Re: Sakka's lifespan
- --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, johan wijaya <dhamma_joti@...> wrote:
>khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
> In CSCD, Jat. II  it's written:
> sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
> By PTS, it's translated:thirty millions of years, then was born on earth again.
> Sakka had lived for sixty times an hundred thousand years and
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 mentionedas "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 upto 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.
- 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
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.
--- 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?
- 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
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
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
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.]
- 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....
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).]
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Ong Yong Peng" <pali.smith@...> wrote:
> Dear Jo and Jon,
> 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
> sa.t.thi vassa-sata-sahassaani = sixty hundred thousands of vassa
> i.e. 6,000,000 (6M) years
> tisso vassa-ko.tiyo = three crores of vassa
> i.e. 30,000,000 (30M) years
> 6M + 30M = 36M
> Hence, 36 million years.
> 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
> > > sakko sa.t.thi ca vassasatasahassaani tisso ca vassako.tiyo aayu.m
> > > khepetvaa cavi, a~n~no sakko nibbati.
Real people. Real questions. Real answers. Share what you know.
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