First Antarakalpa: 1 definition


First Antarakalpa means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — First Antarakalpa in Buddhism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

The Vivartasthayikalpa begins when the first being is born into Naraka, thus filling the entire universe with beings. During the first antarakalpa of this eon, human lives are declining from a vast but unspecified number of years (but at least several tens of thousands of years) toward the modern lifespan of less than 100 years. At the beginning of the antarakalpa, people are still generally happy. They live under the rule of a universal monarch or "wheel turning king" (cakravartin), who conquer. The Mahasudassana sutta (DN.17) tells of the life of a cakravartin king, Mahasudassana (Sanskrit: Mahasudarsana) who lived for 336,000 years. The Cakkavatti sihanada sutta (DN.26) tells of a later dynasty of cakravartins, Dalhanemi (Sanskrit: Drdhanemi) and five of his descendants, who had a lifespan of over 80,000 years. The seventh of this line of cakravartins broke with the traditions of his forefathers, refusing to abdicate his position at a certain age , pass the throne on to his son, and enter the life of a sramana. As a result of his subsequent misrule, poverty increased; as a result of poverty, theft began; as a result of theft, capital punishment was instituted; and as a result of this contempt for life, murders and other crimes became rampant.

The human lifespan now quickly decreased from 80,000 to 100 years, apparently decreasing by about half with each generation (this is perhaps not to be taken literally), while with each generation other crimes and evils increased: lying, adultery, evil speech, greed and hatred, wrong views, incest and other sorts of sexual abnormalities, disrespect for parents and elders. During this period, according to the Mahapadana sutta (DN.14) three of the four Buddhas of this antarakalpa lived: Krakucchanda Buddha (Pali: Kakusandha), at the time when the lifespan was 40,000 years; Kanakamuni Buddha (Pali: Konagamana) when the lifespan was 30,000 years; and Kasyapa Buddha (Pali: Kassapa) when the lifespan was 20,000 years.

Our present time is taken to be toward the end of the first antarakalpa of this Vivartasthayikalpa, when the lifespan is less than 100 years, after the life of Sakyamuni Buddha (Pali: Sakyamuni), who lived to the age of 80.

The remainder of the antarakalpa is prophesied to be miserable: lifespans will continue to decrease, and all the evil tendencies of the past will reach their ultimate in destructiveness. People will live no longer than ten years, and will marry at five; foods will be poor and tasteless; no form of morality will be acknowledged. The most contemptuous and hateful people will become the rulers. Incest will be rampant. Hatred between people, even members of the same family, will grow until people think of each other as hunters do of their prey.

Eventually a great war will ensue, in which the most hostile and aggressive will arm themselves and go out to kill each other.

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