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Volume 7 no 1

Feature

THE EARTH PEOPLE - Part 1

People often ask, "Why are there human beings on earth?", "Where did the ancestors of the human race come from?" or "How did the world come about?" Questions such as these have plagued mankind since time immemorial. The answers lie in the Buddhist scriptures and over the next four issues, Venerable Shen-Kai shall deliberate on them.

The ancestors of the human race came from the Light-sound heaven (Abhasvara)

In the Abhidhamma Patika and other Buddhist scriptures, it was precisely stated that the human race originated from the Light-sound heaven. Being the most intellectual of all living things on this earth, the ancestors of the human race could not possibly have been made from clay by some divine gods; this is a myth. They could not have been evolved from apes; this is a fallacy.

People often ask:
Where is the Light-sound heaven?
Why is it called the Light-sound heaven?
How did the human race come from the Light-sound heaven?


According to Buddhism, the various celestial levels of existence, in ascending order, are divided into three worlds, namely:
(i) Field of Desires
(ii) Field of Forms
(iii) Field of Formless


(i) Field of Desires:
Within the Field of Desires, there are:

  • Heaven of Four Heavenly Kings (Catummaharajika)
  • Thirty-three Heavens (Tavatimsa) - (there are 33 devas in this heaven comprising 8 devas in each direction of East, West, North and South together with the centre being that of Sakka. Sakyamuni Buddha was once the deva-king of this heaven.)
  • Heaven of Devas Yama
  • Tusita Heaven
  • Nirmanarati Heaven
  • Paranirmitavasavartin Heave


(ii) Field of Forms:
Above the Field of Desires is the Field of Forms where beings delight in Jhanic bliss achieved by renouncing sense-desires. This field consists of 4 Dhyana Heavens - the Heaven of 1st Dhyana, the Heaven of 2nd Dhyana, the Heaven of 3rd Dhyana and the Heaven of 4th Dhyana.

  • In the Heaven of the 1st Dhyana or Jhana, there are:
    - The Heaven of Brahma's Retinue
    - The Heaven of Brahma's Ministers
    - The Heaven of Maha Brahma (Sakyamuni Buddha was once the heavenly king of this heaven)
  • In the Heaven of the 2nd Dhyana, there are:
    - The Heaven of Minor Lustre
    - The Heaven of Infinite Lustre
    - The Heaven of Light-sound or Radiant Lustre
  • In the Heaven of the 3rd Dhyana, there are:
    - The Heaven of Minor Purity
    - The Heaven of Infinite Purity
    - The Heaven of Extensive Purity
  • In the Heaven of the 4th Dhyana, there are:
    - The Heaven of blessing-arising
    - The Heaven of blessing-attached
    - The Heaven of vast-reward
    - The Heaven of no thought
    - The Heaven of no vexation
    - The Heaven of no heat
    - The Heaven of virtue-view
    - The Heaven of virtue-appear
    - The Heaven of form ultimate


(iii) Field of Formless:
There are 4 other heavens within this Field of Formless. The heavens are totally devoid of matter or bodies. These are:

  • The Sphere of infinite space
  • The Sphere of boundless consciousness
  • The Sphere of nothingness and
  • The Sphere of no thought, no no-thought
    From the above three Fields, there are altogether 28 levels of heavens.

The Light-sound heaven or Radiant Lustre is at the 3rd level of the Heaven of the 2nd Dhyana or Jhana of the Field of Forms. The beings of this heaven communicate not through sounds, but they emit pure radiant lights from their mouths that represent what they wish to express and the receiving party on seeing the lights is able to understand what they mean. As lights represent sounds, hence this heaven is called the Light-sound heaven. It is the most unique and wonderful level of the three heavens of the 2nd Dhyana and is also called the "Heaven of Radiant Lustre."

… to be continued in the next issue, Volume 7, Issue No. 2


 
 
 


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre