When this was said, the brahmin student Sangarava said to the Blessed One: “Master Gotama’s striving was unfaltering. Master Gotama’s striving was that of a true man, as it should be for an Accomplished One. But how is it, Master Gotama, are there gods?”“It is known to me to be the case, Bharadvaja, that there are gods.”
Prince [Payasi], the other world cannot be seen the way you think, with the physical eye. Prince, those ascetics and Brahmins who seek in the jungle-thickets and the recesses of the forest for a resting place that is quiet, with little noise – they stay there unwearied, ardent, restrained, purifying the divine eye, and with that purified divine eye that exceeds the powers of human sight, they see both this world and the next, and spontaneously born beings. That Prince , is how the other world can be seen, and not the way you think, with the physical eye. Therefore, Prince, admit that there is another world, that there are spontaneously born beings, and that there is fruit and result of good and evil deeds.
There comes a time, monks, sooner or later after a long period, when this world contracts. At the time of contraction, beings are mostly reborn in the Abhassara Brahma world. and there they dwell, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious – and they stay like that for a very long time.But the time comes, sooner or later after a long period, when the world begins to expand. In this expanding world an empty palace of Brahma appears. And then one being, from the exhaustion of his life-span or of his merits, falls from the Abhassara world and arises in the empty Brahma-palace. And there he dwells, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious – and he stays like that for a very long time.Then in this being who has been alone for so long there arises unrest, discontent, and worry, and he thinks: “Oh, if only some other beings would come here!” And other beings, from exhaustion of their life-span or of their merits, fall from the Abhassara world, and arises in the Brahma palace as companions for this being. And there they dwell, mind-made, ….and they stay like that for a very long time.And then, monks, that being who first arose there thinks: “I am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, the All-Powerful, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, Ruler, Appointer and Orderer, Father of All that have been and Shall be. Those things were created by me. How so? Because I first had this thought: ‘Oh, if only some other beings came into this existence!’ That was my wish, and then these beings came into this existence!” But those beings who arose subsequently think: “This, friends, is Brahma, Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, the All-Powerful, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, Ruler, Appointer and Orderer, Father of All that have been and shall be. How so? We have seen that he was here first, and that we arose after him.”
And the Blessed one, in this connection, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance;
‘There is, O Bhikkhus, a state where there is neither earth, nor water, nor heat nor air, neither infinity of space, nor infinity of consciousness, nor nothingness, nor perception, nor non-perception, neither this world nor that world, both sun and moon.That O Bhikkhu, I term neither coming nor going, nor standing, neither death nor birth. It is without stability, without procession, without a basis; that is the end of sorrow’
‘There is, O Bhikkhus, an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed. Were there not, O Bhikkhus, this unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed, there would be no esacpe from the world of the born, originated, created, formed.Since, O Bhikkhus, there is an unborn, unoriginated, unformed, therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created, formed.’
More posts by this author:
- Buddha and the Upanishads
- Why should Buddhists worship Hindu Devatas?
- Buddhism and the concept of self
- Why did an advaitavadi like Adi Shankaracharya compose hymns to Saguna Brahman?
- What is Karma Yoga and how can it be practiced?
I did my school, college and parts of my University education in Kolkata. I got my M.Sc degree from Kolkata University. I went to USA in 1979 and got my M.S and Ph.D in Physics from University of Pittsburgh in 1984. I did my Post Doctorate in University of Southern California, Los Angeles and then worked as a Research Scientist in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Space Sciences Center of University of Southern California. My scientific work includes heavy ion-atom scattering, multiphoton ionization and heliosphere data analysis of Pioneer 10/111 and Voyager 1/2 deep space spacecaft and analysis of solar extreme ultraviolet data obtained from SOHO spacecraft. I have been a National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA) Principal Investigator from 2002 – 2007. I have been a member of a NASA awards committee to decide allocation of money to different scientists. I have also refereed scientific articles submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research and Astrophysical Journal.