Have we been to all the realms?

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Have we been to all the realms?

Postby Stephen K » Sat May 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Is there a sutta that says that we have all been to all (31?) realms in this long course of samsara (except, of course, the suddhavasa, which is reserved for anagamis only)?
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Re: Have we been to all the realms?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 05, 2012 5:07 pm

When I saw the title of the thread the first thing that came to mind was the Pure Abodes, but I see you already thought of them.

The Pure Abodes are the realms none of us have been to, including the Buddha because once there (anagamis) enlightenment is guaranteed and thus, nibbana.

As far as the rest, I don't know, perhaps an imponderable.
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Re: Have we been to all the realms?

Postby daverupa » Sat May 05, 2012 6:25 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:perhaps an imponderable.


As it happens:

MN 2 wrote:"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Have we been to all the realms?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:08 pm

Well, if rebirth is true then we've all been around for an incalculable amount of aeons. So, the answer is probably.
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Sat May 05, 2012 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Have we been to all the realms?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:11 pm

As Dave notes:
daverupa wrote:
MN 2 wrote:"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past?

fabricating an "I" from the past (or the present, for that matter) is a mistake. Therefore, the question:
Have we been to all the realms?

is fatally flawed ( :tongue: ).

:anjali:
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Re: Have we been to all the realms?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:25 pm

Actually, perhaps my (and Dave's) post is a little off-topic, since the Buddha does use conventional language in a number of suttas, such as:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find.

"Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."

However, I think one should carefully consider what such Suttas are designed to teach to the listeners, bearing in mind the sutta that Dave quoted.

:anjali:
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