James the Giant wrote:During evening chanting, Why do we share our merit with the sun and the moon? The sun is a vast sphere of thermonuclear plasma, and the moon is a cratered grey rock orbiting the Earth. They are not sentient beings. Or could this be a hangover from animistic times, where everything had a god in it?
I heard something to suggest this chant was quite modern and originally written in Thai, so it might refer to their beloved King and Queen?
Reflections on Sharing Blessings
Now let us chant the verses of sharing and aspiration.
Through the goodness that arises from my practice, May my spiritual teachers and guides of great virtue, My mother, my father and my relatives, The sun and the moon, And all virtuous leaders of the world--May the highest gods and evil forces; Celestial beings, quardian spirits of the Earth, And the Lord of Death; May those who are friendly, indifferent or hostile; May all beings receive the blessings of my life. May they soon attain the threefold bliss And realise the Deathless.
Through the goodness that arises from my practice, And through this act of sharing, May all desires and attachments quickly cease And all harmful states of mind. Until I realise Nibbana, In every kind of birth, May I have and upright mind With mindfulness and wisdom, austerity and vigour May the forces of delusion not take hold Nor weaken my resolve.
The Buddha is my exellent refuge Unsurpassed is the protection of the Dhamma The Solitary Buddha is my noble Lord The Sangha is my supreme support Through the supreme power of all these, May darkness and delusion be dispelled.
James the Giant wrote:During evening chanting, Why do we share our merit with the sun and the moon? The sun is a vast sphere of thermonuclear plasma, and the moon is a cratered grey rock orbiting the Earth.
James the Giant wrote:During evening chanting, Why do we share our merit with the sun and the moon?
SN 46.54: Metta Sutta wrote:keep pervading the first direction [the east] with an awareness imbued with good will, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.
AN 7.49: Dana Sutta wrote:but with the thought, 'This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind' — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma's Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.
culaavuso wrote:It's interesting to note that the sutta doesn't just suggest directing good will to the moving things made of flesh, but to direct good will, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity everywhere, pervading the "all-encompassing cosmos". The sun and moon would seem to be part of the all-encompassing cosmos. Sharing merit seems like a way to foster good will.
James the Giant wrote:Thanks for the replies. Hmm, looks like it's animism then. Disappointing.
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.
The hypothesis, which is named after the Greek goddess Gaia, was formulated by the scientist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. While early versions of the hypothesis were criticized for being teleological and contradicting principles of natural selection, later refinements have resulted in ideas highlighted by the Gaia Hypothesis being used in subjects such as geophysiology, Earth system science, biogeochemistry, systems ecology, and climate science. In 2006, the Geological Society of London awarded Lovelock the Wollaston Medal largely for his work on the Gaia theory.