The Long Lives of Brahmas

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The Long Lives of Brahmas

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:53 am

Hello Sangha,
I hope this post reaches you all in good spirits.

Please consider this quote:

Susan Elbaum Jootla wrote:Let us now study some features of the chart. The lower beings and humans do not have fixed lifespans, but higher beings do. As you go up the chart from the sixth plane to the thirty-first, each successive group of deities lives longer than the group below it. The lifespans of devas are measured in multiple centuries. The duration of a brahma's existence can only be expressed in aeons. The Buddha defines these extremely long periods of time by analogy. An aeon is the length of time it would take to wear away a mountain of solid rock six miles high and six miles wide, rubbing over it with a fine piece of muslin once every hundred years. The highest brahmas of the immaterial sphere live for 84,000 aeons.


(from "Teacher of the Devas" by Susan Elbaum Jootla, on A2I - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el414.html)

Okay, am I alone here in thinking: "I do NOT want to live for 84,000 aeons"?

I understand that the highest brahmas enjoy a pretty substantial level of pleasure, but in terms of having less of a chance to practice Dhamma than humans do, such a long life seems more like a curse than a blessing.

Could this be a matter of a thousand aeons to a human actually being a minute or two for a brahma?

84k aeons is hard to wrap my mind around. Just one aeon seems like an ungodly amount of time. Doesn't seem like there's enough to do in that amount of time!

:anjali:
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Re: The Long Lives of Brahmas

Postby Ordinaryperson » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:00 am

It is a honey trap if one is not careful upon reaching that level because after such a long time one may have forgotten Dhamma.
~Actively trying to destroy the Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance~
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Re: The Long Lives of Brahmas

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:37 am

Ordinaryperson wrote:It is a honey trap if one is not careful upon reaching that level because after such a long time one may have forgotten Dhamma.


I also thought about this when reading the passage I quoted above. And it seems especially true when realizing that brahmas in this realm enjoy an abundance of sense and jhanic pleasure, thus diminishing motivation to practice Dhamma.

According to the analysis of the 31 planes of existence on A2I, the four highest realms in the Immaterial Sphere are marked by beings existing only as mind and no body, making the hearing and practice of Dhamma impossible. Again, seems more like a curse than a reward. Not sure if this is the state of the long life though.

:anjali:
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Re: The Long Lives of Brahmas

Postby Pannapetar » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:27 am

Dhammakid wrote:Okay, am I alone here in thinking: "I do NOT want to live for 84,000 aeons"?


Hmm... that's indeed a lot of time to kill! ...depends on the TV programme up there in the immaterial spheres. :tongue:

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