Laurens wrote:At the time of the Buddha they didn't understand how earthquakes happened. You can't blame him for making such an assumption.
rahula80 wrote:"This great earth, Ananda, is established upon liquid, the liquid upon the atmosphere, and the atmosphere upon space. And when, Ananda, mighty atmospheric disturbances take place, the liquid is agitated. And with the agitation of the liquid, tremors of the earth arise. This is the first reason, the first cause for the arising of mighty earthquakes." (Digha Nikaya 16)
Sanghamitta wrote:But Pannasikhara, even if it could be shown that the "water" referred to was actually magma..which would be jolly convenient for the literal minded, it still begs the same question...We are still left with the notion that the arising or passing of a Buddha causes a disturbance in the earths subterranean magma...
This is quite clearly the world view that arises with Indic myth...not a statement that describes an objective event in consensual reality.
Sanghamitta wrote:I did and was ageeing with you...the "but" was for the benefit of other readers. I was being your stooge.
Paññāsikhara wrote:"Ayaṃ, ānanda, mahāpathavī udake patiṭṭhitā, udakaṃ vāte patiṭṭhitaṃ, vāto ākāsaṭṭho. Hoti kho so, ānanda, samayo, yaṃ mahāvātā vāyanti. Mahāvātā vāyantā udakaṃ kampenti. Udakaṃ kampitaṃ pathaviṃ kampeti. Ayaṃ paṭhamo hetu paṭhamo paccayo mahato bhūmicālassa pātubhāvāya."
Note the terms carefully, as English renditions are approximate.
"vāta" (noun) translated as "atmosphere"
"vāyanti" (verb) translated as "disturbances"
Both are from the same root, vā, which is the root for a number of terms involving air, gas, wind as nouns, but the dynamic sense of movement in general. These terms are closely connected in the Indic languages, but not really at all in English.
This Great Earth, Ānanda, has the characteristic of "water" within it (not 100% stable). This "water" has the characteristic of "wind" throughout it (energy). This "wind" is unsupported (existing in space).
And when, Ānanda, this "wind" is manifesting itself as the great "wind," it is manifested through the "water." This "water" in turn, is manifested through the Earth. That is the first explanation for the arising of mighty earthquakes.
In 2001, the author, R.Maurer (Chartered Engineer, UK) while on a mineral collecting expedition in Bolivia, noted uplifted but undisturbed alluvial sedimentary beds at the top of the Andes near Potosi. Taken together with his finding of new species of fossilised cretaceous fish and stromatolite beds, these observations prompted him to look at the magnitude of the forces involved in lifting the vast Andean mountain range from approx. 3 km below sea level to approx. 8 km above sea- level.
The author (drawing on his engineering expertise) concluded that the forces needed to sustain the unrelenting and uni-directional movements of the continental plates in a conflicting omni directional heated convection current system (based on the Hess Model) was mechanically unsustainable.
The first clue came with the observation that the precession of the equinoxes (Milankovitch Cycles) [Fig.7.], the longer-term cyclical changes in the inclination and obliquity of the central axis of rotation of the Earth taken together with the observed magnetic polar wandering suggested that the Earth was behaving like an unbalanced rotating cylindrical body. A domestic spin dryer with an unbalanced wet load is a good everyday example of an unbalanced rotating system. Vibrations are induced in rotating bodies when the centre of mass is not co-incident with the centre of rotation. In these cases, counterbalance weights are fixed to balance the rotating system. Another simple everyday example is the positioning of balance weight on the wheels of motor vehicles.
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Rahula,
The Buddha was explaining this in accord with cosmology as it was understood at the time.
Whether he did know, or could have known otherwise, are rather speculative and ultimately unrewarding questions, that are neither connected with dukkha nor its cessation.
Sanghamitta wrote:Which still avoids the central issue Beeblebrox..which is not the mechanics of earthquakes or the earths structure, but rather having arrived at a consensus at the meaning of that science as seen by the ancients..should we arrive at such a consensus which seems unlikely...whether the mechanics, however described, are modified by the arising or disappearance of a Buddha...
dharmagoat wrote:If there really was an understanding in Buddha's time of how earthquakes were caused, why is fire not mentioned? We now know beyond doubt that the interior of the earth is very hot, the understanding being that this gives rise to the convection currents that are ultimately responsible for shifting the tectonic plates around.
Nibbida wrote:The Buddha repeatedly said that all he teaches is suffering and the end of suffering. Anything he might have said about earthquakes, pizza, or microwave ovens is not really of concern. It would be like consulting the Bible for advice on organic chemistry. It's missing the point.
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