Universes in form of turtle?

Universes in form of turtle?

Postby zamotcr » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:02 pm

I was reading Orthodox Chinese Buddhism of Master Sheng Yen. In page 185 he said something, well, it sound funny for me :lol

"Note that the four heavens of the realm of formlessness are not
physical locations, and so cannot be shown on the chart. According to
scroll 3? of the Complete Chronicle of the Buddha and Patriarchs,
there exist countless billion-world universes. The billion-world universe we
live in is called the Universe of Tribulation, which is said to be the
shape of “space.” Other billion-world universes are said to be shaped
like a turtle shell, a swastika, a half-moon, a square, an octagon, a tower,
and other shapes.
"

I want to know, where does he take this in bold? What could be his source for this?

I mean, I haven't read anything like that in sutras, perhaps is some kind of Chinese folklore?
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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:47 pm

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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Bonko » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:56 am

zamotcr wrote:I was reading Orthodox Chinese Buddhism of Master Sheng Yen. In page 185 he said something, well, it sound funny for me :lol

"Note that the four heavens of the realm of formlessness are not
physical locations, and so cannot be shown on the chart. According to
scroll 3? of the Complete Chronicle of the Buddha and Patriarchs,
there exist countless billion-world universes. The billion-world universe we
live in is called the Universe of Tribulation, which is said to be the
shape of “space.” Other billion-world universes are said to be shaped
like a turtle shell, a swastika, a half-moon, a square, an octagon, a tower,
and other shapes.
"

I want to know, where does he take this in bold? What could be his source for this?

I mean, I haven't read anything like that in sutras, perhaps is some kind of Chinese folklore?


The turtle is mentioned in various Tao stories. The shell was a symbol of heaven, and the underside was a symbol of earth. Maybe, in the context above, it had a more recondite meaning which would have been understood by Taoists at that time,

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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:18 am

Universe in the form of a wheel is mentioned in Sutra and Abhidharma, I have seen it in many books, one of them is Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge by K. N. Jayatilleke.
I am sure that at least some of these other forms of a universe are mentioned in the Flower Ornament Scripture/ Avatamsaka Sutra.
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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:35 am

Flower Ornament Scripture: Formation of Worlds, p. 189:
"Children of Buddha, the oceans of worlds have various different forms and characteristics. That is to say, some are round, some square, some neither round nor square. There are infinite distinctions. Some are shaped like whirlpools, some like mountains of flames, some like trees, some like flowers, some like palaces, some like living creatures, some like Buddhas. There are as many forms such as these as there are atoms in an ocean of worlds."

In the verse section:
"Some are round, some are square,
Some triangular, some octagonal;
Gemstone-wheel shaped, lotus blossoms, and so on:
All are different, according to deeds."
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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:24 am

Sorry! The Jayatilleke source is wrong, I was remembering an essay of Jaytilleke named The Buddhist Conception of the Universe. This essay is currently available in The Message of the Buddha by K. N. Jayatilleke, a posthumous collection of essays and writings of Jayatilleke.
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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Bonko » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:10 pm

Aemilius wrote:Universe in the form of a wheel is mentioned in Sutra and Abhidharma, I have seen it in many books.


Some of us may have already noticed the ubiquitous, wheel analogy in the title of this website. :thinking:

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Re: Universes in form of turtle?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:24 am

Yes naturally, but a common form of galaxy actually resembles a cartwheel in form.
There is word for it in pali and sanskrit, a cakkavala/cakravala universe.
See Buddhist Conception of the Universe, page 90 onwards:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/245209359/The-Message-of-the-Buddha
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