An Analytical study and Comparison of Word Meanings between Buddhist Lokadhatu and Astronomer's Universe

Adisak thongbun

Abstract


The aim of this article is to study and analyze the meaning of the word Lokadhatu

which Lord Buddha divided into 3 sizes and explained as Sahassi Lokadhatu (small size), Dvisahassi Lokadhatu (medium size), and Tisahassi Lokadhatu (large size). This word, has been interpreted differently in some Thai Buddhist Scriptures, but in fact, these three terms Sahassi, Dvisahassi and Tisahassi, have two specific connotations according to Lord Buddha: 1. These termes are used as names of Lokadhatu. 2. These termes refer to the number of cosmoses as the contents of each size of Lokadhatu. The cosmoses can be grouped into 3 sizes as said earlier. Sahassi Lokadhatu covers 1,000 cosmoses. Dvisahassi Lokadhatu covers 1,000,000 cosmoses. Tisahassi Lokadhatu covers 100,000,000,000 cosmoses. Lord Buddha explained that one cosmos comprised of a moon and sun such as the solar system but Sahassi Lokadhatu, Dvisahassi Lokadhatu, and Tisahassi Lokadhatu contained more and many more cosmoses.

Lord Buddha used such sizes for measuring an ability for propagation of Bhuddhism to answer Phra Ananda’s question then. The word, Lokadhatu, in general, can be referred to the world or the cosmos depending upon the context it is applied. Horever, ifreferredto the 3 sizes, it means a unit of the Universe or the Universe. Details of comparisons between astronomy, the Universe, with the 3 sizes of Lokadhatu based on Lord Bhuddha’s sermon are provided in the following article. 


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