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Did the Buddha tell us anything about reaching the end of the cosmos or time-travel through the means of experiencing all the Jhanas in meditation?

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    Normally the Buddha dismissed these types of questions as unimportant, or distractions from the goal of liberation. Though the question as worded is quite broad and might need to be narrowed – hellyale Jun 12 '17 at 19:51
  • The answers to this question might be relevant (it asks, "I want to know what is inside a black hole."). – ChrisW Jun 12 '17 at 21:26
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We know of no sutra directly bearing on the subject of time travel, although space travel to the akasha deva loka ("space world of shining ones") is frequently met with in both directions, Sakka to Earth and the Buddha and monastics to many "celestial" worlds [like the Buddha, Maha Moggallana, and other disciples going into near Earth orbit and battling a reptilian or naga named Nandopananda). But there is one oddity we never stop pointing out:

During WW II the Germans developed a time travel "bell" (Die Glocke), which just happens to look exactly like the strange hollow stupas, reliquary mounds or "bells" housing Buddha figures at the largest Buddhist site in the world -- Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia -- with its massive, pyramid-like platforms. The structure is the size of a mountain in what is now an Islamic.

enter image description here

So marvelous and inexplicable to the Muslims was this site that they tried to destroy it but could not. Nor could they build anything to rival it; they simply did not have the technology. Instead, they buried it in a massive pile of mud. More than a century later, when the British archeologists were surveying the site, one realized that there was no way there could be a "mountain" there. He had his workers dig, and he is credited with rediscovering a Buddhist temple complex larger than the massive pieces in Bamiyan, Afghanistan (although the unexcavated Mes Aynak site may rival Borobudur, but if Chinese mining interests have their way, it will be destroyed first) and Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

The Germans were given off-planet instructions on how to construct a transporter, which they dubbed "The Bell" (Die Glocke), and tested it. They sent it into the future and retrieved, weather beaten a short time later. What else they did is kept top secret by the OSI, CIA, NASA, and other American organizations which inherited and protected German scientists after the war, such as Robert Oppenheimer and Nazi Wernher von Braun.

[Edited]. In Buddhism philosophy there is also Kalachakra Mandala which also look like Borobudur Temple.

Meaning of Kalachakra Mandala : The word kalachakra means cycles of time, and the Kalachakra system presents three such cycles – external, internal and alternative. The external and internal cycles deal with time as we normally know it, while the alternative cycles are practices for gaining liberation from these two.
What is the Kalachakra?.

Many articles are there explained about Kalachakra Manadala.
There also explained about cosmos and about five strings of attachments.

[Edited].

Once the Blessed One [the Buddha, who was known as the Teacher of Devas and Humans] was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, at Anathapindika's monastery. Then the male deva Rohitassa, late at night, with his splendid radiance lighting up the entire grove, went to the Blessed One, bowed, respectfully stood to one side, and asked:

"Venerable sir, is it possible by traveling to know or see or reach the far end of the universe where one does not undergo rebirth, aging, dying, passing away, or reappearing?"

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach the far end of the universe where one does not undergo rebirth, aging, dying, passing away, or reappearing."

"It is amazing, venerable sir, it is awe-inspiring, how well this has been said by the Blessed One! ...Once I was a seer (Indian rishi, yogi) named Rohitassa, a disciple of [the Guru] Bhoja, a powerful sky-walker. My speed was as fast as that of a strong archer -- well-trained, a practiced hand, a practiced sharp-shooter -- shooting a light arrow across the shadow of a palm tree. [This is a common idiom to illustrate extreme speed in ancient India, the time it would take a shot arrow to pass the shadow of a tree.] My stride stretched as far as the East Sea is from the West [the width of India]. To me, endowed with such speed, such a stride, there arose the desire: 'I will go traveling to the end of the universe.'

"I with a 100 year life, a 100 year span spent 100 years traveling. And apart from the time spent eating, drinking, savoring, urinating, defecating, and sleeping to ward off weariness. But without reaching the end of the universe, I died along the way. So it is amazing, venerable sir, it is awesome, how well this has been said by the Blessed One!"

[The Buddha replied:]

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach the far end of the universe... But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of disappointment and suffering without reaching the end of the universe (world).
It is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception and intellect, that I declare that:

  1. There is the universe (world),
  2. The origination of the universe,
  3. The cessation of the universe, and
  4. The path of practice leading to the cessation of the universe." [This is another wording of the ennobling Four Noble Truths.]

"It is not to be reached by traveling [in space]. AND it is not without reaching the end of the universe that there is release from disappointment and suffering.

"So truly the wise one, an expert with regard to the cosmos, a knower of the end of the cosmos, having fulfilled the holy life, calmed, knowing the cosmos' end, doesn't long for this cosmos or for any other."

So even if they found that Die Glocke were look like Borobudur temple.
Buddha said all about it is cosmos.

"These five strings of sensuality are, in the discipline of the noble ones, called the cosmos.

Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. These are the five strings of sensuality that, in the discipline of the noble ones, are called the cosmos. AN 9.38

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    Good answer and proper quotes, aside of the things about Germans and "die Glocke" Tipitaka is good, certain stories elsewhere not really useful everywhere. Maybe you like to make the changes so that the answer looks as bright as it could be Nyom Swapnil. Sadhu! – Samana Johann Jun 15 '17 at 16:06
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    ...and, a source link is missing at the last quote.5 strings? ... why is the 6th missing here? 5 is not right, if saying thats all.See "The all (cosmos)" zugangzureinsicht.org/html/tipitaka/sn/sn35/… – Samana Johann Jun 15 '17 at 16:13
  • Ohh and one more in relation the the question direct: its possible to come beyound the cosmos, tme and space, and that is what the Buddhas teaching is about. Maybe also good to add and share a link to a good sutta, telling that. Mudita – Samana Johann Jun 15 '17 at 16:18
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    And here that you understand what Atma said: There is the case where a monk — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. This is called a monk who, coming to the end of the cosmos, remains at the end of the cosmos. Others say of him, 'He is encompassed in the cosmos; he has not escaped from the cosmos.' And I too say of him, 'He is encompassed in the cosmos; he has not escaped from the cosmos.' AN9.38 Ever End in the cosmos is not lasring. – Samana Johann Jun 15 '17 at 23:36
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    The first bit of this answer seems to be an unattributed quote copied from "Buddhism and Time Travel" – ChrisW Aug 9 at 18:42
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Did the Buddha tell us anything about reaching the end of the cosmos or time-travel through the means of experiencing all the Jhanas in meditation?

These are the undeclared questions:

"'...does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is not eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is finite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is infinite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no...'"

Source: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.072.than.html

The Buddha never answered these questions because they veered way too far away from what was relevant, that being the spread of the Dhamma to the best of his ability and the practice of the Dhamma (for himself & others). Time travel can also be seen as far too irrelevant to the practice, even if one could do so by Jhanic ability.

In essence, the undeclared answers communicate to us that we should not go too far with skepticism to allow one to walk the path he taught without distraction.

So we wouldn't know if there was an end to the cosmos, & it wouldn't matter, what matters is the now, here, the practice, & the path to end suffering.

The Jhanic abilities unlocked in meditation can be used to help others on their path or to help yourself by just noticing them as a clear indication you are on the path to realization. Although Jhanas themselves will never help you end suffering, they can be used, with Jhanic ability, as a tool of insight, observation into phenomena. Although the Buddha warned not to be distracted or abusively use these abilities, this is why you basically never hear or see of them. It's all a personal thing.

In conclusion, focus on the path to end suffering, not irrelevant metaphysical speculations.

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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.

Let my person take the best from Dhammadhatus and Swapnils answer and try to form maybe good picture of the whole:

As pointed out, by means of concentrations, we can reach what ever "end" of the cosmos, ones own limits, "ends" which are actually not independent and lasting but always need such as begin, perceptions of space and time:

By abhiñña, powers gained by the training of samādhi

He wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, & mountains as if through space. He dives in & out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches & strokes even the sun & moon, so mighty & powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

MN 119

One of the ten benefits (in the case of this abhiñña, a sideeffect of the training in the higher knowledge), which are good to increase faith when performed.

In an dispute with a Brahman, whether the teaching of Lord Buddha is a selfish one or not, and by being asked if he thinks that certain powers are "real" the Brahman answered, given in the Sangarava Sutta: To Sangarava

"Now, brahman, of these three miracles, which one appeals to you as the highest & most sublime?"

"Master Gotama, of these three miracles, the miracle of psychic power where a certain person wields manifold psychic powers... (and) exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds: that is a miracle experienced only by him who does it; it belongs only to him who does it. It seems to me to be of the nature of an illusion.

"As for the miracle where a certain person gives instruction in this way: 'Direct your thought in this way, don't direct it in that. Attend to things in this way, don't attend to them in that. Let go of this, enter and remain in that': this is the miracle that, of the three, appeals to me as the highest & most sublime.

As one sees in the first quote, it does not directly says that the End of the Cosmos can be reached and given the last answer here by the Brahman, we are leaded to what is the more importand question, the main teachings of the Buddha with possible lasting End of Cosmos and suffering.

When we look now on the secound answer her, by Swapnil, there is a quote from the Rohitassa Sutta: To Rohitassa, which matches more the topic and does not lead to astray grasping for Unity with Brahma, taught to Rohitassa, the son of a deva:

As he was standing there he said to the Blessed One: "Is it possible, lord, by traveling, to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear?"

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear."

The the Deva amazed, told a story of own experiances. After that, the Buddha seeing the right time, he added:

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."

In the Brahmana Sutta: To Two Brahmans, he elaborates on the deeper meaning of first, the Cosmos, what it actually is, and secound gives the "End of Cosmos" another and graspworthy meaning:

I tell you, it isn't through that sort of traveling that the end of the cosmos is known, seen, or reached. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos.

"These five strings of sensuality are, in the discipline of the noble ones, called the cosmos. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. These are the five strings of sensuality that, in the discipline of the noble ones, are called the cosmos.

And this part explains my intoducing here, that it is possible to reach this or that end:

"There is the case where a monk — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. This is called a monk who, coming to the end of the cosmos, remains at the end of the cosmos. Others say of him, 'He is encompassed in the cosmos; he has not escaped from the cosmos.' And I too say of him, 'He is encompassed in the cosmos; he has not escaped from the cosmos.'

Why? Because all this ends, this Cosmoses are fabricated. And so it goes on in the Sensual world and fine material world:

[Similarly with the second, third, & fourth jhānas, and with the attainment of the dimensions of the infinitude of space, the infinitude of consciousness, nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception.]

At this stage one with discernment, could have transcendent form (rūpa), but to complete - the first needed - task finaly, it goes on:

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. [eg. nāma, mind] And, having seen [that] with discernment, his fermentations are completely ended. This is called a monk who, coming to the end of the cosmos, remains at the end of the cosmos, having crossed over attachment in the cosmos."

So to do not only dwell at this or that end of ones world/cosmos, just to find out that this end is not lasting at "the end", one needs to understand "The All" incl. the sixth sense-door, mind, and this "All" has a limit of whichs beyound, Nibbana, can not be declared or explained, the end of all suffering.

Sabba Sutta: The All

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

Let my person now end here, and may this words and explaining be a foundation for many to find the entrence to the path of the circle of beginnings and ends, suffering.

May all beings rejoice with the merits here done by the support of many with their previous contributions, given possibilities and sacrifies and may the Devas tell those, who have not seen, have not heard, about.

Anumodana!

A maybe modified and extended version of the answer you may find here where you are also welcome to discuss and place comments:

[Q&A] The Cosmos, traveling the Cosmos, and its limits and reaching its End.

(Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purposes or other wordily gains)

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He wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, & mountains as if through space. He dives in & out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches & strokes even the sun & moon, so mighty & powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

MN 119

  • Maybe and that this has no value and is not lasting, see commend on swapnils answer and an9.38, since the questioner may think Buddha taught the same as to reach Brahma, her in this case. He, @krishna , might not see the limits of his desire and not seeing Buddhas alternative, Dhammadatu, since you also teach lokuttara dhamma. – Samana Johann Jun 15 '17 at 23:43

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