8 causes of earthquake

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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8 causes of earthquake

Postby barcsimalsi » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:07 pm

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:12 pm

The first bit, with the agitation of liquid leading to the disturbance of the Earth, is probably just a pre-scientific understanding of tectonic plate movement and other naturally-caused tremors.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:26 pm

The terms earth, water, fire, and air, refer to the four elements — solidity, fluidity, temperature, and motion.

The air element is not just wind, but any kind of elemental pressure or motion. (Gastric wind, whether it comes up or goes down, is also the air element). The water element is not just water, but also molten rock or molten iron — even ice contains the fluid element, which is why glaciers flow.

Earthquakes occur due to the movement of magma (which is water element), forced up by pressure (air element). Cohesion is a quality of water too, when cohesion is weak faults start to slide.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby bodom » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:47 pm

Every once in a while this question will come up about the accuracy of this statement by the Buddha, but it's really quite simple: The Buddha was an expert on suffering and the way of ending suffering. He was not a geologist. He was merely expressing the commonly held scientific beliefs about the cause of earthquakes 2600 years ago. If you want to know how to be free of all stress and suffering then the Buddha and his Dhamma are where you need to turn. If you want to know about the cause of earthquakes then ask a geologist or an expert in that field.

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:14 pm

My understanding of these sorts of things in the Nikayas is had by understanding the effect this sort of thing had on those who listened to it when it was originally composed.

Basically, I see it as a particular sort of religious text; it can have an allegorical or otherwise symbolic meaning, & otherwise potentially give rise (esp. in its original contexts) to gladdening the mind in some rapturous way. A literal reading would actually be a misunderstanding, sort of like treating a television sitcom like a reality show.

The scientific understanding of these phenomena is something very modern; the original composers and consumers of these sorts of texts were not at all concerned with scientific accuracy, as it wasn't even on their thought horizon.

These descriptions aren't making physical or metaphysical claims, they are housing their religious texts in a certain narrative environment for various community-oriented reasons.

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby DAWN » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:10 pm

It's funny because my mother say that 2 weeks after my birth in the town where i was burn ( in Bulgaria) there is un earth quake that arise.. :thinking:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby barcsimalsi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:27 pm

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby Buckwheat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:31 pm

For engineers, another word for pressure is "stress". The crust is agitated and relieves the stress by quaking. The other seven reasons are just illustrating the ground-shaking importance of enlightenment. Hyperbole? Maybe, but it makes a stirring point.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby whynotme » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:07 am

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:35 am

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby whynotme » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:16 am

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Re: 8 causes of earthquake

Postby Weltschmerz Buddhist » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:06 pm

I never understood how one can pick and choose which parts are true and which parts are not of a certain religious text. Choose to interpret them another way than what is written. I think if you question one part then you need to question the entire sutra. I remember reading somewhere that when these earthquakes happen no one dies, but if a demon is brought on earth that people do die in those earthquakes, but I think this was just speculation. I believe this could be true.

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