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I. THE cycles of chronology are reckoned by asankyas (1); a word that conveys the idea of innumerable, incalculable, from a, negative, and sankya, number, that of which the sum or quantity can be determined.

The number of the years to which the life of man is extended never remains at one stay. It is always on the increase or undergoing a gradual diminution; but it never exceeds an asankya in length, and never diminishes to less than ten years; and the progress of the change is so slow as to be imperceptible, except after long intervals of time. A decrease in the age of man is attended by a correspondent deterioration in his stature, intellect, and morals.

From the time that man's age increases from ten years to an asankya, and again decreases from an asankya to ten years, is an antah-kalpa (2). Eighty antah-kalpas make a mahakalpa. There is a species of cloth, fabricated at Benares, of the cotton that is unequalled in the delicacy of its fibre. Its worth, previous to being used, is unspeakable; after it has been used, it is worth 30,000 níla-karshas (of the value of 20 or 30 small silver coins); and even when old, it is worth 12,000 karshas. Were a man to take a piece of cloth of this


most delicate texture, and therewith to touch, in the slightest possible manner, once in a hundred years, a solid rock, free from earth, sixteen miles high, and as many broad, the time would come when it would be worn down, by this imperceptible trituration, to the size of a mung, or undu seed. This period would be immense in its duration; but it has been declared by Budha that it would not be equal to a mahakalpa.

II. There are innumerable systems of worlds; each system having its own earth, sun, moon, &c. (3). The space to which the light of one sun or moon extends is called a sakwala. Each sakwala includes an earth, with its continents, islands, and oceans, and a mountain in the centre called Maha Méru; as well as a series of hells and heavens, the latter being divided into déwa-lókas and brahma-lókas. The sakwalas are scattered throughout space, in sections of three and three. All the sakwalas in one section touch each other, and in the space between the three is the Lókántarika hell. Each sakwala is surrounded by a circular wall of rock, called the sakwala-gala.

Were a high wall to be erected around the space occupied by a hundred thousand kelas of sakwalas (each kela being ten millions), reaching to the highest of the heavens, and the whole space filled with mustard seeds, a rishi might take these seeds, and looking towards any of the cardinal points, throw a single seed towards each sakwala, until the whole of the seeds were exhausted; but though there would be no more seeds, there would still be more sakwalas, in the same direction, to which no seed had been thrown, without reckoning the sakwalas in the three other points.

The sakwala systems are divided into three classes :— -1. Wisayak-sétra, the systems that appear to Budha. 2. Agnyásétra, the systems, a hundred thousand kelas in number, that receive the ordinances of Budha, or to which the exercise of his authority extends. 3. Jammak-sétra, the systems, ten thousand in number, in which a Budha may be born (between the birth in which he becomes a claimant for the Budhaship,

or a Bódhisat, and the birth in which he attains the supremacy), or in which the appearance of a Budha is known, and to which the power of pirit, or priestly exorcism, extends.

There are three other sections into which each sakwala is divided:-1. Arúpawachara, the lókas, or worlds, in which there is no perceptible form. 2. Rúpawachara, the worlds in which there is form, but no sensual enjoyment. 3. Kámáwachara, the worlds in which there is form, with sensual enjoyment.

Every part of each sakwala is included in one or other of the following divisions:-1. Satwa-lóka; the world of sentient being. 2. Awakása-lóka; the world of space, the empty void, the far-extended vacuum. 3. Sanskára-lóka, the material world, including trees, rocks, &c.

III. At the base of each sakwala is the vacuum called Ajatákása, above which is the Wá-polowa, or world of wind, or air, 960 yojanas in thickness; the world of air supports the Jala-polowa, or world of water, 480,000 yojanas in thickness; and immediately above the world of water is the Maha Polowa, or the great earth, 240,000 yojanas in thickness, which is composed of two superior strata, viz. the Sala, or Gal-polowa, consisting of hard rock, and the Pas-polowa, consisting of soft mould, each of which is 120,000 yojanas in thickness. The under surface of the earth is composed of a nutritious substance like virgin honey. In the centre of the earth is the mountain called Maha Méru (4), which, from its base to its summit, is 168,000 yojanas in height. On its top is the déwa-loka called Tawutisá, of which Sekra is the regent, or chief. Between Maha Méru and the rocks at the extreme circumference of the earth are seven concentric circles of rocks (5), each circle diminishing in height as it increases in extent. Between the different circles of rocks there are seas (6), the waters of which gradually decrease in depth, from Maha Méru to the outermost circle, near which they are only one inch. In the waters of these seas there are various species of fish, some of which are many thousands of miles

in size.

In each earth there are four dwípas, or continents, the inhabitants of which have faces of the same shape as the continent in which they are born. 1. Uturukurudiwayina (7), in shape like a square seat, and 8,000 yojanas in extent, on the north of Maha Méru. 2. Púrwawidésa, in shape like a half-moon, and 7,000 yojanas in extent, on the east of Maha Méru. 3. Aparagódána, in shape like a round mirror, and 7,000 yojanas in extent, on the west of Maha Méru. 4. Jambudwípa, three-sided, or angular, and 10,000 yojanas in extent, on the south of Maha Méru. Of these 10,000 yojanas, 4,000 are covered by the ocean, 3,000 by the forest (8) of Himála (the range of the Himalayan mountains), and 3,000 are inhabited by men.

The sakwala in which Gótama appeared is called magul, festive, or joyous, because it is the only one in which a supreme Budha is ever born; and for the same reason, the most sacred continent in this sakwala is Jambudwípa. In the centre of this continent is the circle called Bódhi-mandala, which is, as it were, its navel; and this circle is so called because it contains the bódha, or bó-tree, under which Gótama became a Budha.

In the earlier ages, there were 199,000 kingdoms in Jambudwípa; in the middle ages, at one time, 84,000, and at another, 63,000; and in more recent ages about a hundred. In the time of Gótama Budha this continent contained 9,600,000 towns, 9,900,000 seaports, and 56 treasure cities.

IV. The sun and moon continually move through the heavens in three paths, accompanied by the stars that are in the same division of the sky (9). The sun gives light to the whole of the four continents, but not at the same time. Thus, when it rises in Jambudwípa, it is in the zenith to the inhabitants of Púrwawidésa, whilst at the same time it is setting in Uturukuru, and it is midnight in Aparagódána. Again, when the sun rises in Aparagódána, it is mid-day in Jambudwípa, sunset in Púrwawidésa, and midnight in Uturukuru. When the sun, moon, and stars, go to the other side of the circle of rocks nearest to Maha Méru, called Yugand

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