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Re: Sakka's lifespan

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
      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 2 of 9 , Mar 6, 2008
        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,

        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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