Kalpa, 9 Definition(s)
1. Kappa - One of Bavaris disciples. The questions he asked of the Buddha are recorded in the Kappamanavapuccha (q.v.). He became an arahant. Sn.vv.1007, 1092-5; SnA.ii.597.
2. Kappa Thera - An arahant. He was the son of a provincial governor in Magadha and was addicted to self indulgence. The Buddha, seeing him in his net of wisdom, visited him and admonished him, speaking to him of the filthy nature of the body, illustrating his sermon with a wealth of simile and metaphor. Kappa was greatly impressed and joined the Order. He became an arahant, as his head was being shaved. In the time of the Buddha Siddhattha he was a rich householder, and offered at the Buddhas shrine a kapparukkha containing objects of great value. Wherever he was born celestial trees grew outside his door. Seven kappas ago he was eight times king under the name of Sucela (Thag.567-76; ThagA.i.521ff). He is probably identical with Kapparukkhiya of the Apadana. Ap.i.91.
3. Kappa - In the Samyutta Nikaya (S.iii.169f) two suttas are connected with a monk called Kappa, who is probably identical with Kappa (2). In both suttas he asks the Buddha how it is possible to cultivate knowledge and thought so as to be free from thoughts of I and mine with regard to the body. The same questions, receiving the same answers, are elsewhere attributed to Rahula. S.ii.253f.
4. Kappa - A young brahmin (Kappakamara) who was the Bodhisatta. He later became a sage and the disciple and friend of Kesava. For his story see the Kesava Jataka (J.iii.142ff). The story is also referred to in the Bakabrahma Jataka (J.iii.361; DhA.i.342f), and mentioned in the Samyutta Nikaya (S.i.144; SA.i.164; MA.i.555), where Bakabrahma is identified with Kappas teacher, Kesava. v.l. Kappaka.
5. Kappa - See Nigrodha Kappa.
A Kalpa denotes a great period of time; a period during which a physical universe is formed and destroyed.
Asankhyeya denotes the highest sum for which a conventional term exists:
- According to Chinese calculations equal to one followed by seventeen ciphers;
- According to Thibetan and Singhalese, equal to one followed by ninety-seven ciphers.
Every Maha-kalpa consists of four Asankhyeya-kalpas. Eitel, p. 15.
(Skr) = kappa).
-- or --
(Sanskrit kalpa): 'world-period', an inconceivably long space of time, an aeon. This again is subdivided into 4 sections:
- world-dissolution (samvatta-kappa) dissolving world),
- continuation of the chaos (samvatta-tthāyī),
- world-formation (vivatta-kappa),
- continuation of the formed world (vivatta-tthāyī).
"How long a world-dissolution will continue, how long the chaos, how long the formation, how long the continuation of the formed world, of these things; o monks, one hardly can say that it will be so many years, or so many centuries, or so many millennia, or so many hundred thousands of years" (A.IV.156)
A detailed description of the 4 world-periods is given in that stirring discourse on the all-embracing impermanence in A.VII.62.
The beautiful simile in S.XV.5 may be mentioned here: "Suppose, o monks, there was a huge rock of one solid mass, one mile long, one mile wide, one mile high, without split or flaw. And at the end of every hundred years a man should come and rub against it once with a silken cloth. Then that huge rock would wear off and disappear quicker than a world-period. But of such world-periods, o monks, many have passed away, many hundreds, many thousands, many hundred thousands. And how is this possible? Inconceivable, o monks, is this samsāra, not to be discovered is any first beginning of beings, who obstructed by ignorance and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths."
Compare here Grimm's German fairy-tale of the little shepherd boy: 'In Farther Pommerania there is the diamond-mountain, one hour high, one hour wide, one hour deep. There every hundred years a little bird comes and whets its little beak on it. And when the whole mountain is ground off, then the first second of eternity has passed."
Originally, a kalpa was considered to be 4,320,000 years.
Kalpa Skt.; world cycle, world age (Pali, kappa); term for an endlessly long period of time, which is the basis of Buddhist time reckoning. The length of a kalpa is illustrated by the following simile: suppose that every hundred years a piece of silk is rubbed once on a solid rock one cubic mile in size; when the rock is worn away by this, one kalpa will still not have passed.
A kalpa is divided into four parts: the arising of a universe, the continuation of the arisen universe, the demise of that universe, the continuation of chaos. In the period of the arising of a universe, individual worlds with their sentient beings are formed. In the second period sun and moon come into being, the sexes are distinguished, and social life develops. In the phase of universal demise, fire, water, and wind destroy almost everything. The period of chaos is that of total annihilation. a
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