dwell in palaces outside 1ts walls in the city called Lovely View. Between the palace of lndra and those of the other gods are the markets for foodstuffs. cloth1ng, grains, and entertainment. 62 HELLS, HEAVENS, Arm OTHER REALMS disperses with the ejection not of semen but of wind. In this sense they are considered higher than human beings.

Sun and moon. The sun and the moon are components of any cosmology. 16 Imagine that a large ring of wind ~ike an inner tube) extends around Mount Sumeru at a height midway between mountaintop and sea level. This wind ring floats high in the air over the four landmasses, supporting and carrying the sun, moon, and stars. The sun is fifty-one yqjanas in diameter and the moon, fifty, which makes them about the same size as Lake Anavatapta, north of the Hirnavat. To judge by the oneyqjana difference, Indian Buddhists understood the apparent difference in size between the two bodies to be real.

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