Science-Meru

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Re: Science-Meru

Postby lojong1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:45 am

If you cannot trust the Buddha to get geographical facts right, why trust him on issues related to the supernatural / spiritual?

Yogi Berra -- "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"
Sorry you have to expand your real response into a thesis.
I might give a semantopathic response: I wouldn't trust any dead man to get any facts right, and what do you mean by supernatural/spiritual?
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby Shonin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:25 am

Bubbabuddhist wrote:I'll toss a few thoughts into this. We can't judge apples by the rules of oranges. if we're going to judge the physics of Buddha's time. we have to use Vedic reasoning, not Newtonian physics. In engineering, we call this homogeneity of units (you don't multiply feet by inches, for example). For example, if Mount Meru is where the devas live, it's made quite clear in Vedic literature devas do not live on the material/physical plane as we do. So we're not talking about geology at all. Mount Meru doesn't exist as say, Mount Everest does. It's invisible to the human eye for a reason; but not to the supramundane eye.


I think I may have heard an explanation of it as invisible somewhere. However if the mountain is an invisible, supramundane mountain then presumably it would not block sunlight and hence this idea is inconsistent with the following passage:

40,000 yojanas is also the height at which the Sun and Moon circle Sumeru in a clockwise direction. This rotation explains the alteration of day and night; when the Sun is north of Sumeru, the shadow of the mountain is cast over the continent of Jambudvīpa, and it is night there; at the same time it is noon in the opposing northern continent of Uttarakuru, dawn in the eastern continent of Pūrvavideha, and dusk in the western continent of Aparagodānīya. Half a day later, when the Sun has moved to the south, it is noon in Jambudvīpa, dusk in Pūrvavideha, dawn in Aparagodānīya, and midnight in Uttarakuru.
source

Perhaps it is best to see Meru as a myth rather than as something that exists literally.

Bubbabuddhist wrote:As for the Earth resting upon liquid upon air, once again, look at this from vedic Elements or Dhatus. Look at a cross-section of the Earth. The solid land masses do indeed rest upon liquid, which rest upon air. Quite impressive description, actually. :P All you have to do is see these descriptions from the correct perspective and they make perfect sense.


Not really. The liquid mantle of the earth does not rest on air at all. It rests on a solid core. Behind that is some more mantle. You have to go through both of those and a crust before you find a thin layer of air. And the mantle certainly doesn't rest on it. As I pointed out on another thread, it's a far more efficient explanation to suggest that this describes the Ancient Indian worldview of that time with earth resting on water, resting on wind, resting on space.

Ananda, there are eight causes of, or conditions leading to, great earthquakes. What are the eight (causes)?

Ananda, this great earth is supported by water, the water by air, the air by space. At times great winds blow strongly. When great winds blow strongly, the water is shaken. When the water is shaken, the earth is shaken. This is the first cause of, the first condition leading to, the occurrence of great earthquakes. (1)


All of the structures of the earth, Sumeru and the rest, extend downward to a depth of 80,000 yojanas below sea level – the same as the height of Sumeru above sea level. Below this is a layer of "golden earth", a substance compact and firm enough to support the weight of Sumeru. It is 320,000 yojanas in depth and so extends to 400,000 yojanas below sea level. The layer of golden earth in turn rests upon a layer of water, which is 8,000,000 yojanas in depth, going down to 8,400,000 yojanas below sea level. Below the layer of water is a "circle of wind", which is 16,000,000 yojanas in depth and also much broader in extent, supporting 1,000 different worlds upon it.


I really think that trying to use the suttas as an infallible, omniscience source of knowledge about the physical world is a misguided and hopeless task which leads to self-deception and confusion. The value of the suttas is a guideline for our own spiritual practice.
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:28 pm

beeblebrox wrote:Someone recently made an interesting connection between Mt. Meru and the magnetic axis of the Earth.


That's me:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5689
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:32 pm

Shonin wrote:I think I may have heard an explanation of it as invisible somewhere. However if the mountain is an invisible, supramundane mountain then presumably it would not block sunlight and hence this idea is inconsistent with the following passage:

40,000 yojanas is also the height at which the Sun and Moon circle Sumeru in a clockwise direction. This rotation explains the alteration of day and night; when the Sun is north of Sumeru, the shadow of the mountain is cast over the continent of Jambudvīpa, and it is night there; at the same time it is noon in the opposing northern continent of Uttarakuru, dawn in the eastern continent of Pūrvavideha, and dusk in the western continent of Aparagodānīya. Half a day later, when the Sun has moved to the south, it is noon in Jambudvīpa, dusk in Pūrvavideha, dawn in Aparagodānīya, and midnight in Uttarakuru.
source


Wikipedia is not that reliable. I have given the exact quote from Atthakatha in the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5689
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby pilgrim » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:55 pm

i'm waiting till you guys bring up the talking animals of the Jatakas... :stirthepot:
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby lojong1 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:40 am

pilgrim wrote:i'm waiting till you guys bring up the talking animals of the Jatakas... :stirthepot:

See Dog Whisperer episode with animal communicator Susan Hill. Always a perfectly reasonable explanation.
http://www.taranet.co.uk/animal%20communication.htm
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Re: Science-Meru

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:49 am

Greetings,

pilgrim wrote:i'm waiting till you guys bring up the talking animals of the Jatakas... :stirthepot:

Luckily they're acknowledges as Tales, rather than the teaching of the Buddha. :stirthepot:

I wouldn't be too perturbed about animals that talk in the Jataka Tales.

:pig:

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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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