Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

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Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Dmytro » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:54 pm

Hello Pali friends,

According to the Pali sources,

Sineru (aka Meru) is:

A mountain, forming the centre of the world. It is submerged in the sea to a depth of eighty four thousand yojanas and rises above the surface to the same height.

(SNA.ii.443; Sp.i.119; Vsm.206; cp. Mtu.ii.300; Dvy.217; it is eighty thousand leagues broad, A.iv.100).

On the top of Sineru is Tāvatimsa (SNA.ii.485f), while at its foot is the Asurabhavana of ten thousand leagues; in the middle are the four Mahādīpā with their two thousand smaller dīpā.


http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... sineru.htm

According to Sattasuriya sutta (AN 4.99):

‘‘Sineru, bhikkhave, pabbatarājā caturāsītiyojanasahassāni āyāmena, caturāsītiyojanasahassāni vitthārena, caturāsītiyojanasahassāni mahāsamudde ajjhogāḷho, caturāsītiyojanasahassāni mahāsamuddā accuggato."

"Sineru, o monks, the king of the mountains, is 84000 yojanas high from the sea level, 84000 yojanas wide, 84000 yojanas deep in the great ocean."

According to relatively early Indian text, Mahabharata, the Mount Meru is located on the North Pole, and is invisible for the human eyes:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m06/m06006.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/db/bk08ch15.htm

This location of Mount Meru was also advocated by Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda during Panadura controversy:

http://www.freeratio.org/thearchives/sh ... ?p=1801084

Mount Meru is traditionally depicted in the form of the inverted cone:
http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/TF41/
http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/TF18/
http://phoenixandturtle.net/images/meru.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Meru

What mountain, invisible to human eyes, can be located on the North Pole, submerged deep into the ocean, in the form of the inverted cone?

This is the form of the magnetic axis of the Earth:

http://physics.uoregon.edu/~jimbrau/Bra ... G07_19.jpg
http://uvs-model.com/pictures/earth_magnetosphere.jpg

In its totality, the magnetic axis is indeed shaped like an hourglass:

Sumeru is said to be shaped like an hourglass, with a top and base of 80,000 yojanas square, but narrowing in the middle (i.e., at a height of 40,000 yojanas) to 20,000 yojanas square.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumeru

Jambudiipa, Pubbavideha, Uttarakuru and Aparagoyaana are four continents (mahaadiipa) of the world-system (cakkavaala).

They are situated on the four sides of Mount Siineru (aka Meru).

So are these continents located on the four sides of the North Pole?

Atthakatha confirms this:

"When the sun rises in this continent (Jambudiipa), it is the middle watch of the night in Aparagoyaana; sunset in Aparagoyaana is midnight in Jambudiipa, and sunrise is noon in Jambudiipa, sunset in Pubbavideha and midnight in Uttarakuru."

"Imasmi~nhi diipe suuriyuggamanakaalo pubbavidehe majjhanhiko hoti, uttarakuruusu attha"ngamanakaalo, aparagoyaane majjhimayaamo. Pubbavidehamhi uggamanakaalo uttarakuruusu majjhanhiko, aparagoyaane attha"ngamanakaalo, idha majjhimayaamo. Uttarakuruusu uggamanakaalo aparagoyaane majjhanhiko, idha attha"ngamanakaalo, pubbavidehe majjhimayaamo. Aparagoyaanadiipe uggamanakaalo idha majjhanhiko, pubbavidehe attha"ngamanakaalo, uttarakuruusu majjhimayaamoti." (DA.iii.868)

"Jambudiipa" is known to be India and its continent. Then remaining continents can be reconstructed then as:

Pubbavideha - Australia,
Uttarakuru - America,
Aparagoyaana - Africa.

Some details preserved by commentarial tradition seem to support such reconstruction.

For example, there is a mention of migration from 'Africa' to 'Eurasia', and no mentions of other migration between continents.

'America' is said to be bigger in extent than 'Africa' and 'Australia', but smaller than 'Eurasia'.

What can we conclude from such reconstruction?

Several instances are given of the Buddha having gone to Uttarakuru for alms. Having obtained his food there, he would go to the Anotatta lake, bathe in its waters and, after the meal, spend the afternoon on its banks (See, e.g., Vin.i.27-8; DhsA.16; DhA.iii.222). The power of going to Uttarakuru for alms is not restricted to the Buddha; Pacceka Buddhas and various ascetics are mentioned as having visited Uttarakuru on their begging rounds (See, e.g., J.v.316; vi.100; MA.i.340; SnA.ii.420). It is considered a mark of great iddhi-power to be able to do this (E.g., Rohita, SA.i.93; also Mil.84).


http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... rakuru.htm

If this reconstruction is correct, and the information in Vinaya and Atthakatha is truthful, then Buddha has visited America.

Metta,
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:44 pm

Dmytro wrote:If this reconstruction is correct, and the information in Vinaya and Atthakatha is truthful, then Buddha has visited America.


Cool, no wonder we have so many Buddha statues in the casinos here in Las Vegas. (just kidding)

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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:17 am

Yeah, it depends on which continent is which. And obviously we have to translate the modern "seven continents" into the ultimate four great land masses. The point is, he seemed to be able to teleport to other lands. Is this a correct interpretation? How exactly is it said that the Buddha traveled to the other continent?

Very interesting post, by the way! Thanks so much.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Dmytro » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi Son,

Son wrote:The point is, he seemed to be able to teleport to other lands. Is this a correct interpretation?


"Teleport" is rather a sci-fi term. He somehow went very fast to other lands.

How exactly is it said that the Buddha traveled to the other continent?


It is said that he just "went" there.

This reminds also of several occasions when the Buddha, having known the thoughts of particular monk, appeared before him and then gave instructions.

Very interesting post, by the way! Thanks so much.


You are welcome.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:09 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Son,

Son wrote:The point is, he seemed to be able to teleport to other lands. Is this a correct interpretation?


"Teleport" is rather a sci-fi term. He somehow went very fast to other lands.

How exactly is it said that the Buddha traveled to the other continent?


It is said that he just "went" there.

This reminds also of several occasions when the Buddha, having known the thoughts of particular monk, appeared before him and then gave instructions.

Very interesting post, by the way! Thanks so much.


You are welcome.


Oh I definitely meant it non fictitiously. Tele means to bridge distances and port means to carry distances. I simply meant it in that sense, although yes it's not very accurate. Normally I would imagine he was simply traveling in his mental body, but it indicates that he took alms, bathed and rested. Strange to imagine that 2,600 years ago Gautama might have been receiving alms from aboriginals or in any other country really. This really is terribly interesting though. Why would any of them travel to America I wonder? Is that mentioned? I mean, besides the abundant natural beauty.

Even in the context, it is clear that although the Buddha visited that continent, it is separated by the world ocean. If it really just says "he went there" and nothing more, then there is something we aren't seeing in the context basis. For instance, the authors were aware of something I don't quite see.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Dmytro » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:18 am

Son wrote:Why would any of them travel to America I wonder? Is that mentioned? I mean, besides the abundant natural beauty.


Probably because it was a good place to collect alms.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:35 am

I love this!

Even if the Pangaea theory might be an obstacle.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:15 am

Sylvester wrote:I love this!

Even if the Pangaea theory might be an obstacle.


No I think Pangaea is supportive of it. The four continents have to emerge from something, as the world forms. And when put in perspective with Tavatimsa at the summit of Meru, it makes even more sense. That way humans could have appeared sometimes after Pangaea separated, although--who knows--they may have appeared much, much earlier. There's no evidence either way. Only recollection of past lives can verify, or ascension to higher dimensions of the rupaloka to examine other worlds in flux.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby sutira » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:37 pm

Son wrote:The point is, he seemed to be able to teleport to other lands. Is this a correct interpretation?


How exactly is it said that the Buddha traveled to the other continent?


It is said that he just "went" there.

This reminds also of several occasions when the Buddha, having known the thoughts of particular monk, appeared before him and then gave instructions.


The Buddha's self-teleportation to other continents was via iddhividha, one of the 6 supernatural powers (superknowledge) of the Buddha and special arhats.

In the Akankheyya Sutta of the Majjhima-Nikaya, a detailed explanation for each of them is given by the Buddha Himself in the form of instruction as to how they may be acquired.

1. IDDHIVIDHA - THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATION.

The Buddha said "If a monk should frame a wish as follows: "Let me exercise the various magical powers, let me being one become multiform., let me being multiform become one, let me become visible, become invisible, go without hindrance through walls, ramparts or mountains as if through air, let me rise and sink in the ground as if in the water, let me walk on the water as if on unyielding ground, let me travel cross-legged through the air liked a winged bird, let me touch and feel with my hand the moon and the sun mighty and powerful though they are, and let me go without my body even up to the Brahma world," then must he be perfect in the precepts (Sila), bring his thoughts to a state of quiescence (Samadhi), practice diligently the trances (Jhana), attain to insight (Panna) and be frequenter to lonely places."

http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/tinhla01.htm

Note that iddhividha can be attained by anyone who has 'mastered' the first 4 jhanas. Not everyone who has attained the forth jhana has this special ability though. Only those who are perfectly skillful at it. So there are puthujjanas (ordinary people with 10 fetters) who have perfected their 4th jhana practice with iddhividha. And there are bare-insight arhats without one.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby gavesako » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:51 pm

Unless the Buddha traveled in one of these levitating vehicles:

http://www.flixxy.com/volkswagen-levitating-car.htm

Iddhi powers made real! :alien:
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby sutira » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:59 am

Dmytro wrote:
Son wrote:Why would any of them travel to America I wonder? Is that mentioned? I mean, besides the abundant natural beauty.


Probably because it was a good place to collect alms.


Apart from offering alms, the highly civilized Mayans in Mesoamerica were probably ready to hear a sermon or two as well. Such an intriguing thought... :thinking:
(Note that there are many interesting similarities between the Mayan and the Indus Valley civilizations.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/483980/files/0101076.pdf)

:alien:
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:06 am

sutira wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Son wrote:Why would any of them travel to America I wonder? Is that mentioned? I mean, besides the abundant natural beauty.


Probably because it was a good place to collect alms.


Apart from offering alms, the highly civilized Mayans in Mesoamerica were probably ready to hear a sermon or two as well. Such an intriguing thought... :thinking:
(Note that there are many interesting similarities between the Mayan and the Indus Valley civilizations.
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/483980/files/0101076.pdf)

:alien:


This was my thought too! Intriguing indeed...
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby whynotme » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:59 pm

very interesting

thanks
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:29 pm

For some reason a lot of people think that Jambudvipa is the human planet and none one of four continents on the planet. They think that humans only live in Jambudvipa, supposedly based on the idea that the Dharma is only taught in Jambudvipa. But where does the evidence come from that Jambudvipa is where all humans live...? This is a very common opinion that I see. What's more, sometimes I see people equating Saha world to Jambudvipa, and then sometimes describing the Saha world as our galaxy... From what I understand--and please correct me--the Buddha used the term "saha world" very ambiguously. Also isn't it made clear that humans live on all four continents around Meru?
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:36 am

Hi Son,

Son wrote:What's more, sometimes I see people equating Saha world to Jambudvipa, and then sometimes describing the Saha world as our galaxy... From what I understand--and please correct me--the Buddha used the term "saha world" very ambiguously.


The Buddha didn't use this term. AFAIK, it is from Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra:
http://www.nirvanasutra.net/nirvanasutraa2.htm

Also isn't it made clear that humans live on all four continents around Meru?


Yes, it is made clear.

Many Buddhist terms gradually changed their meaning, being transferred between countries and generations.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Son » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:59 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Son,

Son wrote:What's more, sometimes I see people equating Saha world to Jambudvipa, and then sometimes describing the Saha world as our galaxy... From what I understand--and please correct me--the Buddha used the term "saha world" very ambiguously.


The Buddha didn't use this term. AFAIK, it is from Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra:
http://www.nirvanasutra.net/nirvanasutraa2.htm

Also isn't it made clear that humans live on all four continents around Meru?


Yes, it is made clear.

Many Buddhist terms gradually changed their meaning, being transferred between countries and generations.


That's what I went with instinctively. Thank you for the authoritative information. It always disheartens me to hear people speaking that way about those teachings, completely out of hand and off base. So my motive in that question was to be able to dissuade others from that, because it ruins wisdom (path) and mental cultivation (merit). Thanks.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby gavesako » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:15 am

Maps of Ancient Buddhist India

Anotattasaro ca Sinerupabbato ca
Mount Neru and Lake Anotatta

The Buddha is said to have traversed the great distance from Uruvelā to the Himālayas to spend the day at Lake Anotatta during the time he was trying to convert the Uruvelā Kassapa, shortly after the Awakening, but the latter was still not convinced of the Buddha's superiority. It is mentioned as one of the seven great lakes in the Himālayas.01

In the same Aṅguttara discourse Mount Sineru is mentioned as the King of Mountains (Pabbatarājā). The mountain is also known in the Pāḷi texts as Neru, Mahāmeru, Meru and Kelasa. It is identified now with Mount Kailash in western Tibet. The Lake Anotatta, which is identified with Lake Manasarovar is on the rocky plains (silātala) in front of the mountain range.

Sineru takes on mythical proportions in the Commentaries, where the Tāvatiṁsa Heaven in said to be positioned on its summit, and the abode of the Demons at its base.

http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/M ... Sineru.htm
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:52 pm

gavesako wrote:In the same Aṅguttara discourse Mount Sineru is mentioned as the King of Mountains (Pabbatarājā). The mountain is also known in the Pāḷi texts as Neru, Mahāmeru, Meru and Kelasa. It is identified now with Mount Kailash in western Tibet. The Lake Anotatta, which is identified with Lake Manasarovar is on the rocky plains (silātala) in front of the mountain range.


In Pali sources, Sineru and Kelasa are two different mountains:

http://www.vipassana.info/s/sineru.htm
http://www.vipassana.info/ku/kelaasa.htm

It's only in some later (Tibetan) sources that Sineru is identified with Kelasa.

Sineru takes on mythical proportions in the Commentaries, where the Tāvatiṁsa Heaven in said to be positioned on its summit, and the abode of the Demons at its base.


Sineru is indeed very big, with another "abode" at the bottom:
http://uvs-model.com/pictures/earth_magnetosphere.jpg
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby sutira » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:52 pm

Dmytro wrote:
gavesako wrote:In the same Aṅguttara discourse Mount Sineru is mentioned as the King of Mountains (Pabbatarājā). The mountain is also known in the Pāḷi texts as Neru, Mahāmeru, Meru and Kelasa. It is identified now with Mount Kailash in western Tibet. The Lake Anotatta, which is identified with Lake Manasarovar is on the rocky plains (silātala) in front of the mountain range.


In Pali sources, Sineru and Kelasa are two different mountains:

http://www.vipassana.info/s/sineru.htm
http://www.vipassana.info/ku/kelaasa.htm

It's only in some later (Tibetan) sources that Sineru is identified with Kelasa.


In traditional Hindu text, it specifically states that Mt Kailash lies to the south of Mt Sineru. So they can't be the same mountain.

Braja Bihārī Kumāra and S.M. Ali, among other scholars, identify Mt Meru with Pamir Knot in Tajikistan.
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Re: Pali Terms: Uttarakuru, Pubbavideha, Aparagoyāna, continents

Postby whynotme » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:59 pm

There is Chinese Agamas which many part similar to Nikaya, there is part describe human on other continent lives 1000 year. No human on Earth lives 1000 year

And where is my naga? Is it live in Ocean or not?
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