What is a "world system"?

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Tom
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What is a "world system"?

Postby Tom » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:12 pm

But in any one world system it is impossible for a second Buddha to arise while the teaching of another Buddha is still extant

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_21.html


What is the "world system" being referred to here? A single solar system? A galaxy? The entire universe?

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:09 pm


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Stephen K
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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby Stephen K » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:33 pm

I asked Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi this question on Facebook. Here is what he said:

Me:
Hello Bhante,
Could I ask what a "world system" stands for in the texts? Is it the Universe, a galaxy, a star system, or a planet?
Thank you!
With Metta,
Stephen


Bhikkhu Bodhi:
It seems to correspond more closely to a galaxy, but one can't draw precise correlations between ancient Buddhist notions of the world and concepts coming from modern astronomy. The world system is described in Anguttara Nikaya 3:80. There are also three levels of world systems nested within each other. A thousandfold world system is the simplest level. A middling world system is a thousand WS to the second power (squared). And a great three thousandfold world system is a thousandfold WS to the third power (cubed).
BB
With metta,
Upāsaka Sumana

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equilibrium
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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby equilibrium » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:06 pm

The word "any" is an interesting word.....not one but many.
"world system".....as earth cannot exist without the sun (star).....or
"any one world system" sounds like a conditional existence like a solar system depending on the sun (star).

A galaxy will have many stars yet each star does not "depend" on the other.....whereas universe is all.

The fact is the teaching by a Buddha is currently here means this one world system (sun/earth solar system) corresponds.
Although there are stars in the sky but they are not current or live, these stars are the past or history.

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby Tom » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:44 pm

equilibrium wrote: ...this one world system (sun/earth solar system) corresponds.

Can sammasambuddhas be born within other solar systems and teach the Dhamma there?

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby SarathW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:41 am

Please refer to page 341 of attached link for further info:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby Dallas » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:07 am

Well, it would make sense that life on other worlds would have a different system. Different physiology, beliefs, culture, everything. And they surely wouldn't have heard of our Buddha. So I think it would make the most sense to say a world system is a "system of a world."

Interesting that Buddha acknowledged life on other worlds so very long ago and science is only now waking up to the reality of it.
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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:30 am

I assumed it meant a solar system but I've been told by Bhante Seelananda similar to what Bhikkhu Bodhi said.. a galaxy.


When do exaulted metta, I go beyond the earth to the galaxy, then to the universe, then to the multi-verse and all planes of existance.

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 am

ccharles wrote:
But in any one world system it is impossible for a second Buddha to arise while the teaching of another Buddha is still extant

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_21.html


What is the "world system" being referred to here? A single solar system? A galaxy? The entire universe?


as far as i know this is somewhat up for debate. it's not clearly fleshed out in the suttas, just referenced similar to the above. people after the buddha systematized buddhist cosmology in ways that would surely answer your question but that doesn't necessarily mean that their interpretations are identical to what is in the suttas.

i like to just make silly blind assumptions and assume that he meant a multi-verse (a huge number of universes all parallel and expanding and contracting which the suttas vaguely talk about) just as some modern physicists theorize about. he says "ten thousand fold world system" so i think one could stretch that out to fit in with modern theory if one were so inclined, but that's just my fun interpretation. but as i said above, there's really no definitive answer.

perhaps even more intriguing is the sermon of the seven suns! the only ancient text i've ever seen that mentions zero mythology or deities when discussing the end of the world, it's pure scientific talk:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/journals/oc/gppt6.htm

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Re: What is a "world system"?

Postby equilibrium » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:29 pm

ccharles wrote:Can sammasambuddhas be born within other solar systems and teach the Dhamma there?
For anything to exist it must depend on something else.....conditioned.
For the earth to exist, there must be a sun.

For anything that has a begining must have an end.
As everything that exist.....it is suffering so it must be provided with a solution to end existence.
Other solar systems supported by stars which have planets will have the right conditions.
That condition allows for existence hence it must be supported by dhamma.
Dhamma cannot exist without a sammasambuddha or the teaching itself and future sammasambuddhas.

So yes.....no one can go there to see it and no one can prove it to anyone.....a sammasambuddha is the only one who can see it.....most important of all, not a requirement to know to escape samsara.


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