Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Incalculable Epoch ( Asankheyya kappa )

Incalculable Aeon or Epoch
(Asankheyya kappa)


According to Anguttara ii, 142, there are four periods called incalculable epochs(asankheyya kappa) within a great aeon or world cycle (maha kappa). The duration of each of these epochs cannot be enumerated even by taking hundreds of thousands (lakhs) of years as a unit, hence the name “incalculable aeon”. These four incalculable epochs are:

(i) Enveloping Epoch
period of destruction or dissolution of the world system.
In the Sun Discourse (Anguttara iv, 99), the Buddha described the destruction of the world by fire that even reaches the realm of Great Brahma.

It commences with the falling of the great rain and terminates with the extinction of flames if the world system is to be dissolved by fire; or the receding of floods if dissolved by water; or the cessation of storms if dissolved by air. An elaborate description of the dissolution of the world by fire, water or the air element is given in the chapter on the recollection of past life in the Visuddhi Magga or Path of Liberation.

(ii) Enveloped Epoch
period when the world system is completely destroyed or in a state of void.
This is the period beginning from the moment of dissolution of the world by fire, water or the air element till the falling of the great rain that heralds the evolution of a new world.

(iii) Developing Epoch
period of evolution.

This is the period beginning from the falling of the great rain that heralds the evolution of a new world to the appearance of the sun,moon, stars and planets.

(iv) Developed Epoch
period of continuance after having been reinstated.
This is the period beginning from the appearance of the sun, moon, stars and planets to the falling of the great rain that heralds the dissolution of the world.



Explanation of Lifespan in First, Second & Third Jhana Planes

Regarding the destruction of the world by the three great elements,
fire destroys the world up to the three planes of the First Jhana.
According to the commentators, the maximum lifespan in the First Jhana planes is 1 incalculable epoch because these planes exist only during one epoch, the developed epoch.

After being destroyed seven times consecutively by fire, the world will be destroyed by water on the eighth time when the destruction reaches the three planes of the Second Jhana. Hence the maximum lifespan in the Second Jhana planes is 8 world cycles.

After being destroyed in regular cycles seven times by fire and once by water, the world will be destroyed by wind on the 64th time when the destruction reaches the Third Jhana planes. Hence the maximum lifespan in the Third Jhana planes is 64 world cycles.



What is the cause of destruction and evolution of the world?
In the Manual of Cosmic Order, the Venerable Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw writes:
“Without a known beginning, and without end, the world or physical universe continues the same whether world-lords or supreme beings (issara) appear or not. Not made, not created by any such, not even a hundred, not even a thousand, not even a
hundred thousand world-lords would be able to remove it. By the law of heat (utu niyama), by the law of natural causation
(dhamma niyama), the order of the physical universe is maintained.”



Twenty Four Buddhas Preceding Lord Gotama Buddha
It should not be construed that there were no Buddha kappas before that of Dipankara Buddha or that no more Buddhas will arise after the present kappa. The numbers of Buddhas who have come and gone in the past, or who will come and go in the future, are as countless as the sands of the Ganges. The names of the twenty-four Buddhas who preceded our Lord Gotama beginning from Lord Dipankara and time intervals are listed below.

4 asankheyyas of kappas + 100,000 kappas ago:
Tanhankara,
Medhankara,
Saranankara,
Dipankara.

3 asankheyyas of kappas + 100,000 kappas ago:
Kondanna.

2 asankheyyas of kappas + 100,000 kappas ago:
Mangala,
Sumana,
Revata,
Sobhita.

1 asankheyya of kappas + 100,000 kappas ago:
Anomadassin,
Paduma,
arada.

100,000 kappas ago:
Padumuttara.

30,000 kappas ago:
Sumedha,
Sujata.

18,000 kappas ago:
Piyadassin,
Atthadassin,
Dhammadassin.

94 kappas ago:
Siddhattha

92 kappas ago:
Tissa,
Phussa.

91 kappas ago:
Vipassin.

31 kappas ago:
Sikhin,
Vessabhu.

Present kappa :
Kakusandha,
Konagamana,
Kassapa,
Gotama.




Dont forget to see other posting about
Kappa
Antara Kappa