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Re: Sakka's lifespan

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  • dhamma_joti
    Thanks for the book reference, Jon. I google-searched both reference and could only read one of them via the google book librabry (Nirvana and Other Buddhist
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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      Thanks for the book reference, Jon.

      I google-searched both reference and could only read one of them via
      the google book librabry (Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities). I
      found there that the life in Tavatimsa realms lasts for 36.000.000
      human years...which also indicates that the lifespan of Sakka is
      36.000.000 human years.
      This reference is in English. What I actually want to confirm by
      posting a thread in this Pali yahoogroups is the relevance between the
      English translation and the Pali language. So if there is anyone from
      this group who would be willing to have a look at the Pali
      words/sentences and verify whether or not the English translation
      about Sakka's lifespan(36.000.000 years) is correct, and if possible
      with explanation on the Pali--how it can be 36.000.000 years--.
      Thank you.


      With Metta,
      Jo.


      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Jon Fernquest" <bayinnaung@...> wrote:
      >
      > "...the lifespan of Sakka..."
      >
      > Regarding Sakka see the book "Early Buddhist Mythology" by J.R.
      > Haldar, Manohar, 1977.
      >
      > Pages 82 to 95 will tell you just about everything you could possibly
      > nned know about Sakka citing many Jataka and the Tipitaka. Here is the
      > beginning:
      >
      > "In Pali literature, the word 'Sakka' is used as a rank or position of
      > the king of the Tavatimsa gods and not as a personal name. He who
      > comes in the Tavatimsa to rule over it will be called Sakka. As the
      > universe consists of many cakkavalas and there is a Tavatimsa-devaloka
      > in each cakkavala and each Tavatimsa is ruled by a Sakka, the number
      > of Sakkas (i.e. kings of the Tavatimsa devalokas) is many Besides, in
      > each cakkavala, we come in contact with many Sakkas within a world
      > cycle within a world cycle (i.e. the life..."
      >
      > Also see Buddhist Cosmology in Steven Collins, Nirvana and other
      > Buddhist Felicities, 1998, pages 297-304.
      >
      > With metta,
      > Jon Fernquest
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > > Dear all,
      > >
      > > Could anyone kindly let me know about whether or not the translation
      > of PTS for the lifespan of Sakka is correct.
      > >
      > > In CSCD, Jat. II [310] it's written as follows:
      > > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
      > khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
      > > By PTS, it's translated:
      > > Sakka had lived for sixty times an hundred thousand years and thirty
      > millions of years, then was born on earth again.
      > >
      > > sixty times an hundred thousand years = 6.000.000 years?
      > > thirty millions of years = 30.000.000 years?
      > > so overall, 6.000.000+30.000.000 = 36.000.000 years, am i right?
      > >
      > > while in Dictionary of Pali Proper Name (DPPN), under the
      > explanation of Mandhaataa, it's mentioned as "thirty-six million years
      > and sixty times one hundred thousand", so it makes
      > 36.000.000+6.000.000 = 42.000.000 years.
      > >
      > > While in Pali-English dictionary, the word ko.ti is defined as up to
      > a hundred thousand (in number), so if we refer back to the PTS
      > translation, it should be 6.000.000 + 3.000.000 (not 30.000.000) =
      > 9.000.000 years, am i right?
      > >
      > >
      > > We need this information as we are doing the translation, so please,
      > please, please, anyone who wants to give any comment or knows any
      > accurate information related to this, please share it with me, will you?
      > >
      > > Thanks in advance.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > With Metta,
      > > Jo.
      > >
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > >
      > > Real people. Real questions. Real answers. Share what you know.
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
    • Ong Yong Peng
      Dear Jo and Jon, Jo: ko.ti (or crore): In India, a crore equals 10 million in English see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore sa.t.thi ca vassa-sata-sahassaani
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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        Dear Jo and Jon,

        Jo:

        ko.ti (or crore): In India, a crore equals 10 million in English
        see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore

        sa.t.thi ca vassa-sata-sahassaani tisso ca vassa-ko.tiyo
        sixty / and / year-hundred-thousands / three / and / year-crores

        [1]
        sa.t.thi vassa-sata-sahassaani = sixty hundred thousands of vassa
        i.e. 6,000,000 (6M) years

        [2]
        tisso vassa-ko.tiyo = three crores of vassa
        i.e. 30,000,000 (30M) years

        [1+2]
        6M + 30M = 36M
        Hence, 36 million years.

        metta,
        Yong Peng.


        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, dhamma_joti wrote:

        So if there is anyone from this group who would be willing to have a
        look at the Pali words/sentences and verify whether or not the English
        translation about Sakka's lifespan(36.000.000 years) is correct, and
        if possible with explanation on the Pali--how it can be 36.000.000
        years--.

        > > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
        > > khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
      • mahipaliha
        ... khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati. ... thirty millions of years, then was born on earth again. This is correct.(1) sa.t.thi =60, sata-sahassa = 100
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, johan wijaya <dhamma_joti@...> wrote:
          >
          > In CSCD, Jat. II [310] it's written:
          > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
          khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
          > By PTS, it's translated:
          > Sakka had lived for sixty times an hundred thousand years and
          thirty millions of years, then was born on earth again.

          This is correct.(1) sa.t.thi =60, sata-sahassa = 100 thousand (2)
          tisso =3, ko.ti= 10 million.(Even today they use the word 'crore'
          for 10 m. In modern Sinhala too ko.ti means 10 m.)

          > so overall, 6.000.000+30.000.000 = 36.000.000 years., am i right?

          Yes.

          > while in Dictionary of Pali Proper Name (DPPN), it's mentioned
          as "thirty-six million years and sixty times one hundred thousand".

          Obviously DPPN has erred in saying thirty six million. It should
          have been thirty m.

          > While in Pali-English dictionary, the word ko.ti is defined as up
          to a hundred thousand (in number).

          But, later in the same entry, kahaapa.na koti is rendered as 10 m.
          kahaapa.nas, which is correct. That ko.ti also may mean an
          unspecified large number is however acceptable.

          Mahipaliha
        • Jon Fernquest
          Dear Yong Peng; Thanks for the explanation. The expression of the number in the Pali did seem rather confusing. But you show us that it just follows the
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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            Dear Yong Peng;

            Thanks for the explanation.
            The expression of the number in the Pali
            did seem rather confusing.

            But you show us that it just follows the standard in Pali
            for verbalizing and writing out numbers like people
            do on checks at the bank.

            36,000,000 human years also matches the
            lifespan for devas in the Taavati.msa heaven
            according to Steven Collins table of
            Buddhist Cosmology (Nirvana and
            other Buddhist Felicities, page 298).

            Although the table says "maximum length of life" at the
            top which raises the question of whether Sakka's lifespan as
            well as that of the other devas is always fixed?

            Also there is more than one cosmological text in
            Theravadan Buddhist cosmology. I wonder if this hierarchy
            with its lifespans is universal across all cosmologies?

            [Note: In old Burmese texts too, numbers are verbalized, not written
            with digits. People still use lakh for large amounts in Burma
            like the value of houses. Perhaps "koti" also (koti = kuti in Burmese).]

            With metta,
            Jon Fernquest



            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <pali.smith@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Jo and Jon,
            >
            > Jo:
            >
            > ko.ti (or crore): In India, a crore equals 10 million in English
            > see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore
            >
            > sa.t.thi ca vassa-sata-sahassaani tisso ca vassa-ko.tiyo
            > sixty / and / year-hundred-thousands / three / and / year-crores
            >
            > [1]
            > sa.t.thi vassa-sata-sahassaani = sixty hundred thousands of vassa
            > i.e. 6,000,000 (6M) years
            >
            > [2]
            > tisso vassa-ko.tiyo = three crores of vassa
            > i.e. 30,000,000 (30M) years
            >
            > [1+2]
            > 6M + 30M = 36M
            > Hence, 36 million years.
            >
            > metta,
            > Yong Peng.
            >
            >
            > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, dhamma_joti wrote:
            >
            > So if there is anyone from this group who would be willing to have a
            > look at the Pali words/sentences and verify whether or not the English
            > translation about Sakka's lifespan(36.000.000 years) is correct, and
            > if possible with explanation on the Pali--how it can be 36.000.000
            > years--.
            >
            > > > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
            > > > khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
            >
          • Ong Yong Peng
            Dear Jon, I am not so much into Buddhist cosmology. But, I offer a thought for you to ponder. The elaborated discussion of lifespan of devas in Buddhist
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 1, 2008
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              Dear Jon,

              I am not so much into Buddhist cosmology. But, I offer a thought for
              you to ponder. The elaborated discussion of lifespan of devas in
              Buddhist discourses is to highlight that the heavens are not eternal,
              as otherwise preached by all other religions. If we go back to the
              sentence Jo posted:

              sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
              khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati

              Sakka spent the life of 36 millions and passed away, another Sakka was
              born.

              To me, this sentence signifies the impermanence, not lifespan, of
              Sakka. Having thought that, I have already lost half the appetite for
              cosmology. ;-) I am just joking, I am in fact very keen in physical
              (scientific) cosmology, but not so much in religious cosmology,
              although I do read them occasionally.

              metta,
              Yong Peng.


              --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Jon Fernquest wrote:

              there is more than one cosmological text in Theravadan Buddhist
              cosmology. I wonder if this hierarchy with its lifespans is universal
              across all cosmologies?
            • Jon Fernquest
              Yong Peng wrote: I am in fact very keen in physical (scientific) cosmology, but not so much in religious cosmology, I am not so much into Buddhist cosmology.
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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                Yong Peng wrote: "I am in fact very keen in physical (scientific)
                cosmology, but not so much in religious cosmology, I am not so much into
                Buddhist cosmology."

                Same with me from a personal standpoint, but to understand Burmese
                historical writings I need to understand Buddhist cosmology (and maybe
                even my neighbors since they have photos of monks that fly on their
                altars, haven't really asked them about this much though)

                U Kala's Mahayazawingyi historical chronicle written in early 1700s
                starts off with cosmology and has frequent cosmological references like
                the following that I was translating just before I checked my email:

                "Queen Bwa Saw addressed the king trying to comfort him, "O great king
                who is an embryo Buddha (a-laung min-gyi) all the suffering creatures
                who wander in the three worlds will not be freed from the eight Dan Taya
                (eight predicaments), even the Sa-kya-wa-dei (universal monarch) Mandat
                (Mandhata) king who governs over the four great islands surrounded by
                2000 smaller islands, as well as the two-tiered country of the Nats, is
                not free from the law of Na Na bawa (ghosts and evil spirits) and Wi Na
                bawa (separation after death), when from the preaching of the law (of
                the Buddha), you realize this through wisdom (binnya-daw-hpyin
                hsin-chin-daw-mu-thi), your heart will be free from hindrance (a-naut
                a-shet). "

                Pe Maung Tin and Luce, Glass Palace Chronicle, 1923:
                'O king Alaung, all suffering creatures who wander in the three worlds
                must need endure the eight world-predicaments. Thine heart will not be
                comforted until thou weighest these words of the Law : "Not ever the
                universal monarch, king Mandhata, sovereign ruler of the four great
                Islands and two thousand lesser isles surrounding them, and of the two
                limboes of the world of spirits, is free from rise and fall separations,
                and the breach of death" '

                This comforting from his queen takes place just after the Chinese (Yuan
                dynasty) have invaded his kingdom around 1285, though it may be largely
                literary embellishment.

                Maybe Buddhist Cosmology is being used here to convince the king that
                even though he is a king and therefore very important in his kingdom, in
                the grand scheme of things he is very small, similar to the message of
                Mahasudassana Jataka (No. 95) maybe.

                The chronicle also has nissaya Burmese with Pali for some of the early
                more cosmological sections.

                [Note: Some details of cosmology even seem to detract from religious
                practice. Like the detail that Steven Collins gives about deva realms
                that can experience sexual pleasure. I found this a little distracting.]

                With metta,

                Jon Fernquest
              • johan wijaya
                Dear Yong Peng, Jon, and Mahipaliha, Thank you very much for verifying that the translation of PTS is actually correct about the lifespan of Sakka (36.000.000
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 6, 2008
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                  Dear Yong Peng, Jon, and Mahipaliha,

                  Thank you very much for verifying that the translation of PTS is actually correct about the lifespan of Sakka (36.000.000 years).

                  Regarding to what Mahipaliha said that DPPN might have erred in writing "thirty six million years and sixty times one hundred thousand", I also think the same (after knowing the explanation from Yong Peng's clear description on the amount of years)....and it seems like nobody wants to comment on this, whether or not DPPN might have erred in doing so, I would have to take it as a 'yes' then.

                  Yong Peng and Jon,
                  Sorry, i don't join your talk about cosmology as I myself have a very limited knowledge about such thing.


                  Once again, thank you very much to all who have been willing to respond to this subject/topic message. Hopefully, you all would always do the same thing--keep responding to any subject that you know the answer--
                  I am really lucky to have found and been the member of this Paligroups, eventhough I am not active in answering/commenting any message. Hope, nobody minds....


                  With Metta,
                  Jo.

                  Jon Fernquest <bayinnaung@...> wrote: Dear Yong Peng;

                  Thanks for the explanation.
                  The expression of the number in the Pali
                  did seem rather confusing.

                  But you show us that it just follows the standard in Pali
                  for verbalizing and writing out numbers like people
                  do on checks at the bank.

                  36,000,000 human years also matches the
                  lifespan for devas in the Taavati.msa heaven
                  according to Steven Collins table of
                  Buddhist Cosmology (Nirvana and
                  other Buddhist Felicities, page 298).

                  Although the table says "maximum length of life" at the
                  top which raises the question of whether Sakka's lifespan as
                  well as that of the other devas is always fixed?

                  Also there is more than one cosmological text in
                  Theravadan Buddhist cosmology. I wonder if this hierarchy
                  with its lifespans is universal across all cosmologies?

                  [Note: In old Burmese texts too, numbers are verbalized, not written
                  with digits. People still use lakh for large amounts in Burma
                  like the value of houses. Perhaps "koti" also (koti = kuti in Burmese).]

                  With metta,
                  Jon Fernquest

                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <pali.smith@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Jo and Jon,
                  >
                  > Jo:
                  >
                  > ko.ti (or crore): In India, a crore equals 10 million in English
                  > see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore
                  >
                  > sa.t.thi ca vassa-sata-sahassaani tisso ca vassa-ko.tiyo
                  > sixty / and / year-hundred-thousands / three / and / year-crores
                  >
                  > [1]
                  > sa.t.thi vassa-sata-sahassaani = sixty hundred thousands of vassa
                  > i.e. 6,000,000 (6M) years
                  >
                  > [2]
                  > tisso vassa-ko.tiyo = three crores of vassa
                  > i.e. 30,000,000 (30M) years
                  >
                  > [1+2]
                  > 6M + 30M = 36M
                  > Hence, 36 million years.
                  >
                  > metta,
                  > Yong Peng.
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, dhamma_joti wrote:
                  >
                  > So if there is anyone from this group who would be willing to have a
                  > look at the Pali words/sentences and verify whether or not the English
                  > translation about Sakka's lifespan(36.000.000 years) is correct, and
                  > if possible with explanation on the Pali--how it can be 36.000.000
                  > years--.
                  >
                  > > > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
                  > > > khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
                  >






                  ---------------------------------

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