Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

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Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:59 am

Hello all,

I was wondering, many people have astral projected, including myself in which they describe being outside of their body floating around in some kind of energy, but you can go through different realms and even meet different beings, even some who are deceased. I know in Hinduism there is talk of these realms. Is there such a thing in Buddhism? I asked this on E-sangha but did not get a clear answer. i have only heard once from a Nichiren Buddhist Priest who was giving a lecture and mentioned that first after death one dwells in the astral world for some time and then when conditions are right they take form somewhere. But he did not provide any buddhist sutras to back up his claims. So I am wondering are there astral worlds?

thank you
-juan
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"Just say the nembutsu and be liberated" Shinran Shonin
"However hard it may be to bid farewell to this world, when the conditions that bind us to this saha [samsara] realm run out, we are powerless to do anything as the final hour arrives and we are swept away to that Land." -A Record in Lament of Divergences
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Re: Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:26 am

Namu Butsu wrote:Hello all,

I was wondering, many people have astral projected, including myself in which they describe being outside of their body floating around in some kind of energy, but you can go through different realms and even meet different beings, even some who are deceased. I know in Hinduism there is talk of these realms. Is there such a thing in Buddhism? I asked this on E-sangha but did not get a clear answer. i have only heard once from a Nichiren Buddhist Priest who was giving a lecture and mentioned that first after death one dwells in the astral world for some time and then when conditions are right they take form somewhere. But he did not provide any buddhist sutras to back up his claims. So I am wondering are there astral worlds?

thank you
-juan


The term "astral projection" is something popularized by groups like the Theosophists.
In many schools of Buddhism there is the idea of being able to dissociate the mind from the body, and "travel" in this way. But, there is no term like "astral" that I know of (don't know about the Tibetan, though).

The point about "after death" is referring to the intermediate state (antarabhava). This is an idea found in several schools (NOT Theravada), including all the present Mahayana traditions, Sarvastivada, etc.
Again, this is not called the "astral world" or anything like that. Rather, it is when the physical aggregate has died, but the mind continues. The space they occupy is the same as ours, just that they are non-corporeal. This is mentioned in a number of Buddhist texts, probably the most well known being the Abhidharma Kosa & Bhasya.
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Re: Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:31 am

Hello Huifeng,

good to see you around. Thank you for the understanding, so when the mind continues on can it dwell in other planes of existence?
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"Just say the nembutsu and be liberated" Shinran Shonin
"However hard it may be to bid farewell to this world, when the conditions that bind us to this saha [samsara] realm run out, we are powerless to do anything as the final hour arrives and we are swept away to that Land." -A Record in Lament of Divergences
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Re: Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:48 am

Namu Butsu wrote:Hello Huifeng,

good to see you around. Thank you for the understanding, so when the mind continues on can it dwell in other planes of existence?


Best to think of them as "states" of existence, rather than "planes", which implies a kind of different spatial location. The mind is constantly changing state. At physical death, the physical aggregates may sort of catch up to what state the mind is in, and take on a radically different form, too.
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Re: Astral Realms in Mahayana ?

Postby watercarrier » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:32 pm

everyone has experienced the onion peeling effect , right?

we understand that mind is not inside or outside of body
regardless of whether body is alive or not

eventually existence becomes the true illusion

when i was young i read the castaneda books
lucid dreaming & out of body experiences
i realized that we are all out of body
all the time
nothing changes
everything is the opposite of what it is
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