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September 18, 2009

How big is the Universe? “Who cares?” says the Buddha.

Is the Universe finite? And other Big Questions the Buddha said “don’t matter.”

Got the below query in my inbox recently from a Buddhist friend, asking a group of us…

Dear Sangha,

I am writing to ask if someone out there knows the sutric source for a conversation the Buddha had with students.

He was prompted by  a metaphysical question from one of them, and in his reply he talks about what he does not teach. According to a patient of mine who appears to know more about the quote than I do, he presents pairs of the kinds of metaphysical things he does not discuss.

I know there are Buddhist websites that allow searches for this kind of thing, and if anyone knows the right one or ones, and could clue me in to those, that would be wonderful. I haven’t had any success with google-ing in the dark.

With appreciation ~ G

An Eloquent Silence

The answer came via one of our most senior teachers, Loppon Lodro Dorje:

“Try googling on questions not to edification and the following links to Pali translations”:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bits/bits013.htm

http://bartleby.com/45/3/201.html

The Buddha also said, however, not to trust anything he said, but to only “believe” in something if it proved true in your experience:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. (Siddhartha Gautama – The Buddha), 563-483 B.C.

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