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Indra's Net

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Indra's Net

Post by Admin on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:20 pm


Indra's Net, also called Indra's Jewels or Indra's Pearls, from इंद्रजाल in Sanskrit, is a metaphor used to illustrate the structure of reality, the mirror-like or holographic nature of the cosmos. It was first mentioned in the Hindu Avatamsaka Sutra, where the universe was likened to a legendary network of pearls hanging over the palace of the god Indra and "so arranged that if you look at one pearl, you see all the others reflect in it. As the author of the Sutra explained, "In the same way, each object in the world is not merely itself, but involves every other object and, in fact, is everything else."

"In the heaven of god Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, so arranged that if you look at one you see all the other reflected in it. In the same way, each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact IS everything else."

–Charles Eliot
quoted in The Cosmic Metabolism of Form, by Christian Werterbaker.

"Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image."

–Alan Watt
explaining the ancient teaching of Indra's net.

Last edited by Admin on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:48 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Indra's Net

Post by Zorba on Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:04 pm

It's this holographic nature of reality that explains everything. This is why we claim the world is "in" you, although apparently it's the other way around. This is why the world is only a mirror reflecting who you are. This is why you can influence everyone and everything no matter how distant. And this is why you only need to change within in order to change the whole world without. Every change within is instantly reflected in the world without, literally everywhere in the universe, because this is the very nature of existence itself.
Long before the invention of the hologram, ancient thinkers had already glimpsed this holographic nature of the universe and had arrived at their own unique ways to express this insight. For instance, Fa Tsang, the 7th century founder of the Huayan school of Buddhist thought, employed a remarkably similar analogy when trying to communicate the ultimate interconnectedness and interpenetration of all things. Michael Talbot, in his classic The Holographic Universe, tells us that "Fa Tsang, who also believed that every point in the cosmos was its center, likened the universe to a multidimensional network of jewels, each one reflecting all others ad infinitum."
But, "when the empress Wu announced that she did not understand what Fa Tsang meant by this image and asked him for further clarification, Tsang suspended a candle in the middle of a room full of mirrors. This, he told the empress Wu, represented the relationship of the one to the many. Then he took a polished crystal and placed it in the center of the room so that it reflected everything around it. This, he said, showed the relationship of the many to the one." :)
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Re: Indra's Net

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:38 pm

Original Scripture:
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net's every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite
The Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Adornment Sutra)                    
Francis H. Cook: Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra – 1977


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