Reply To: Universe – Sun and the moon


I wanted to clarify why I declined to answer this question. Sometimes, having a general idea about the external world is good. In a few suttas, the Buddha gave an overview of the universe. He said our solar system is one of an uncountable number of planetary systems (cakkavala.

  • He also taught that in a “loka vinasaya” (destruction of our solar system), a cluster of 1000 planetary systems like ours gets destroyed. That matches modern science, saying that when a star gets old and blows up in a supernova, many nearby stars (planetary systems) are also destroyed.
  • I mentioned that in the introduction to Agganna Sutta: “Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27)

However, it does not make sense to examine the finer details of the universe. Doing so will consume all our energy. We must mainly focus on understanding how pancupadanakkhadha (i.e., suffering) arises and working to stop that process. 

  • The following is a picture of our Milky Way galaxy. We can see (with the naked eye) only a couple of thousand stars, but there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy. Furthermore, there are about an equal number of GALAXIES in our universe. Thus, there is a whole galaxy for each star in our galaxy. It is truly mind-boggling.
  • Will we ever be able to investigate even a fraction in our lifetime?