||兜率天與諸佛出世(上)=Tusita and the births of the Buddha |
正觀雜誌=Satyabhisamaya: A Buddhist Studies Quarterly
|Pages||5 - 189|
|Location||南投縣, 臺灣 [Nantou hsien, Taiwan]|
|Content type||期刊論文=Journal Article|
|Keyword||宇宙論=Cosmology; 三千大千世界=trichiliocosm; 賢劫諸佛=buddhas in the Fortunate Aeon; 佛土=Buddha-field; 彌勒=Maitreya; 兜率天壽=life-span in Tusita|
Generally speaking, the last –life Bodhisattvas would stay in
the Tusita before they descend to the human realm and obtain
enlightenment (Buddha-hood). The births of the Buddhas can be
observed through the aspects of space and time.
From the aspect of space, the doctrine of the
tri-sahasra-mahā-sahasra-loka-dhātu (trichiliocosm)” can be
found in the early Buddhist texts. The Yogacarabhumi-sastra and
other texts further state that the world systems within
trichiliocosm shall be renovated and destructed altogether. The
highest realm of the trichiliocosm is said to be “brahmaloka”,
however, this word can be referred to as the first dhyāna realm,
or it can also go as broad as to include the whole Form Realms
and even the Formless Realm. Therefore, the concept of
trichiliocosm contains the diversity of Buddhist cosmology,
including the world structure, the process of renovation,
destruction and duration of both, the increase and decrease of
human life-span etc.
A trichiliocosm is a Buddha-field, domain of one Buddha’s
teaching career. This is in compliance with saying of the sutras;
yet, Buddha’s activity can extend beyond his field. This can also
lead to the reflection on the meaning of this world being finite
The concept of Buddha-field suggests that there are
Buddhas in ten directions. The doctrine of “one-Buddha-only”
emphasizes that there is only one Buddha throughout the world,
who can give teachings to countless sentient beings according to
their own potentials. Yet merely from the concept of “Buddhas in
ten directions” still is not enough to express what said the
Mahayanasajgraha: Innumerable sentient beings accomplish
their practices simultaneously, and births of Buddha should not
be only in a sequential order. the plurality of Buddha is affirmed.
The significance of bodhisattva doctrine in Mahayana should be
understood as emphasis on bodhisattva practice and there are
innumerable bodhisattvas simultaneously accomplished their
practices in different Buddha-field.
From the aspect of time, Early Buddhist texts confirms the
possibility of many Buddhas in the future. There are different
understandings on what the term “bhadrakalpa(auspicious eon)”
actually means. The concepts of Thousand Buddha of the
Bhadrakalpa” , and “Five hundred Buddha of Bhadrakalpa”
appeared in later times. Moreover, some opined that these
Buddhas of Bhadrakalpa can be seen as the at-the-same-time Buddhas.
According to the unanimous traditions of all the schools of
Buddhism, Maitreya is the Buddha next to Gautama Buddha.
There are three contexts to know the time Bodhisattva Maitreya,
now living in Tusita, will descend to the human realm: 1. cycle of
renovation, destruction of the world. 2. life-span of Tusita beings.
3. decline of Gautama Buddha’s dispensation.
Life-span of Tusita beings is equivalent to 576,000,000 of
human years according to early Buddhist texts, Chinese Buddhist
texts, however, saw a variety of traditions as to when Buddha
Maitreya will appear. We may see it same as what Chih-pan put:
“Discourse of Buddha is consistent, the seeming discrepanc
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