Friday, April 05, 2013

Our existence in universe

CREDIT: ESO/Z. Bardon ( (

The Milky Way above the dome of the Danish 1.54-metre telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. This telescope was a major contributor to the PLANET project to search for exoplanets using microlensing.

Reading ‘Today’ newspaper this morning, it is said that there could be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. However, it will be a long way from measuring this number to actually finding inhabited planets.

One Sunday morning, many years ago, I heard something similar during Dharma talk in the temple. It’s believed that there are numerous other planets each with its own life forms in this universe, which locate great apart from each other. (The Buddha said there are “thousands of suns, thousands of moons, thousands of continents.” Anguttara Nikaya 1.227). To support the info, you can refer here

Quoted from the above link:  “This would seem to suggest that solar systems are formed, go through their normal life course of about 10 to 50 billion years and then perish. The debris leftover eventually reconstitutes itself in a transformation and becomes a new solar system. This is one hundred percent compatible with the Buddha’s teachings on no first beginning and the cycles of existence. The Buddha said that even world systems get destroyed, but that there is no end. There is no beginning and there is no end. Everything is just transformed in continuation with no death.”

To my imagination, I was thinking that there were many planets out there, just like the one we live in now, which consists of human, animals, plants, and so on.

If Former Indonesian President, B.J. Habibie said Singapore is just a little red dot in the map (though it was denied by him), after we read the news above, our earth itself has already been a little red dot in the universe. So, how about us? How small are we in this universe? 

However, in Buddhism, it is said that we are lucky to be born as human. Being born a human being gives us the ability to do so much for our karma (both good and bad). It is seen as a precious opportunity to help our fellow man and possibly even attain enlightenment. So, although life seems so hard to go through and complicated as we sometimes don’t understand why we are born into this world, we still have to be grateful for being born as a human. I might treat life as a long dream then.

"The life of a sentient being is a long dream. Existence only appears to be real. When one finally awakens, or attains Buddhahood, existence is seen for what it is--a sequence of illusions. Until that time, people will remain obsessed by the body, mind, and external phenomena, not realizing that they are illusory. You will live in a dream, thinking that it is reality. . . .”
~ Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, Complete Enlightenment ~

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