Shape of the Universe and Buddhism

There is no single sutra that describes the entire Shape of the Universe and Buddhism. However, there are several sutras in Buddhism that describe other worlds and states of beings that occupy them. There are other sutras that describe the origin and destruction of the universe.

Buddhist picture of cosmos presented cannot be taken as a literal description of the shape of the universe rather the universe seen thru "divine eye" of the Buddha who perceived all the other worlds and beings being born and dying within those worlds where Buddha knows what state they have been born and reborn into. In Buddhism cosmology is explained in symbolical sense.

Buddhist view of cosmology can be divided into two related cosmology principles based on spatial cosmology and temporal cosmology.

Spatial cosmology which describes various arrangements of worlds within the universe which is consistent with drakes principle of finding extra terrestrial planets in the universe.

The temporal cosmology describes how worlds come into existence and pass away.

In Buddhism, Abhasvara worlds cover 1,000 separate world-systems. Above Abhasvara world is Subhakrtsna worlds with 1 million world-systems and Suddhavasa and Brhatphala world cover 1 trillion world-systems. This view is consistent with current observations of visible universe with trillion galaxies with each typical galaxy containing over hundreds of billion stars with each star having the possibility of having at least one extra solar planets.

The basic measure of time in the universe in Buddhism is mahakalpa which is known to be in billions of years or longer. A mahakalpa is divided into four kalpas (mini periods) known as: Vivartakalpa is the where the universe comes into existence, Vivartasthayikalpa where the universe is stays in an steady state, Samvarakalpa where the universe destructs, and period where universe is a empty steady state known as Samvartasthayikalpa.

Buddhist view of the cosmos is consistent with current scientific observations of the universe born out of big bang observed in cosmic background radiation and end in big crunch followed by a period of empty state. After the big crunch, Buddhism suggests a infinite continuation of cycle born and destruction of the cosmos with time extending to infinity.

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