Akira Sadakata - Buddhist Cosmology

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Transcript of Akira Sadakata - Buddhist Cosmology

BUDDHIST COSMOLOGY Philosophy and Origins by Akira Sadakata translated by Gaynor Sekirnori with a foreword by Hajirne Nakamura KOSEl PUBLISHING CO. Tolryo Shown on the cover is a painting entitled Hasu no Hikari (Lotus Light) by Josaku Maeda. Editing by Joy S. Sobeck. Cover design and layout of photographs by NO BU. The text of this book is set in Monotype Baskerville with a com-puter version of Optima for display. First English edition, 1997 Published by Kosei Publishing Co., 2-7-1 Wada, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166. Copyright 1997 by Kosei Publishing Co.; all rights reserved. Printed in Japan. ISBN 4-333-01682-7 LCC Card No. applied for Contents List of Figures Foreword, by Hajime Nakamura Preface Editorial Note PART ONE: Pre-Mahayana Cosmology 1. The Structure of Matter and the Universe Basic Components of Matter 20 The smallest particles, 20 Greek atomism, 22 The Universe 25 Mount Sumeru, 26 The Indian subcontinent, 30 Sun and moon, 38 2. Hells, Heavens, and Other Realms Hells 41 Indian origins of the Buddhist concept of hell, 44 The eight hot hells, 47 The eight cold hells, 52 Realms of Animals, Hungry Spirits, and Asuras 54 Heavens 55 9 11 13 15 19 41 The Realm of the Four Great Kings (Ciitur-mahiiriija-kiiyikiil,t), 56 The heaven ofthe thirty-three gods, 56 5 6 CONTENTS The six abodes of the gods of the realm of desire, 57 The Realm of the Dhyiina Practitioner 63 3. Transmigration, Karma, and Enlightenment 69 The Six Destinations of Rebirth 69 The Force ofKarma 71 Ajivika Ideas about Transmigration 71 Greek Ideas about Transmigration 73 Enlightenment and the Realm of Formlessness 75 Samiidhi, 7 6 Non-duality, 79 Yoga,89 4. The Cosmos and Time 93 The Thousand-cubed Great-thousand-world 93 Time, Seasons, and Human Life 95 Time, 95 Seasonal changes and the calendar, 97 The Cycle of Increase and Decrease of the Universe 99 The cycle of four periods, 99 Human life and appearance ofbuddhas, 105 PART TWO: Mahayana Cosmology 5. The Western Pure Land 113 Saha and Sukhavati 113 Origins of the Western Pure Land Concept 1 18 6. Buddhist Deities 125 Devas 125 Buddhas 127 Three Bodies Doctrine 128 Bodhisattvas 129 Avalokitdvara, 13 0 Maitreya, 132 Bodhisattvas and Pure Land thought, 133 Other bodhisattvas, 133 Avatars, 134 CONTENTS 7 Female Deities 134 Mahakala 136 Demigods 13 7 Protectors of Buddhism, 13 7 138 Other demigods, 139 Gods of the Esoteric Tradition 139 Acala, 140 Raga Vidyaraja, 140 Gal).da, 140 7. The Buddha and the Cosmos 143 The Lotus Repository World 144 Vairocana and the Multiplicity of Buddhas 151 The Cosmic Vairocana 154 8. Changes in the Conception of Hell 159 Varna 159 Sanzu no kawa 162 Sai-no-kawara and Bodhisattva 166 9. The Buddhist View of the Universe Today 173 Mythologizing an Experiential Universe 173 What Buddhist Cosmology Teaches Us 177 Appendix: Linear Measurement Notes Index Acknowledgments Photographs .follow page 80 185 189 211 224 Figures 1 . Structure of a Molecule according to the Abhidharmakosa, 21 2. Structure of Atoms and Molecules according to the Vaise$ika School, 22 3. Comparison of Greek and Vaise$ika Theories of the Properties of the Elements, 23 4. Esoteric Buddhist Elements with Their Graphic Represen-tations and Siddharp (Ancient Indian) Characters, 24 5. Bird's-Eye View of the Mount Sumeru Realm, 27 6. Mount Sumeru as a Square, 28 7. Sizes ofMount Sumeru and Surrounding Mountains and Seas, 29 8. Planet Revolution at High Latitudes, 30 9. Cross Section ofStilpa 1 at Saiici, Madhya Pradesh, India, 31 10. Plan ofStupa at Nagarjunakolf