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Great Aeon or World Cycle (Maha-kappa)

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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2. Great Aeon or World Cycle (Maha-kappa)


A maha kappa or aeon is generally taken to mean a world cycle.

How long is a world cycle?

In Samyutta ii, Chapter XV, the Buddha used the parables of the hill and mustard-seed for comparison:

• Suppose there was a solid mass, of rock or hill, one yojana (eight miles) wide, one yojana across and one yojana high and every hundred years, a man was to stroke it once with a piece of silk. That mass of rock would be worn away and ended sooner than would an aeon.


• Suppose there was a city of iron walls, one yojana in length, one yojana in width, one yojana high and filled with mustard-seeds to the brim. There-from a man was to take out every hundred years a mustard-seed. That great pile of mustard-seed would be emptied and ended sooner than would an aeon.