May 5, 2023 at 1:56 pm #44674LayDhammaFollowerParticipant
How rare is it to encounter the Buddha ministry really?
I was watching sermon released just today. The monk mentioned that Buddha is born in this universe out of one trillion universes.
If true, that is really hair-raising fact.
I have read the analogy about rarity of Buddha sasana and association with noble ariya friends. The analogy of turtle, sea & ring and other such analogies.
We are here which is really proof that despite potentially encountering the Buddha sasana many times in beginning less saṅsarā, we were not even able to understand the dhamma to even Sōtapanna anugami level.
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May 5, 2023 at 4:46 pm #44675
Yes. The appearance of a Buddha is a rare event. As I remember, our solar system (cakkavāla) is one of a 10,000 cakkavāla in a cūḷanikā lokadhātu.
- A Buddha can arise in only one cakkavāla in a cūḷanikā lokadhātu.
- Each cluster of 10,000 cakkavāla is destroyed once in a Maha kappa (eon.) See #2 in “Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27).”
- There have been periods of 30 eons without a single Buddha!
- The current eon is a special one with 5 Buddhas. But even then, any Buddha Sasana lasts only a minute fraction of a Maha kappa (eon.) See #14 of “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?“
If anyone has further information, please comment.
May 6, 2023 at 3:49 pm #44685
May 6, 2023 at 5:00 pm #44689
Thank you, Saket!
May 8, 2023 at 2:54 am #44710LayDhammaFollowerParticipant
Thank you @Saket for sharing the relevant sutta.
Lal, Can you briefly explain the sutta?
May 8, 2023 at 6:00 am #44711
I just looked at the translation closely. Yes. It can be confusing because he uses “galaxy” to denote a thousand-fold “world system.”
See the side-by-side translation: “Cūḷanikā Sutta (AN 3.80).”
- A “world system” is a single cakkavāla with one star and associated planets. Our Solar system is one.
- At marker 4.3: “cūḷanikā lokadhātu” is a SMALL cluster of a thousand such cakkavāla (incorrectly called a “galaxy.”)
- At marker 5.2: “majjhimikā lokadhātu” is a MEDUIM cluster of a thousand such “cūḷanikā lokadhātu“ (incorrectly called a ” ‘galactic cluster.’”)
- At marker 6.2: “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” is a LARGE cluster of a thousand such “majjhimikā lokadhātu“ (incorrectly called a ” ‘galactic supercluster.’”)
- It is not a good idea to try to match the Buddha’s world systems with the names used by current science. For example, a “galaxy” in current science may have billions of stars like our Sun (i.e., billions of cakkavāla, not just a thousand.) A “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” is within a galaxy. Thus, our “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” is within the Milky Way galaxy.
- The universe has billions of galaxies like our Milky Way galaxy. See “Milky Way“
- Each “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” can have only one Buddha at a time. But there can be Buddhas in other “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” even at this time. The universe is unimaginably vast!
May 8, 2023 at 2:11 pm #44713SaketParticipant
Thank you Ven. Sir for clarifying this point. It’s really fascinating!
a) Is it correct to say that Mahasahassi lokadhatu = 1000×1000×1000 = 1 billion cakkavala ??
b) In this Sutta, clusters of 1000-fold world systems are mentioned by Lord Buddha. But we regularly hear about the “10,000 world systems”. So is it the same or different?
c) During the period of Loka Vinasaya, does the whole Mahasahassi lokadhatu gets destroyed or is it only the culanika lokadhatu gets destroyed??
May 10, 2023 at 1:33 pm #44748Tobias GParticipant
Lal, there is a contradiction between those two posts:
…As I remember, our solar system (cakkavāla) is one of a 10,000 cakkavāla in a cūḷanikā lokadhātu. …
A Buddha can arise in only one cakkavāla in a cūḷanikā lokadhātu.
…. At marker 4.3: “cūḷanikā lokadhātu” is a SMALL cluster of a thousand such cakkavāla ….
…Each “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” can have only one Buddha at a time. But there can be Buddhas in other “mahāsahassī lokadhātu” even at this time.
As per the sutta AN 3.80 a mahāsahassī lokadhātu contains 1000 x 1000 x 1000 = 1 billion cakkavala.
May 10, 2023 at 4:21 pm #44753
The 10,000 cakkavāla (“dasasahassilokadhātu“) is mentioned in the “Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (56.11).” That is what I had in mind.
- Dasasahassilokadhātu (dasa sahassi lokadhātu) means 10, 000 cakkavāla. But it does not say a Buddha appears per 10,000 cakkavāla.
- So, my first recollection may be wrong (“…As I remember, our solar system (cakkavāla) is one of a 10,000 cakkavāla in a cūḷanikā lokadhātu. …”)
I have heard (and am confident) that only one Buddha can appear in a cluster of cakkavāla.
- But how many cakkavāla are in such a cluster? I am not sure.
- If it is a cūḷanikā lokadhātu,” it will be a cluster of 1000 cakkavāla.
- If it is a mahāsahassī lokadhātu,” it will be a cluster of a billion cakkavāla.
- In AN 3.8, the Buddha only says his voice can be heard across a mahāsahassī lokadhātu. It does not say there can be only a single Buddha per mahāsahassī lokadhātu.
If someone has a Tipitaka reference, please post it.
P.S. Scientists estimate our Milky Way galaxy to contain 100–400 billion stars (i.e., cakkavāla): “Milky Way.”
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