Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Early Buddhism and the Multiverse

BunksBunks Australia Veteran

Below is the transcript^ of a question and answer video from the late, great Bhikkhu Samahita regarding Early Buddhism and the Multiverse.

^ As English is his second language, I have taken the liberty of changing a few words to make the text easier to read. Any errors are mine and mine only.


Question:

There are 31 worlds in this universe, according to Buddha’s teachings, are there other universes as well? Is there such a thing as the Multiverse?

Answer:

Yes, there is, for many reasons.

The Buddha was asked, “Is there more than one universe?” (That corresponds to a universe in our language). And he said that there was an infinite number of universes.

There are other world systems (he called them) that contain their Buddhas and their deities.

He called these world systems a “Chakavara.” Chakavara means wheel…world wheel. A wheel is a round thing with something in the middle. It seems very likely that the correct translation of Chakavara (world wheel) is galaxy. But it’s not certain that this is so, but it seems to be.

In each galaxy, there is a system with Buddha’s appearing there and a corresponding set of 31 levels of existence in that particular galaxy.

Then, in a broader sense, there can be many different galaxies (there’s at least 100 billion in our universe now) but the Buddha spoke about these universes 2,500 years ago as something dynamic, the universe expands and then it contracts, and expands and contracts.

So, from a “Big Bang” there is a large expansion and then it holds still for a while and then it starts to contract and there’s a “Big Crunch.” This Big Crunch is followed by something you could call a “Nuclear Fire”, where everything is burned up, but not on all the levels of the 31 levels of existence.

So, some beings survive beyond the universe. On another level of time there can be existence staying there, at the Brahma level. They are not affected by the Big Crunch.

And this has some interesting correlation to some parts of modern cosmology that say that due to the “observer effect” of quantum mechanics, there has to be observers for a new universe to appear.

So, some people say that after the Big Bang there are no beings, but that’s not true according to Buddhism. It states that there are many beings after a Big Crunch and before the Big Bang. There are beings. There are observers that can “make things appear.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics)).

So, the interpretive model in modern cosmology, which you could say is quite esoteric, seems to be confirmable from Buddhist theory.

So, if you envisage the multiverse as a very big sponge. While one universe over here (right hand side of the sponge) is contracting, another universe (left hand side of the sponge) is expanding. And this happens all over the place, kind of like a sponge. There’s contraction here and expansion there.

This has a very neat feature, if we take the whole system, there will be conservation of mass, there will be conservation of space, there will be conservation of energy, and there will be conservation of information. And this is very, very neat.
So, the sponge model of the multiverse seems more than likely.

The Buddha says, “Yes, there’s more than one world system, more than one universe. And there’s beings (alive) at the Big Crunch.” So that can be confirmed by what he says about this.

Shoshin1SuraShineコチシカ

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Being without existence? How's that work? Spooky!

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited July 5

    The only problem I see there is that if all those universes are related via the sponge then they are really all a part of the same universe. Just as if there is more than one sponge then all sponges are even part of the same universe.

    There can be more than one space/time expansion or big bang just as there can be more than one grape in a bunch but there can not be more than one "all that is, was or will ever be".

    The universe is absolutely all inclusive and not a thing in itself subject to arising and falling... It is more like a set.

    In light of non separation and dependant origination/Interbeing, I am not sure how more than one universal set could be taught by the Buddha.

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I like to think we move between the branes (individual verses) much as karma determines the fluidity that comes our way …

    Namo Amitabha Buddha

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Some things cannot be conjectured about, lest we drive ourselves round the cosmic bend...

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I will paraphrase the late, great Terence McKenna…

    “The Big Bang is the limit case for incredulity. Science basically is asking you to believe that everything that we see or have any evidence of, comes from a space that can be held between my thumb and my index finger. It just spontaneously appeared out of a point in space, poof. If you can believe that, I’m sure there is a range of other things you might believe!”

    Bunks
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited July 21

    @Kerome said:
    I will paraphrase the late, great Terence McKenna…

    “The Big Bang is the limit case for incredulity. Science basically is asking you to believe that everything that we see or have any evidence of, comes from a space that can be held between my thumb and my index finger. It just spontaneously appeared out of a point in space, poof. If you can believe that, I’m sure there is a range of other things you might believe!”

    To be fair, science isn't asking anything. Science is a method of exploration. A pretty good one at that.

    The Big Bang seems like it happened but the hard part for me to believe is that it began everything instead of being something that happens because of something else happening.

    Bunkslobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited July 27

    @Bunks said:
    Below is the transcript^ of a question and answer video from the late, great Bhikkhu Samahita regarding Early Buddhism and the Multiverse.

    ^ As English is his second language, I have taken the liberty of changing a few words to make the text easier to read. Any errors are mine and mine only.


    Question:

    There are 31 worlds in this universe, according to Buddha’s teachings, are there other universes as well? Is there such a thing as the Multiverse?

    Answer:

    Yes, there is, for many reasons.

    The Buddha was asked, “Is there more than one universe?” (That corresponds to a universe in our language). And he said that there was an infinite number of universes.

    There are other world systems (he called them) that contain their Buddhas and their deities.

    He called these world systems a “Chakavara.” Chakavara means wheel…world wheel. A wheel is a round thing with something in the middle. It seems very likely that the correct translation of Chakavara (world wheel) is galaxy. But it’s not certain that this is so, but it seems to be.

    In each galaxy, there is a system with Buddha’s appearing there and a corresponding set of 31 levels of existence in that particular galaxy.

    Then, in a broader sense, there can be many different galaxies (there’s at least 100 billion in our universe now) but the Buddha spoke about these universes 2,500 years ago as something dynamic, the universe expands and then it contracts, and expands and contracts.

    So, from a “Big Bang” there is a large expansion and then it holds still for a while and then it starts to contract and there’s a “Big Crunch.” This Big Crunch is followed by something you could call a “Nuclear Fire”, where everything is burned up, but not on all the levels of the 31 levels of existence.

    So, some beings survive beyond the universe. On another level of time there can be existence staying there, at the Brahma level. They are not affected by the Big Crunch.

    And this has some interesting correlation to some parts of modern cosmology that say that due to the “observer effect” of quantum mechanics, there has to be observers for a new universe to appear.

    So, some people say that after the Big Bang there are no beings, but that’s not true according to Buddhism. It states that there are many beings after a Big Crunch and before the Big Bang. There are beings. There are observers that can “make things appear.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics)).

    So, the interpretive model in modern cosmology, which you could say is quite esoteric, seems to be confirmable from Buddhist theory.

    So, if you envisage the multiverse as a very big sponge. While one universe over here (right hand side of the sponge) is contracting, another universe (left hand side of the sponge) is expanding. And this happens all over the place, kind of like a sponge. There’s contraction here and expansion there.

    This has a very neat feature, if we take the whole system, there will be conservation of mass, there will be conservation of space, there will be conservation of energy, and there will be conservation of information. And this is very, very neat.
    So, the sponge model of the multiverse seems more than likely.

    The Buddha says, “Yes, there’s more than one world system, more than one universe. And there’s beings (alive) at the Big Crunch.” So that can be confirmed by what he says about this.

    As a general observation, the Dharmic traditions seem to have had a clearer sense of the universe than the Abrahamic traditions. Beyond that, I think it's problematic to compare physics with religion, particularly since cosmology is a work in progress, with many unanswered questions.

    BunkslobsterJohnCobb
Sign In or Register to comment.