Any explanation

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Riju
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Any explanation

Post by Riju »

Did Buddha have a birth?
I am not asking about Guatam Buddha. But was there first Buddha before existence?
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Queequeg
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Queequeg »

Your question is fundamentally flawed.

"Before existence" is a "rabbit's horns" phrase. It is unintelligible.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Any explanation

Post by FiveSkandhas »

When people are firmly convinced that the Budha-mind is unborn and wonderfully illuminating and live in it, they're living Buddhas and living Tathagatas from then on. "Buddha" too, is just a name, arising after the fact. It's only the skin and shell. When you say "Buddha," you're already two or more removes from the place of the Unborn.

A person of the Unborn is one who dwells at the source of all Buddhas. The Unborn is the origin of all and the beginning of all. There is no source apart from the Unborn and no beginning that is before the Unborn. So being unborn means dwelling at the very source of all Buddhas.
-Butchi Bankei (1622-1693)
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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kirtu
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Re: Any explanation

Post by kirtu »

Riju wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:22 pm Did Buddha have a birth?
I am not asking about Guatam Buddha. But was there first Buddha before existence?
Samsara is an endless cycle of creation and destruction and rebirth.
During this cycle the same Buddhist cosmology is created and much, much later destroyed.
However the mindstreams of samsaric beings continue.

In the Nyingma (Tibetan Buddhism), they say that after the destruction of the last world system (so the destruction of all of what was then samsara) beings were reborn into a kind of heaven realm. One of them realized the nature of their mind and became Kuntuzangpo, the Original Buddha for this samsaric world cycle. All the other beings became deluded and gradually their minds became coarser and karma took it's course and created the formless, form and desire realms along with all of their bells and whistles (esp. the six realms <<god realm down to hells>> within the desire realm).

Meanwhile Kuntuzangpo got busy trying to enlighten all sentient beings.

In the Theravada Tradition they are not as cosmic (at least I haven't heard that kind of cosmic teaching from Theravada teachers) but in this world system there have been seven previous Buddhas and Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened because of the merit he accumulated in previous lifetimes making offerings to at least one of these Buddhas.

In Zen we can say we don't care if Shakyamuni was real or not, or a symbol or not, it's not relevant because we can practice and directly purify our minds and prove the validity of the teachings for ourselves directly.

In the Pure Land Schools Amitabha Buddha established Sukavati/Dewachen in the far, mythological past and relying on Amitabha's Vows made when he was still a monk we can be reborn into Sukavati and eventually attain complete enlightenment.

All (or almost all) Buddhist schools acknowledge Buddhas before Shakyamuni Buddha (maybe strictly secular Buddhist traditions don't, I don't know).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Any explanation

Post by FiveSkandhas »

From one Shingon perspective, the Buddha Dainichi Nyorai (Mahâvairocana) is described as follows:

The virtue of Mahâvairocana Buddha is explained as the four virtues of a light that dispels the darkness of the world by casting light everywhere, give life to and nurture all living things, continues life throughout the past, present, and future with a radiant light that is neither created nor destroyed...

http://www.shingon.org/deities/jusanbutsu/dainichi.html

There are other salient quotes about this Buddha and His relationship with reality and time, but most of them come from restricted sources (Japanese Vajrayana) that DharmaWheel does not allow members to post.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

Samsara is an endless cycle of creation and destruction and rebirth.
During this cycle the same Buddhist cosmology is created and much, much later destroyed.
However the mindstreams of samsaric beings continue.

In the Nyingma (Tibetan Buddhism), they say that after the destruction of the last world system (so the destruction of all of what was then samsara) beings were reborn into a kind of heaven realm. One of them realized the nature of their mind and became Kuntuzangpo, the Original Buddha for this samsaric world cycle. All the other beings became deluded and gradually their minds became coarser and karma took it's course and created the formless, form and desire realms along with all of their bells and whistles (esp. the six realms <<god realm down to hells>> within the desire realm).
Guatam Buddha in Lotus sutra agrees with the above answer.
There is a chapter no.16 ,"The life span of Thus Come One", in this chapter it is mentioned that first Buddha was born almost infinite years back.
It indicates, that samsara(existence) existed before Buddha .
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:39 pm Your question is fundamentally flawed.

"Before existence" is a "rabbit's horns" phrase. It is unintelligible.
Your answer does not tally with what Guatam Buddha said in Lotus sutra chapter 16.
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Queequeg
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Queequeg »

Riju wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:39 am
Queequeg wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:39 pm Your question is fundamentally flawed.

"Before existence" is a "rabbit's horns" phrase. It is unintelligible.
Your answer does not tally with what Guatam Buddha said in Lotus sutra chapter 16.
What did he say?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Brahma
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Brahma »

Buddha is quoted as saying:
“there is no first beginning, no first beginning is knowable.” Samyutta Nikaya 15.1-2
There is an idea of the Adi-Buddha. Whether Gautama is the Adi-Buddha has been debated, but according to the Lotus Sutra Siddhartha was not the first Buddha, He was a Bodhisattva named Never Disparaging and gained Enlightenment countless eons ago. There is no such thing as an almost infinite amount of years, infinite is infinite. There is infinite though. The Adi-Buddha although, implies a beginingless Eternal Buddha. The Adi-Buddha is greatly worshipped in many forms of Buddhism from what I understand.
Last edited by Brahma on Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:00 pm What did he say?
It says that Buddha has a very very long life , almost infinite, but yet not infinite.
If one admits that my life has a period, however long it is, he admits that he was born and was not eternal.
It is a very interesting chapter. this chapter is in sequence to chapter 15 (Emerging form the earth).
Why not read it.
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Queequeg
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Queequeg »

Riju wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:41 am
Queequeg wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:00 pm What did he say?
It says that Buddha has a very very long life , almost infinite, but yet not infinite.
If one admits that my life has a period, however long it is, he admits that he was born and was not eternal.
It is a very interesting chapter. this chapter is in sequence to chapter 15 (Emerging form the earth).
Why not read it.
In that text, he also talks about his bodhisattva career under other buddhas. So, you'll have to keep digging in the past for the beginning.

But that doesn't mean your question makes sense.

To conceive of something, anything, even a buddha, before "existence" makes no sense.

In any event, this line of inquiry is as pointless as asking who shot you with a poison arrow.

People seem to have this compulsive need to speculate about "the beginning." Whatever conclusion one comes to, its counted among the wrong views.

But, knock yourselves out. Its like digging a blackhead out of your face.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
tkp67
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Re: Any explanation

Post by tkp67 »

This is not pointed at anyone but might serve as a helpful reminder that the LS represents the mind of the buddha which accordingly is not subject to cognitive dissonance so proper interpretation will not evoke it as a response. Discussions within that context (i.e. those not under the influence of cognitive dissonance) will prove most productive.

Some questions I asked myself.

Is there an interpretive that allows for graceful resolve of this differential? Is that resolve identical in form? How about in function?

:anjali:

At that time the Buddha said to the multitude of great bodhisattvas: “Good men, now I will state this to you clearly. Suppose all these worlds, whether they received a particle of dust or not, are once more reduced to dust. Let one particle represent one kalpa. The time that has passed since I attained buddhahood surpasses this by a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million nayuta asamkhya kalpas.

“Ever since then I have been constantly in this saha world, preaching the Law, teaching, and converting. And elsewhere I have led and benefited living beings in hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas and asamkhyas of lands.

“Good men, during that time I have spoken about the buddha Burning Torch and others, and described how they entered nirvana. All this I employed as an expedient means to make distinctions.

“Good men, if there are living beings who come to me, I employ my buddha eye to observe whether their faith and other faculties are keen or dull, and then depending upon how p.267receptive they are to salvation, I appear in different places and preach to them under different names, and describe my life span as long or short. Sometimes when I make my appearance I say that I am about to enter nirvana, and also employ different expedient means to preach the subtle and wonderful Law, thus causing living beings to awaken joyful minds.

“Good men, the thus come one observes how among living beings there are those who delight in lesser teachings, meager in virtue and heavy with defilement. For such persons I describe how in my youth I left my household and attained supreme perfect enlightenment. But in truth the time since I attained buddhahood is extremely long, as I have told you. It is simply that I use this expedient means to teach and convert living beings and cause them to enter the buddha way. That is why I speak in this manner.
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Brahma
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Brahma »

Here the Buddha implies that He has always been on Holy Eagle peak, never entering extinction, preaching the Law.
When living beings have become truly faithful,
honest and upright, gentle in intent,
single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha
not hesitating even if it costs them their lives,
then I and the assembly of monks
appear together on Holy Eagle Peak.
At that time I tell the living beings
that I am always here, never entering extinction
,
but that because of the power of an expedient means
at times I appear to be extinct, at other times not,
and that if there are living beings in other lands
who are reverent and sincere in their wish to believe,
then among them too
I will preach the unsurpassed Law.
But you have not heard of this,
so you suppose that I enter extinction.
When I look at living beings
I see them drowned in a sea of suffering;
therefore I do not show myself,
causing them to thirst for me.
Then when their minds are filled with yearning,
at last I appear and preach the Law for them.
Such are my transcendental powers.
For asamkhya kalpas
constantly I have dwelled on Holy Eagle Peak
and in various other places.
When living beings witness the end of a kalpa
and all is consumed in a great fire,
this, my land, remains safe and tranquil,
constantly filled with heavenly and human beings.
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 16, The Life Span Of The Thus Come One.

If we take the Buddha's words as truly literal here, it may mean that He has always dwelled in the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak, always preaching the Law, never entering extinction, and Never Disparaging!
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Aemilius
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Aemilius »

I feel that is a dried up well, you wont get any further with it. You should study astrophysics or astronomy combined with the scientific study of reincarnation or NDE and the like. That will more likely bring you somewhere.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

Brahma wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:10 am

If we take the Buddha's words as truly literal here, it may mean that He has always dwelled in the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak, always preaching the Law, never entering extinction, and Never Disparaging!
It only implies that after birth of Buddha and Saha land he always dwelled On Eagle Peak.

It does not answer following questions...
1. What is Nirvan where Buddha enters?
2. What is difference between Adi Buddha and Buddha?
3. Why the chapter on life span of Thus come Ones?
4. And again who is this character Treasure Tower Buddha?
5.What is this EMPTINESS? How is it related to existence/creation?

Lotus sutra is given to all of us to study and learn. And one does not challange the Buddhas if one studies . Why hide behind one sentence of devotee that Buddha is eternal.
We Indians always got stuck for centuries that soul is permanent , and till now we are not able to accept Buddhism because Buddha says that soul is not permanent and the source of creation is EMPTINESS.

It is never going to help if we do not question these two differences.

If I am born a donkey, my knowledge will be limited to the demands of donkey till I cross this birth to higher form of life.
And if I am born a Buddha ,then my knowledge will be limited to Buddhahood till I cross Buddhahood.
And only when I cross buddhahood, then can I understand Adi buddhas etc.

AND THAT IS THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE STUDY OF LOTUS SUTRA
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Aemilius
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Aemilius »

Studying geology is also a good idea. Mountains form gradually, they arise slowly by human standards, maybe few millimeters per annum, but still they rise even to the higth of Mt Everest. That is to say that Mt Gridhrakuta arose during a long period of time. And it is slowly eroded like all the other mountains are worn down gradually untill there is nothing left of them, just a plain on earth.
The formation of mountains is called Orogeny or Mountain-orogeny.

svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
illarraza
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Re: Any explanation

Post by illarraza »

Riju wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:01 pm
Brahma wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:10 am

If we take the Buddha's words as truly literal here, it may mean that He has always dwelled in the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak, always preaching the Law, never entering extinction, and Never Disparaging!
It only implies that after birth of Buddha and Saha land he always dwelled On Eagle Peak.

It does not answer following questions...
1. What is Nirvan where Buddha enters?
2. What is difference between Adi Buddha and Buddha?
3. Why the chapter on life span of Thus come Ones?
4. And again who is this character Treasure Tower Buddha?
5.What is this EMPTINESS? How is it related to existence/creation?

Lotus sutra is given to all of us to study and learn. And one does not challange the Buddhas if one studies . Why hide behind one sentence of devotee that Buddha is eternal.
We Indians always got stuck for centuries that soul is permanent , and till now we are not able to accept Buddhism because Buddha says that soul is not permanent and the source of creation is EMPTINESS.

It is never going to help if we do not question these two differences.

If I am born a donkey, my knowledge will be limited to the demands of donkey till I cross this birth to higher form of life.
And if I am born a Buddha ,then my knowledge will be limited to Buddhahood till I cross Buddhahood.
And only when I cross buddhahood, then can I understand Adi buddhas etc.

AND THAT IS THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE STUDY OF LOTUS SUTRA
I read about your relatively minor sufferings in the post, "Lotus Sutra". The Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin teaches:

"The Nirvana Sutra states, “By suffering an untimely death, rebuke, curses or humiliation, beatings with a whip or rod, imprisonment, starvation, adversity, or other minor hardships in this lifetime, one can avoid falling into hell."

I myself nearly died 3 times, 15 months ago and I too have been banished again and again from various forums. I overcame these relatively minor sufferings by maintaining faith in the Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo), Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter, and Nichiren Daishonin. Today, I have a great expectation to live a long and fruitful life devoted to the Lotus Sutra and the people. I am 65. I know that you are 83, at least seven years younger than the saint Abutsubo who embraced the Lotus Sutra at the relatively young age of 90. He made the long trek from Sado Island to mount Minobu to support his Master Nichiren twice when he was 91 or 92.

Nichiren is the teacher of the Lotus Sutra in this degenerate age because no one experienced a similar bodily reading of the Sutra, lived a life of persecution and hardship for the sake of others as he, nor experienced the joys and fruit of Buddhahood as he. For insights as to the why we encounter karmic retributions despite embracing the Lotus Sutra, how we can lessen them, and experience the wonderful joy of the Law, may I suggest that you seek out the commentaries of its Supreme Votary. It is thanks to Nichiren Daishonin that thirty-five million people chant the Daimoku and embrace the Lotus Sutra (to a greater or lesser extent) because he experienced and overcame such adversity by chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo with faith in the Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. I believe that you can inherit the Succession Through the Scrolls of the Lotus Sutra by virtue of the Master Nichiren's recipe for rapidly attaining Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra.

Sorry for any intrusion into your life. Please reflect on my suggestion.

Mark
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Any explanation

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Brahma wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:10 am
If we take the Buddha's words as truly literal here, it may mean that He has always dwelled in the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak, always preaching the Law, never entering extinction, and Never Disparaging!
I notice you hedge your bets with the expression, "it may mean..."

To my mind, such caution is wise. Because the 16th Chapter seems fairly direct in stating that Shakyamuni Buddha will "never enter extinction" in the future, I have always questioned whether it can be read as implying infinite Buddhahood in the past. It does speak of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment occuring "unfathomably" long ago, but does that mean infinitely long ago? Most of the chapter seems to treat the enlightenment as an event that happened many many kalpas ago, but nevertheless at a discrete and specific point in time.

Thus, while Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment going forward may be read as an unending state, can the same be said when looking back? Did His enlightenment occur "infinitely" long ago or just "a really really long time ago?" It seems this difference would be crucial in establishing the nature of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment.

I would be interested in hearing from any Lotus Sutra scholars on this issue.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

illarraza wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:49 am
Sorry for any intrusion into your life. Please reflect on my suggestion.

Mark
I accept your suggestion and luckily a ardent Nirchiren disciple has come in contact with me.
Riju
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Re: Any explanation

Post by Riju »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:22 pm
Brahma wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:10 am
If we take the Buddha's words as truly literal here, it may mean that He has always dwelled in the Pure Land of Holy Eagle Peak, always preaching the Law, never entering extinction, and Never Disparaging!
I notice you hedge your bets with the expression, "it may mean..."

To my mind, such caution is wise. Because the 16th Chapter seems fairly direct in stating that Shakyamuni Buddha will "never enter extinction" in the future, I have always questioned whether it can be read as implying infinite Buddhahood in the past. It does speak of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment occuring "unfathomably" long ago, but does that mean infinitely long ago? Most of the chapter seems to treat the enlightenment as an event that happened many many kalpas ago, but nevertheless at a discrete and specific point in time.

Thus, while Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment going forward may be read as an unending state, can the same be said when looking back? Did His enlightenment occur "infinitely" long ago or just "a really really long time ago?" It seems this difference would be crucial in establishing the nature of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment.

I would be interested in hearing from any Lotus Sutra scholars on this issue.

I have come to indirectly believe in following implications after meditation on Lotus sutra.

1. Buddha (and not the Guatam Buddha) has been residing On eagle peak from the previous era. And the previous era happened billions of years ago. Otherwise the chapter 15 (EMERGING FROM THE EARTH ) makes not sense. But it does not mean that that Buddha was present on eagle peak eternally.
2. There was existence before Buddha system was born . Chapter 16 " The life span of Thus come one" indicates that.
3. All the Buddhas end the journey in Adi Buddha. Lotus sutra is the accumulation of WISDOM of all Buddhas who ended their journey in Adi Buddha. Thus Lotus sutra is the mind of Adi Buddha.
4. Existence was chaotic and the result was suffering , death and old age. Buddha system (lotus sutra) with accumulated system of past eras is slowly extending its powers and freeing the existence from the sufferings, death and old age.
5. There are 32 planes of existence. Existence has now moved to earth life at 26th plane. This process of eradicating sufferings , old age and death will continue era after era on this earth and all this time various buddhas will exist on eagle peak.
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