In this text SN 56.46 Andhakara Sutta: Darkness, the Buddha seems to say, in my opinion, that life is much more stressful than black holes.

And I think life is an anomaly in this universe just like black holes, stars, time, quantum entanglement and such.

But are there any other things he has mentioned that are outlandish and we are unable to comprehend by using juxtapositions as always? Or did he just ignore them completely as they were not important?

Sorry if my question is not clear. I always have a hard time interpreting what's in my head to words.

  • 1
    I didn't really understand the question. It seems to be asking "This sutta says that life is more stressful than black holes. I don't understand black holes etc. (astrophysics and quantum mechanics). Are there any other things he mentioned which are as difficult to understand as that?" The only way I could begin to answer this question would be by trying to explain what I think the sutta is talking about (which I would think is most probably not about astrophysics). – ChrisW Dec 17 '18 at 13:35
  • @ChrisW I agree with you sir, In many suttas lord Buddha compared ignorance to the darkness and wisdom to the light. In Andhakara sutta, I suppose lord Buddha was preaching about ignorance comparing it to darkness which hides the four noble truth. In the sutta it has mentioned that, "which darkness, lord, is greater & more frightening than that?" Any brahmans or contemplatives who do not know, as it actually is present, that 'This is stress' ... , 'This is the origination of stress'... 'This is the cessation of stress'... 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress' – Damith Dec 21 '18 at 5:44

SN 56.46 says:

Mendicants, the boundless desolation of lokantarikā is so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression.”

Atthi, bhikkhave, lokantarikā aghā asaṃvutā andhakārā andhakāratimisā, yatthamimesaṃ candimasūriyānaṃ evaṃmahiddhikānaṃ evaṃ mahānubhāvānaṃ ābhāya nānubhontī .

Concise Pali English Dictionary

lokantarika adjective situated between the worlds

The Pali suttas have the stock phrase: "This world & the other world". This seems to have different meanings (such as in MN 26, where the other world appears to refer to lower worlds). But, generally, in the Buddha's society, it meant the ordinary human world and the heavenly world of the Brahmins. Thus, in Buddhism, the 'other world' can be 'heaven' or meditation jhanas; where MN 79 refers to the meditation jhanas as "a world of exclusively pleasant feelings" (ekantasukhassa lokassa).

In other words, lokantarikā in SN 56.46 appears to refer to the 'world' between the world of ordinary worldly sensual life and the world of meditation happiness; what Christians mystics called "the dark night of the soul", which is a period of spiritual desolation suffered by a mystic in which all sense of consolation is removed.

For example, when a person suffers from sever psychological depression, the light of the moon and the sun makes no impression. Similarly, as occurred to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nothing, not even ideas of Jesus or God, could help her in her spiritual desolation.

Jesus has a very special love for you. [But] as for me--The silence and the emptiness is so great--that I look and do not see,--Listen and do not hear.

Mother Teresa

In SN 56.46, the term 'lokantarikā' possibly refers to 'spiritual desolution' or what Christian meditators attempting to overcome the five hindrances called 'the dark night of the soul'.

If you have doubts about my answer, similar to a certain monk in DN 11 Kevatta Sutta, you can ask about the meaning of the term 'lokantarikā' at Sutta Central.

| improve this answer | |
  • Please stay on the topic for this site and don't venture too far into discussing other religions. Thank you. – Andrei Volkov Dec 17 '18 at 19:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.