Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

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Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

Postby Chula » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:44 am

Does anyone know where in the suttas the Buddha gives analogies on how long a kappa is? Also, on a related note, how long is a yojana?
Thanks in advance.
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Re: Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:44 am

Chula wrote:Does anyone know where in the suttas the Buddha gives analogies on how long a kappa is? Also, on a related note, how long is a yojana?
Thanks in advance.


A kappa is a world-period (aeon).

"An aeon is long, bhikkhu, the Blessed One said. It is more than several hundred thousand years. Suppose, bhikkhu, there was a great stone mountain a yojana long, a yojana wide, and a yojana high, without holes or crevices, one solid mass of rock. At the end of every hundred years a man would stroke it once with a piece of Kasian (very soft) cloth. That great stone mountain might by this effort be worn away and eliminated but the aeon would still have not come to an end. So long is an aeon, bhikkhu.” Samyutta Nikaya 15.5

8 krosa = 1 yojana (the distance one bullock can pull a cart in a day, i.e. approximately 14 kilometers)
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Re: Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

Postby Chula » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:28 am

Thanks!

That whole saṃyutta is a good place to look.. The sutta right after, SN 15.6 (Sāsapa Sutta), has another great analogy:
"Monk, in a poor city there is a block of mustard seeds seven miles by the length, breath and the height bound together by the roots. After the lapse of one hundred years a man comes and takes out one of the seeds. By this method the mustard seeds diminish and vanish but the world cycle does not come to an end"
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Sasapa_Sutta

The yojana is translated as seven miles in this..

Out of curiosity, where did you get that definition for the yojana - do you have some sutta source?
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Re: Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Chula wrote:Out of curiosity, where did you get that definition for the yojana - do you have some sutta source?


Since I read the Tipitaka in English, I don't recognize or remember where I read or saw yojana. Here is where I found the distance quoted, but no direct reference is given for the yojana term:

http://buddhismatoz.com/m/Measuring.html
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Re: Kappa (Kalpa) Analogies & Yojana

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:20 pm

The wikpedia entry does not give any more information either:

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

The MettaNet definition is:

yojana : [nt.] yoking; application; a measure of length, which is about, 7 miles. || yojanā (f.), construction; suggestion; proposal; an exegesis.
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