Sahasra Cosmology: 1 definition


Sahasra Cosmology 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 (S) next»] — Sahasra Cosmology in Buddhism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

While the vertical cosmology describes the arrangement of the worlds vertically, the sahasra (Sanskrit: "thousand") cosmology describes how they are grouped horizontally. The four heavens of the Kamadhatu, as mentioned, occupy a limited space no bigger than the top of Mount Sumeru. The three Brahma worlds, however, stretch out as far as the mountain wall of Cakravada, filling the entire sky. This whole group of worlds, from Mahabrahma down to the foundations of water, constitutes a single world system. It corresponds to the extent of the universe that is destroyed by fire at the end of one mahakalpa.

Above Mahabrahma are the Abhasvara worlds. These are not only higher but also wider in extent; they cover 1,000 separate world systems, each with its own Sumeru, Cakravada, Sun, Moon, and four continents. This system of 1,000 worlds is called a sahasra cudika lokadhatu, or "small chiliocosm". It corresponds to the extent of the universe that is destroyed by water at the end of 8 mahakalpas.

Above the Abhasvara worlds are the Subhakrtsna worlds, which cover 1,000 chiliocosms, or 1,000,000 world systems. This larger system is called a dvisahasra madhyama lokadhatu, or "medium dichiliocosm". It corresponds to the extent of the universe that is destroyed by wind at the end of 64 mahakalpas.

Likewise, above the Subhakrtsna worlds, the Suddhavasa and Brhatphala worlds cover 1,000 dichiliocosms, or 1,000,000,000 world systems. This largest grouping is called a trisahasra mahasahasra lokadhatu or "great trichiliocosm".

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