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MEETINGS 2013-2014

364th meeting : “Illustrations of Theravada Cosmology”. A Talk by James E. Bogle, art historian and collector.".

Tuesday August 13th 2013



•  When we read in the scriptures the complex numerical descriptions of the Buddhist universe, we feel overwhelmed. Even specialists find it difficult to understand the structure of Buddhist cosmology.
(Sadakata *, 2009, p. 11)

The talk was about "Theravāda" cosmology and the language of Theravāda is Pāli. However, James Bogle has sometimes used a nonTheravāda author, Vasubandhu (4th c. C.E.), writing in Sanscrit and describing the cosmology of the immediate disciples of the Buddha (“Śrāvaka”). Here, the editor has modified the transcriptions from Sanscrit to Pāli whenever this has been possible.

•  Disagreement concerning the nature and extent of the universe constitutea focus of theological debates which permeatesBuddhism at every level. (Kloetzli, 1983, Book Cover).
•  In the “Traiphum” the system is elaborated in a most tedious manner and the strictest measurements are given of everything and place referred to.(Alabaster, 1871, p. 14) .


The basis of cosmology, in all religions, is an attempt to answer the age old questions about man’s place in life  and  the  scheme  of  things.  Buddhism  thought  was  formed  in  a  period  and  place  when  Brahmanism prevailed;  Buddhism  began  and  existed  on  a  higher  level  with  an  overall  philosophy  of  life  which  was
intellectual, and espoused a message that enjoyed great simplicity. Buddhism had no need for cosmology.

However, the early followers of Buddhism in the 5th, 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.E. did have a need which led to accommodations.

Want to read more? Click Here. (11 Pages, PDF File)

Special Notes:

1. "Letter from James Boggle to Louis Gabaude (2 pages, Word Doc(x) File"

Click Here     (2 pages, Word Doc(x) File)

Mr Bogle has requested that the following documents be made available on the web site. Please click on the title of the document to download or open as a PDF file.

2.  GabaudeBogle-20140311PDF.                 
Statement from Mr Louis Gabaude ( 1 Page. PDF Format)

3. A Rebuttal from Mr James Bogle.     
A rebuttal from Mr J. Bogle (3 Pages. PDF Format)



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