Mt. Sineru

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Mt. Sineru

Postby DhammaDan » Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:30 am

Hello all,

I have recently been reading the Visuddhimagga and have once again come across the very confusing description of Mount Sineru. As I have limited experience in studying mythology and symbolism, I will save my interpretations. However, I am curious as to what others think of the mountain, especially our Venerables. Is it to be read literally? Symbolically? What is the true meaning behind Sineru?

For the record, my friend's father is a Hindu Brahman and he has told me he views it as a metaphor for the human body and the "axis mundi" in which the chakras are aligned. Once again, might those in more advanced Buddhist studies also have an interpretation? Thank you for your time.
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Re: Mt. Sineru

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:52 am

Greetings Dan,

I've read someone somewhere suggest that Buddhaghosa's insistence on listing and depicting all these cosmological objects (I know the section you're talking about - it perplexed me on initial inspection too!) is because he misinterpreted what "knower of worlds" means... taking it to be literal rather than referring to the "world" of the Buddha's teachings as defined by the Buddha in suttas such as SN 12.44, SN 35.82 and AN 4.45.

Interesting theory.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Mt. Sineru

Postby Element » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:I've read someone somewhere suggest that Buddhaghosa's insistence on listing and depicting all these cosmological objects (I know the section you're talking about - it perplexed me on initial inspection too!) is because he misinterpreted what "knower of worlds" means...

:alien:
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Re: Mt. Sineru

Postby DhammaDan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:02 am

That is an interesting point. It seems many Theravadans see the Visuddhimagga as canon/a proper evaluation of the Dhamma and I am sorry to say I may have fallen into that trap for a short time. Haha, well, I guess that's to be left to the professionals.
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Re: Mt. Sineru

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:40 am

Greetings DhammaDan,

As far as my understanding goes the Visuddhimagga is mostly a summary of Vinaya, Sutta, Abhidhamma, and Commentary relevant to the development of sila samadhi and panna. Rejection of the Visudhimagga is therefore actually a rejection of Commentary and/or Abhidhamma, i.e. a "Vinaya-Sutta" approach.

Of course, there's still plenty of this "cosmological" stuff in the Suttas, e.g. DN27 Aganna Sutta: On Knowledge of Beginnings...

Nevertheless

Metta
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Re: Mt. Sineru

Postby Element » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:12 am

:alien: :alien: :alien:
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