The problem of infinity in Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:23 pm

befriend wrote:Infinity or eternity does not mean endless time it means that time is just a notion. In Buddhism there is no concept of time so the idea of there being a beginning does not apply.
Why is Buddhism the only religion that has such ideas about it floating around ? You never hear people saying that kind of things about christianity or islam.

Buddhism is a religion started by Buddha Gautama. He taught a specific set of things. Buddhism is not some form of empty word where you can just throw wathever ideas or philosophies you want in it and claim it's buddhism. Maybe that can happen in mahayana or tibetan where you generally can just throw all kind of ideas or philosophies or gods or new age stuff etc. and make a big soup out of it all. But Theravada buddhism follows the teachings of the historical Buddha.

The nikayas have 10.000 pages. They cover every possible misunderstanding that can appear, no matter how subtle, let alone gross ones. The way this world works is very specific, it's like engineering not like politics. "Whether there is a Tahagata in the world or not, the world will still work the same". This is why the teachings are very specific and very in detail. Buddhism is not some form of New Age religion where you just throw stuff into it and everything is cool.

chownah
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by chownah » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:57 am

I think that the infinite number of monkeys for an infinite lengh of time is misunderstood.....it has already happened. As the universe evolved monkeys arose and after awhile there was a monkey named shakespeare who wrote the entire works of shakespeare.
chownah
(Footnote: of course there is alot of evidence that not even shakespeare could write the entire works of shakespeare.)

Garrib
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Garrib » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:11 am

Hi Everyone,

Just read this on the Bhavana Society's website - an excerpt from SN 35:

“Therefore, Mālunkyaputta, remember what I have left undeclared as undeclared, and remember what I have declared as declared. And what have I left undeclared? ‘The world is eternal’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is not eternal’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is finite’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is infinite’—I have left undeclared. ‘The soul is the same as the body’—I have left undeclared. ‘The soul is one thing and the body another’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata exists’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists and does not exist’—I have left undeclared.
‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’—I have left undeclared. “Why have I left that undeclared? Because it is unbeneficial, it does not belong to the fundamentals of the holy life, it does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. That is why I have left it undeclared. “And what have I declared? ‘This is suffering’—I have declared. ‘This is the origin of suffering’—I have declared. ‘This is the cessation of suffering’—I have declared. ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering’—I have declared. “Why have I declared that? Because it is beneficial, it belongs to the fundamentals of the holy life; it leads to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. That is why I have declared it. Therefore, Mālunkyaputta, remember what I have left undeclared as undeclared, and remember what I have declared as declared.”

Hopefully this helps!

-Brad

justindesilva
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:04 am

:goodpost:
befriend wrote:Infinity or eternity does not mean endless time it means that time is just a notion. In Buddhism there is no concept of time so the idea of there being a beginning does not apply.
:goodpost:
And may I add that " Rohitassa sutta " explains much of the riddle. When Rohitassa suggested to Lord budda about walking through the cosmos to find its end, Lord Budds explsined:
"Never may world's end be reached by walking
No release is there from ill till that end is reached.
There fore that wise one, the knower of the world,
Is the one who has reached the end of the world.
Consummate in him is the holy life.
Knowing the world's end that sage serene
Yearns not for this world nor for the other."
In the same it is explained
" I tell you friend , that it is not possible by travelling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear"
In fact from this sutra it is evident that time and space is present within this panchendriya and manendriya. Space and time appears only attached to the consciousness with defilements. When defilements, Loba and Dosa has been overcome by developing aloha, and Adosa the space and time does not appear.
One can experience the factor of time and space with simple anapana sati meditation , here and now.
Infinity , space and time are developed only with defilements (Klesha) within our mind.
With Metta
No matter what the western philosophies and sciences cannot answer the question of infinity.

justindesilva
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:08 am

:goodpost:
befriend wrote:Infinity or eternity does not mean endless time it means that time is just a notion. In Buddhism there is no concept of time so the idea of there being a beginning does not apply.
:goodpost:
And may I add that " Rohitassa sutta " explains much of the riddle. When Rohitassa suggested to Lord budda about walking through the cosmos to find its end, Lord Budds explsined:
"Never may world's end be reached by walking
No release is there from ill till that end is reached.
There fore that wise one, the knower of the world,
Is the one who has reached the end of the world.
Consummate in him is the holy life.
Knowing the world's end that sage serene
Yearns not for this world nor for the other."
In the same it is explained
" I tell you friend , that it is not possible by travelling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear"
In fact from this sutra it is evident that time and space is present within this panchendriya and manendriya. Space and time appears only attached to the consciousness with defilements. When defilements, Loba and Dosa has been overcome by developing alobha, and Adosa the space and time does not appear.
One can experience the factor of time and space with simple anapana sati meditation , here and now.
Infinity , space and time are developed only with defilements (Klesha) within our mind.
With Metta
No matter what the western philosophies and sciences cannot answer the question of infinity.

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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:29 pm

justindesilva wrote: :goodpost:
And may I add that " Rohitassa sutta " explains much of the riddle. When Rohitassa suggested to Lord budda about walking through the cosmos to find its end, Lord Budds explsined:
[...]
In fact from this sutra it is evident that time and space is present within this panchendriya and manendriya. Space and time appears only attached to the consciousness with defilements. When defilements, Loba and Dosa has been overcome by developing aloha, and Adosa the space and time does not appear.
One can experience the factor of time and space with simple anapana sati meditation , here and now.
Infinity , space and time are developed only with defilements (Klesha) within our mind.
With Metta
No matter what the western philosophies and sciences cannot answer the question of infinity.
How can one possibly interpret that sutta in such a way ? One could very well say that Buddha was speaking about Jesus or about aliens in that sutta and that would make much more sense. Here is the sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Buddha is asked if one can reach Nibbana through walking until reaching the end of the cosmos. Like, if we walk to the end of the cosmos, what will we find there ? Will we find Nibbana ? And he says that no, it is not possible to reach Nibbana like that.

justindesilva
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:19 pm

Circle5 wrote:
justindesilva wrote: :goodpost:
And may I add that " Rohitassa sutta " explains much of the riddle. When Rohitassa suggested to Lord budda about walking through the cosmos to find its end, Lord Budds explained:

Buddha is asked if one can reach Nibbana through walking until reaching the end of the cosmos. Like, if we walk to the end of the cosmos, what will we find there ? Will we find Nibbana ? And he says that no, it is not possible to reach Nibbana like that.
Then why does Lord Buddha declare that " it is in this very fathom long physical frame with its perceptions and mind that, I declare , lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world" ; as in Rohitassa sutta.?

Friend
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Friend » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:04 pm

justindesilva wrote:Then why does Lord Buddha declare that " it is in this very fathom long physical frame with its perceptions and mind that, I declare , lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world" ; as in Rohitassa sutta.?
In this sutta the "far end of the cosmos" is an allusion to a place "where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear" which is also an allusion to nibbana and tacitly equates "the cosmos" with dukkha. This sutta says that dukkha, its cause, its cessation (i.e.: dependent origination) is immediate and reachable with this human body, but not by any sort of ordinary travel.

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Circle5
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Circle5 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:21 am

I declare , lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world,
You first need to learn what "the world" means in Buddha discipline.

justindesilva
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:04 am

Circle5 wrote:
I declare , lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world,
You first need to learn what "the world" means in Buddha discipline.
Please note that I know this subject.and that there are 31 realms of worlds . Ven Walpole Rahula thero who is well versed has explained the worlds well and also the fact that it all lies within the consciousness .
It is bad to treat others as fools when we wish to share our knowledge.

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:11 am

justindesilva wrote: It is bad to treat others as fools when we wish to share our knowledge.
He does not care about any opinion but his own and will resort to blatant ignorance if confronted with factual Sutta reference which beyond doubt prove him wrong.

Bakmoon
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:24 am

justindesilva wrote:Then why does Lord Buddha declare that " it is in this very fathom long physical frame with its perceptions and mind that, I declare , lies the world, and the arising of the world, and the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world" ; as in Rohitassa sutta.?
Good point. There are other suttas that say similar things such as SN 12.044.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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robertk
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by robertk » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:39 am

R1111 wrote:
justindesilva wrote: It is bad to treat others as fools when we wish to share our knowledge.
He does not care about any opinion but his own and will resort to blatant ignorance if confronted with factual Sutta reference which beyond doubt prove him wrong.
warning: anymore insults and suspensions will be given out.

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DNS
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by DNS » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:48 am

Perhaps it is our Judaeo-Christian conditioning (most of us here anyway) that makes us want to find a beginning and an end, thinking in linear terms. Maybe time can be infinite, but cyclical and then even with infinite time, there are periods of complete destruction of our solar system (world system), the milky way, even the known universe and then it cycles back (re-evolving), making it somewhat limited possibilities; not necessarily infinite possibilities. I believe this is compatible with Brahmajala Sutta and astronomy.

See: eternal return

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robertk
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Re: The problem of infinity in Buddhism

Post by robertk » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:49 am

befriend wrote:n. In Buddhism there is no concept of time so the idea of there being a beginning does not apply.
Tayo'me bhikkhave addh�. Katame tayo. At�to addh�, an�gato addh�,
paccuppanno addh�. Ime kho bhikkhave tayo addh� ti.
Itivuttaka III,ii,4 <Iti.53>
Monks there are these three times. What three? The past time, the
future time, the present time. These, monks, are the three times

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