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Cakkavāla

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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The name given to a whole world-system, there being countless such systems.

Each Cakkavāla is twelve hundred and three thousand, four hundred and fifty yojanas in extent and consists of the earth, two hundred and four thousand nahutas of yojanas in volume, surrounded by a region of water four hundred and eight thousand nahutas of yojanas in volume. This rests on air, the thickness of which is nine hundred and sixty thousand nahutas of yojanas. In the centre of the Cakkavāla is Mount Sineru, one hundred and sixty-eight yojanas in height, half of which is immersed in the ocean.

Around Sineru are seven mountain ranges, Yugandhara, Isadhara, Karavīka, Sudassana, Nemindhara, Vinataka and Assakanna. The mountains are inhabited by the Regent Gods (Mahārājas) and their followers, the Yakkhas.

Within the Cakkavāla is the Himavā mountain, one hundred leagues high, with eighty-four thousand peaks. Surrounding the whole Cakkavāla is the Cakkavālasilā. Belonging to each Cakkavāla is a moon, forty-nine leagues in diameter, a sun of fifty leagues, the Tāvatimsabhavana, the Asurabhavana, the Avīcimahāniraya and the four mahādīpas - Jambudīpa, Aparagoyāna, Pubbavideha and Uttarakuru, each mahādīpa surrounded by five hundred minor dīpas.

Between the Cakkavalas exist the Lokantarika-niraya (SA.ii.442f.; DhsA.297f).

In each Cakkavāla are four Regent Gods (Cattāro Mahārājā) (AA.i.439).

A sun can illuminate on

ly one Cakkavāla; the rays of light from the Buddha's body can illuminate all the Cakkavālas


akkavāḷa : (m.; nt.) a world-circle; a solar system.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Cakkavāḷa, (m. & nt.) a circle, a sphere, esp. a mythical range of mountains supposed to encircle the world; pl. worlds or spheres J. I, 53, 203; VI, 330; Vism. 205 (its extent), 207, 367, 421; DhsA. 297; DhA 11. 15; III, 498; in the trope “cakkavāḷaṃ atisambādhaṃ brahmaloko atinīco” (=the whole world cannot hold it) to express immensity DhA. I, 310; VvA. 68.



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