Saddharma Pundarika Sutra (Lotus Sutra) – A Focused Analysis

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    • #16701
      Tobias G

      #8 in the post says:

      “…Then there is the issue of there being other Buddhas present at that assembly too. And they all seem to be “at the same level”. Thus the question arises as to who was the first Buddha, and then why those other Buddhas “did not wait until everyone else was ready for the Buddhahood”.”

      Sutta AN 1.277 clarifies that only one Buddha can be in a solar system at a given time:

      “It is impossible, mendicants, it cannot happen for two perfect ones, fully awakened Buddhas to arise in the same solar system at the same time. But it is possible for just one perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, to arise in one solar system.”

    • #16703
      y not


      As a rule of thumb I distrust any Mahāyāna concept or tenet. This one about Buddhas postponing their Parinibbana until ‘all living beings’ areready for It as well is no different. It is easy to show that it makes no sense. I know I do not have to elaborate on that. However,

      ….however: we know that devas and brahmas from other ‘10,000 world systems’came to listen to the Buddhas’s desanas. Now it depends what is meant exactly by ‘in the same solar system’ in your quote. I tried to get the Pali translation for AN 1.177 but did not succeed. You will of course know that there are various ‘coglomerations’of world sysyems.

      From Theories of Nature and the Universe: Comparison of Pure Buddhist Philosophy,by Muditha Champika p.33: there are several collections of such systems: Sahassi Culanika, dvisahassi majjimikalokadatu, trisahasra-mahashasra (respevtively 1000, 10,000 and 100,000 world systems). A collection of 100,000 such is a Chtu-sahashri-Loka-datu). Then follow Dasa-Sahashri ( 1 trillion: 1000×10 ^9). This seems to me to accord with the most recent calculations of both the number of stars in the Galaxy and also the number of galaxies in the Universe. Up to a decade or so ago the highest estimate was 200,000,000,000 in each case. Science ever appoaches the Dhamma concepts in even their detail .Then it is said that’Buddhism describes up to 1000 x10 ^99 (!!!) world systems, Sata-Sahashri-Loka-datu. Lastly there is mention of the Brahmas’ ‘range of governance’,as I would put it, throughout those various ‘world systems’.

      Now what I mean by all this is that if a deva or brahma or a Buddha can appear anywhere ‘within the time it takes to stretch our an arm’, what is to exclude a Buddha from appearing on a planet in any one of these ‘systems’, even when another Buddha is there,when devas and brahmas are recorded to have done it ? Distance is no barrier; a mile, an Astronomical Unit,a Light Year or a trillion Light Milleniums away makes no difference.

      -“Then there is the issue of there being other Buddhas present at that assembly too. And they all seem to be “at the same level”-

      Of course, the Mahāyāna logic is that if a Buddha CAN do it, then there is no reason why he shouldn’t…so it is alright to claim that He actually does so. But, of course, two contemporary Buddhas on the same planet are not necessary,so it does not happen. And ‘if they are all at the same level’ no one Buddha can gain anything from any Other, precisely because all Buddhas are of necessity at one and the same level.

      y not

    • #16711

      Sutta AN 1.277 states that “no two Buddhas (Samma Sambuddha) can appear in the world at the same time (without time separation) in a given “world cycle” (for example, during the lifetime of our Solar system).

      There have already been four Buddhas (including Buddha Kassapa and Buddha Gotama) during this Maha Kappa (age of our Solar system), and Buddha Maitreya will also appear before this Maha Kappa comes to end. But this is extremely rare; normally there can be many successive Maha Kappa without even a single Buddha.

      The relevant verse is :” “Aṭṭhānametaṃ, bhikkhave, anavakāso yaṃ ekissā lokadhātuyā dve arahanto sammāsambuddhā apubbaṃ acarimaṃ uppajjeyyuṃ. Netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.”

      Translated: “Bhikkhus, no two Buddhas can appear in the lokadhatu (world system) at the same time, i.e., without a gap (anavakaso).

      The goal of a Buddha is to stop the rebirth process (to stop future suffering). So, of course it was a made-up story by the early Mahayanists that all past Buddhas can re-appear. That is against the very foundation of Buddha Dhamma.

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