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10 WORLDS

As I was attending an on line meeting, a reference was made to the ten Worlds.
I was reminded that each of the Ten Worlds is contained in all the other.

The Ten Worlds:
BUDDHA
BODHISATTVA
SELF REALIZATION
LEARNING
RAPTURE
ANGER
ANIMALITY
HUNGER
HELL

As each if the Ten Worlds (Life conditions) is not a separate realm. Each is a nonexclusive life condition.
Thus, Sakyamuni, though he was The Buddha, still went through the same conditions, momemt to moment, as ordinary human beings. He did not forsake Buddahood to save the world, but went forth to do so in the state of Buddha. He endured the suffferings of the common mortal but did so as a Buddha. Thus he displayed that it was not necessary to forsake Buddahood in order to help other in the path to becoming or reaching Buddha themselves (Enlightenment, If you prefer that term).
As we progress through the fog of our existance, A Bodhisattva seeks his or her emergence from that fog even as he or she aids others in this endevor. A Buddha, having already emrged (Awakened), goes back into the fog to lead ordinary people out of the fog. A Buddha does not surrender his or her Enlightenment (Awakening) but uses it to light the way wherein the fog itself becomes the tool to the emergence, the Awakening, to the state of Buddha.
Thus this Saha World is the Golden land of the Buddha.

Peace to all

lobsterJeffreyShoshin1

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Exactly so, as far as I know/understand. Thanks @Lionduck 🙏🏽

    How many of those experiences states have I been through/in today? All of them.
    Some of us may feel some are hidden or not part of our nature but there is a pseudo koan:

    Does a Buddha have ‘ordinary person awareness’ and the answer is hell yes … <3

    Jeffrey
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited April 4

    It’s new to me, haven’t come across it before, so thank you very much @Lionduck

    I read a little about it online…

    This article is written to empower the reader to understand the 10 worlds and how to start existing in higher worlds.

    https://kanupriyakhemka15.medium.com/ten-worlds-of-buddhism-ea921b9d6650

    It seems to be a Mahayana concept?

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I have seen 'the ten directions' referenced in the Avatamsaka sutra. I took it to mean N, NE, NW, S, SE, SW, W, E, up, and down but maybe means this 10 worlds??

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I can't say I have come across that one before @Lionduck. Do you have references?

  • 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

    @Lionduck said:
    As I was attending an on line meeting, a reference was made to the ten Worlds.
    I was reminded that each of the Ten Worlds is contained in all the other.

    The Ten Worlds:
    BUDDHA
    BODHISATTVA
    SELF REALIZATION
    LEARNING
    RAPTURE
    ANGER
    ANIMALITY
    HUNGER
    HELL

    That's nine....

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The article I quoted lists an extra World as Humanity between Anger and Rapture.

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    @federica
    Opps! Left out Humanity (Tranquility)
    Sorry

    lobsterVimalajāti
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    @Vimalajāti
    Ghosts or Hungry Spirits are the realm of Hunger
    I chose the terms for the realms in a more contemporary form.
    Of course, with my ADHD, I forgot to include the realm of Tranquility, aka Humanity aka Human

    lobsterVimalajāti
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The Ten Worlds, give or take away: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_realms

    BUDDHA/Tathāgata
    BODHISATTVA
    SELF REALISATION/Realisation/Pratyekabuddha
    LEARNING/Arhat/Stream entrant
    RAPTURE/Bliss
    Human - To err … is human
    ANGER/God Realm/ https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Anger-Of-God,-Consequences
    ANIMALITY/Instinct
    HUNGER/Craving/Hungry Ghost/Dukha
    HELL/Dukha+

    Bunks
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited April 7

    I had in mind a large essay, but I paired it back when I realized the amount of time I actually had. Instead, pending the larger post I'd like to make, while I was casually looking at the Wikipedia version of the "ten worlds," several strange quirks of it struck me. I was struck, instead of a later more in-depth long post, to instead write a reflection on and expansion of the Wikipedia page, as it appears on April the 6th 2022, for the "ten worlds." I hope this will be relevant and sufficiantly interesting, because responding to the Wikipedia article is responding to the resource through which a lot of people will come to be introduced to the general concept.

    From the introduction to the Wikipedia article:

    The popularization of this term is often attributed to the Chinese scholar Chih-i who spoke about the "co-penetration of the ten worlds."

    The Wikipedia page uses the old Wades-Giles transliteration of Chinese. Modern sources transliterate this name as "Zhìyǐ." One of the problems in beginning to penetrate into Tendai Buddhism (which is much less translated than other sects) is the plethora of names for the Grandmaster. He is called "Chi-i(h)" in old transliterations, "Zhìyǐ" in new ones. In Japanese, he is sometimes known as "Chigi." Also, he is called Grandmaster "Zhìzhě" in Chinese, "Chisha" in Japanese. Furthermore, he is known as Grandmaster "Tiāntāi," Grandmaster "Tendai" in Japan. He also has Korean and Cantonese names!

    The last thing we've to speak about from this section of the Wikipedia article is the term "co-penetration." This is 圓融 (Ch: yuánróng, Jp: ennyū). It is alternatively translated as "mutual possession," "interpenetration," "round-fusion," "perfect fusion," and "interfusion."

    The first kanji, 圓, represents rather non-circularly a circle. It also means "perfect," "thorough," and "complete." The idea behind these other meanings is that a circle is a "complete" or "completely thorough" line because it ends, poetically, where it began. The second kanji, 融, is a "cauldron." The meaning of "cauldron" however is very ancient, from well before ~1000BC, and it has a meaning of "to melt or mix" by the 100AD. The meaning of "melt/mix" comes from how metals would fuse and mix (in liquid form) in a Bronze-Age smelting cauldron. When we add these senses together, the various English translations are contextualized a little.

    Moving on, we see:

    However, according to Chih-i's conceptualization of "three thousand realms in a single moment of life," they are not separate physical realms into which one may be reborn but interrelated realms of consciousness, each of which is contained within each other (Jp. jikkai gogu). The Ten Realms are a conceptualization of the Lotus Sutra's worldview of the interconnected relationship of phenomena, the ultimate reality of the universe, and human agency.

    I think that "are not separate physical realms into which one may be reborn" is more than a bit misleading. In my experience, I see this sort of language from localized specific SGI parishes who want to open the Dharma up to skeptics of rebirth (SGI, for those who do not know, practices a form of Buddhism deeply related to Tendai, namely Nichiren Buddhism). It is fine to be skeptical of rebirth in Buddhism. It is fine to be skeptical of the existence of the gods, or fate, or Lord YWHW, or Shiva, or Santa Claus, or whoever else you think might not exist. It is another thing to say that "Buddhism is wrong." No, Buddhism is complicated. It isn't "wrong." When the Lord Gautama Buddha observed with his mental eye the sentient beings on his night of Bodhi, he saw them spontaneously reborn into various destinies. He saw his past abodes, where he once lived lives in the past as such-and-such person from so-and-so clan in this-or-that locality. It is fine to be skeptical of rebirth and karma and the Buddha. It is another thing to say "This is nonsense and I know that."

    Rather than "are not separate physical realms into which one may be reborn," the teaching on the interpenetration of the ten worlds is that one can be of any world in this very life. Rebirth as an asura isn't only in the future. It's your existence "as an asura" in the here-and-now that dictates that fate. There is a wonderful quote from Grandmaster Zhìzhě on the asuras:

    Always desiring to be superior to others, having no patience for inferiors and belittling strangers; like a hawk, flying high above and looking down on others, and yet outwardly displaying justice, worship, wisdom, and faith -- this is raising up the lowest order of good and walking the way of the Asuras.

    The asuras are characterized by vainglory or pride, spiritual prelest, and are deeply egotistical and quick to anger, in general. That's how I was taught of them. The OP version has more "anger" as a focus than "pride," but the two go hand-in-hand IMO. When we cultivate and display these traits, we "become" an asura in this very life, in this very body. How else could our theoretical destiny be so?

    Because we can be a Buddha, a human, and even a hell-dweller in this very life, we see how the so-called "six realms" as well as the four states of Bodhi are, in fact, already present in the here-and-now of this life in our day-to-day being. It is rather hard to see the Tathāgata present within ourselves even occasionally, let alone on a day-to-day level, but he does show up on some rare occasions, or so I've been told.

    So rather than "replacing rebirth," the ten worlds "explain rebirth." You are what you are. If you are deeply envious, with a "bottomless stomach" for the riches of others, you are a "hungry ghost." In the afterlife, there's the unfortunate destiny of ghosthood if this envy and hunger is not dealt with. Whether or not we believe in an "afterlife," and regardless if we understand the one who experiences this afterlife as "ourselves" or "someone else," in this very life we can be a hell-dweller beset by misery, a jealous hungry ghost, a lustful moment-driven animal, a vainglorious asura, a just-right human, a basking god, an Arhat individually liberated, a Pratyekabuddha with wisdom attained that is unrelated to the dispensation of a "Buddha," an Āryabodhisattva on the cusp of glory, and a Tathāgata. The last is a very radical teaching indeed, and is a foundational influence on Japanese buddha-nature teachings. In the later post, I want to cover how the "interpenetration of the ten worlds" influences a trend in Medieval Tendai called "hongaku" (本覺).

    On the last point, namely "The Ten Realms are a conceptualization of the Lotus Sutra's worldview of the interconnected relationship of phenomena, the ultimate reality of the universe, and human agency," this is completely correct, but is also missing so much context.

    The "ten worlds/realms" are the metaphorical children of some of the oldest historically-traceable Mahāyāna textual materials that exist: namely the daśapāramitā ("ten perfections") material of the Buddhāvataṁsaka (佛華嚴 "Flower Garland") and Prajñāpāramitā traditions and the daśabhūmika ("ten grounds") tradition of that same Buddhāvataṁsaka and the Mahāsāṁghika Mahāvastu.

    Much of contemporary Mahāyāna preserves a six-perfection ("ṣaṭpāramitā") framework. This is inherited from the Abhidharma of the Sarvāstivāda sect, a very influential sect of Śrāvaka Buddhism. It is this sect which gives us the "six perfections" of the Bodhisattvas. There exists another strain of Mahāyāna Buddhism, attested to in the Buddha's Flower Garland and some older parts of the Prajñāpāramitā, where there are "ten perfections" of the Bodhisattva.

    Interestingly enough, there are also ten perfections in the teaching of the Theravāda sect. The names and explanations are not the same, but the enumeration is identical. Isn't that a weird bit of strange trivia? In certain old sūtras, and also in the very old Mahāvastu, these "ten perfections" are lined up with the "ten grounds (bhūmis) of the Bodhisattva." What are the ten bhūmis of the Old Prajñāpāramitā?

    1. the ground of clear seeing
    2. the ground of the "gotra" ("spiritual lineage")
    3. the ground of the śrotāpanna candidate
    4. the ground of the fruit of the śrotāpanna
    5. the ground of the sakṛdāgāmin
    6. the ground of the anāgāmin
    7. the ground of the Arhat
    8. the ground of the Pratyekabuddha
    9. the ground of the Bodhisattva
    10. the ground of the Buddha.

    Very interesting, no? It's like the "ten worlds," but it is also like the "four persons of the path" in Śrāvaka Buddhism, namely: "stream-entrant," "once-returner," "non-returner," "Arhat."

    Moving further on still in the Wikipedia article:

    According to this conception, the world of Buddha and the nine realms of humanity are interpenetrable, there is no original "pure mind," and good and evil are mutually possessed. This establishes a proclivity to immanence rather than transcendency.

    "Good and evil are mutually possessed" is a very difficult teaching. It is related to "afflictions are Bodhi," a similarly-very-difficult teaching taught on one occasion by the Grandmaster and later taken up by disciples of disciples. Of "good and evil," the Grandmaster says:

    Furthermore, a single moment of thought in the mind of a common being possesses the ten realms. They completely possess the nature and characteristics of evil karma, yet the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. It is due to evil that there is virtue. Apart from evil there is no virtue. Turning over evils, there is virtue supporting them, like inside bamboo there being the nature of fire. It is not yet the object of fire, which is why it exists but does not burn. When meeting with conditions the phenomenon comes to exist, and then it can burn things. Evil as the nature of virtue is not yet an existent phenomenon. When it meets with conditions it become an existent phenomenon, and then there can be a turn to evil. It is like bamboo. Fire is emitted and returns, burning the bamboo. In evil there is virtue. When virtue comes to exist it returns, destroying the evil. This is why that which are the nature and characteristics of evil are the nature and characteristics of virtue. A single moment of thought of an ordinary being always possesses the consciousnesses, names, and forms of the ten realms.

    (Grandmaster Zhìzhě, The Dharma-Flower's Secret Meaning)

    The Chinese substance metaphysics exhibited by the Grandmaster and its relation to various facets of parallel Indian thought, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, could be its own thread entirely. Suffice to say, many Buddhists do not subscribe to the notion that the fire element is somehow mysteriously present in the wood before it combusts. This is modern knowledge of material sciences butting heads with older paradigms, such as "the five elements" and other traditions. Nonetheless, the metaphor of fire present in the pre-combusted wood is used to refer to evil present within the well-intentioned heart.

    He says, "overturning evils, we find virtue as their basis." There are two ways to read this, one at the surface level, and one deeper. Find virtue as the basis for evil is as simple as the old saying, "Evil with the best of intentions." Various wicked acts are done under the notion of their perpetrators that it is with the best of intentions and also that "the ends justify the means." Looking deeper, we see that, with renunciation of the wicked, there is no human virtue.

    A computer can be programmed to do "only good," and it can do "only good" every day of its existence. That doesn't make it "a good person." It is the ability of the human being to be good in spite of another latent tendency to be wicked instead that makes a virtuous person. A non-being with no choice in the matter who does good might do good, but they don't do good of their own accord.

    Jeffreylobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks Vimalajāti <3

    I wondered when the Theravadins would enter with the Hell dwelling Buddha Bhumis etc. We can not take anything as Gospel. Not even from a Christian perspective.

    "God does not exist: He told me so." Philippe Derckel

    In a similar way it is equally correct to move full circle and say 'The Buddha is Hell' and vice versa.

    meanwhile …
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhūmi_(Buddhism)

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @Vimalajāti said:
    A computer can be programmed to do "only good," and it can do "only good" every day of its existence.

    That is rather debatable. A computer cannot form a moral evaluation, and so to program it to do “good” is problematic. Perhaps it might be possible to use more advanced AI techniques to approximate “good”, but we are talking fairly cutting edge research here.

    For a computer, 2+2 is easy, and 3189+1574 is just as easy. Nebulous concepts like philosophy are very hard. I’ve posted documentaries about AI development before, but we are still a long way from a general purpose artificial intelligence which could understand philosophy.

    Vimalajāti
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited April 7

    @Jeroen said:

    @Vimalajāti said:
    A computer can be programmed to do "only good," and it can do "only good" every day of its existence.

    That is rather debatable. A computer cannot form a moral evaluation, and so to program it to do “good” is problematic.

    Certainly, it wasn't the best example. By "doing good," I meant that you would program an AI for a stereotypically "good" task. Let's say that it cleans up litter off the street as some kind of sophisticated street-cleaner. Even if it is performing a public service, if it cannot to "good" of its own accord, then the "good" that it does is of a different and lower order than the good that a human does of their own accord when they decide to choose goodness over something selfish, egotistical, and potentially harmful to others.

    There's also a very significant typo in the larger post, unfortunately. Where it says "Looking deeper, we see that, with renunciation of the wicked, there is no human virtue," it's supposed to say, "Looking deeper, we see that, without renunciation of the wicked, there is no human virtue."

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