Reply To: Why is the universe so cold?


Tobi’s essay has some good ideas. However, there are some incompatibilities with Buddha Dhamma.

1. As Yash pointed out, “The universe is finite because we can leave it and enter Nibbāna” is incorrect.

  • Nibbāna is not a physical event, like a rocket leaving the Erath. The best way to understand that is as follows. During the beginningless rebirth process, the “seat of the mind” (hadaya vatthu) is REGENERATED in a new form every time it dies. For example, a human has specific hadaya vatthu for the whole duration of that human existence (bhava), which could be many thousands of years. At the end of that “human bhava,” a new existence (say that of a Brahma) is grasped, and a new hadaya vatthu matching that of a Brahma is created by kammic energy.
  • That process ends at the death of an Arahant. The mind of an Arahant WILL NOT grasp a new existence in this world, i.e., no new hadaya vatthu arises when the hadaya vatthu of an Arahant dies with his/her physical body. That is how we separate from this world.
  • Attaining “final Nibbāna” is purely a mental phenomenon. 
  • P.S. Many posts on the website describe the hadaya vatthu; see, for example, “Mind and Matter – Buddhist Analysis.

2. Furthermore, the main topic does not make sense. Tobi wrote, “This expanding universe is cooling down more and more as it expands.” 

  • This idea of an “expanding universe” is attached to the “Big Bang Theory,” which says our universe started with a “Big Bang” only about 14 billion ago. According to the Buddha, our universe has “no traceable beginning. ” Only small parts are destroyed (and re-formed) periodically in a “loka vināsaya.” See “Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27).”

3. However, I appreciate Tobi’s efforts. The essay contains many good ideas. 

  • It is not a good idea to try to explain “theorized” physical phenomena, such as an “expanding universe.” That does not help with cultivating the Noble Path to Nibbāna.
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