I love this painting of Thai angels....most of Thai angels in murals at Thai temples look just like this painting.. The 31 Planes of Existence (continue)
[David's Book written by Dr.David Snyder]
In one discourse, a monk asks the Buddha, ―Mara, Mara; in what way, venerable sir, might
Mara be? The Buddha responds, When there is form, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the
one who is killed. Therefore, see form as Mara, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed.
See it as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as misery, as real misery. Those who see it thus see
rightly. Samyutta Nikaya 23.1
Other verses in the Buddhist scriptures make the 31 planes sound like very real places. As we
will see in the next chapter, the Buddha talked about life on other planets.
Perhaps the ―physical place for the 31 planes of existence is on other planets. In the movie
versions of Star Trek and the Star Wars trilogies, there were planets that were burning with fire,
others that were freezing, and others where there was great peace and bliss. These movies are
fiction, but we know from science that it is quite possible that there could be innumerable
planets, thus, some with very harsh environments and others that may be more pleasant. We can
see the 31 planes of existence as physical places as we get re-born to different planets based on
our kamma, deeds, or spiritual attainments.
We can see the planes of existence as actual places in a cosmology of different dimensions,
actual places as in other solar systems, or simply as states of mind. Whichever interpretation you
choose, there is no wrong view as a Buddhist. In the end, when enlightenment is attained, you
will see for yourself. The Buddha‘s way is about finding wisdom through your own efforts. No
one else can save you, there are just some teachers and life lessons along the way that will send
you in the right direction, but in the end it is your own effort and energy.
*******to be continued