Astus wrote:Traditionally it is described that gods live on mount Meru and above in the sky. There are actual distances given and so on. But where are the gods now that we have no mount Meru and even the sky ends at one point and there is just empty space left? This is also a question because gods below the formless realm have some kind of physical body thus they're supposed to be somewhere. But where is it?
My guess is that the deva or rather mount Sumera is somewhere within the Himalaya, if you read the Vedas which Buddhist mythology are largely based upon, you will realize that Shiva is said to be resided in a particular mountain in the Himalaya. Some practitioners of Vajrayoginis have also said that Khecari lies around the same specific area as well. And tantric practitioners knew that Khecari was once the abode of Shiva Himself before taking over by Chakrasamvara.
One thing about the devas is that they don't only reside on the Mount Meru or in the sky. Some of them are said to have "castles on the top of the tress" (It like the Greece Dryads or Norse Elves) and many Thai Theravadins do believe that myth, the same goes for devas living in the rivers, etc. So these are the ones that should be bothering most Buddhists as they are living along the side of human beings without the latter (In most cases) ever notice them. Asuras also re appeared in the form of Titans for greece and giants (Fire or frost) for Norse and they lived under the ground or in the sea without attracting the attention of anyone.
Comparative Mythology had shown that the various belief systems in the world have a slight different version of the mythological backbone; For example, Zeus who is like Indra, lives at the top of a high Mountain, Meru or Olympus and both love women or that the world system is born from a cosmos egg put into a sea of chaos. Some of these myths was even dated back a few thousand years (especially Sumerian, Egypt and India). And given the fact that several regions around the world were separated by vast geographical obstacles, it seems unlikely that there are great interactions between different regions before Alexander started his continent spanning conquest. So, your guess is as good as mine, whether these divine beings really exist and ancient people living in various parts of the world did actually saw them. Its quite freaking to see parallels of same legends appearing all over the world since the very olden days unless those things really exist in some forms or another.
Regarding the meditative accounts of some yogis (Hindu or Buddhists), they seem to support the popular idea that some creatures can't be seen without specific training of our senses. The fact, most of the worldly beings like us, are the more deluded ones, their words will tend to carry more weight.
As for the location of Brahma, my guess is that he is located somewhere within the solar system (A rough estimation of a world system as described in Buddhist cosmology). Interesting enough, the Christian Gnostics (Around 200 AD) told of a blind God that believe himself to be the creator in very similar fashion like how Buddha rebutted Brahma in the suttas. And in their gospels, the blind God created solar system and the seven heavens. And his servants, the archons (Just like the Brahama ministers) was said to live in each of the seven celestial spheres (Planets) like Saturn, Jupiter, etc.
My interest in this area is not done yet and hopefully, I might discover more interesting stuffs in the near future.