First time here? Checkout the FAQ!
x
This forum is now closed; please visit: buddhism.stackexchange.com to ask and answer questions on Buddhism. Thanks for your participation!

1,410 questions

3,781 answers

3,888 comments

786 users

E-Book

Did the Buddha discuss alien life?

+3 votes

I know this is not an important thing to know regarding the practice, but I have been curious about this for a while now.
I heard Ajahn Brahm say the Buddha mentioned "other planets with other beings on them."
In another thread Bharat mentioned the buddha "traversing the expanses of the universe." (or maybe I misunderstood this)

So did the Buddha make any mention of alien life, was he born on other planets in previous lives?

asked Dec 23, 2011 in Buddhism by maarten (791 points)  
   
Buddha has given  us a very simple method to understand this. First a person should understand the meaning of Five Aggregates. The rebirth aggregate can take place in millions of various combinations and permutations within the five aggregates. Please read the attached link. Page 435 explains the four modes of birth.  Under planes of existence in page 447 gives you a list of major categories of rebirth. For example in Asanna  realms, a person can be borne without a mind but only a body will be there!

We live only for one thought moment. All five aggregates are also only a  thought moment. So strictly speaking you are borne in different realm for every thought moment.

Five aggregates are as follows
1)Consciousness (Citta)
2)The mental factors (Cetasika) i.e  Feeling (Vedana) and Perception (Sanna) which are arise as a result of consciousness (samkhara)
3)Material form (Ruppa) –This includes body, sex and seat of consciousness. The body-decade is composed of the Four Primary Elements –Extension, cohesion, heat, motion (Pathavi, apo, tejo, vayo)
2)”The Buddha and His Teachings” by  Narada, http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddha-teachingsurw6.pdf

3 Answers

+3 votes

In the acchariya abbhata sutta the Buddha explains how he came to his mothers womb from Tusita heaven, here is a link:
http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/297-acchariya-abbhta-sutta-wonderful-and-marvellous.html

More about the Buddha's former lifes you'll find in the Jataka stories:

http://www.buddhanet.net/bt1_conts.htm
this is only part one.

The Aggañña Sutta came to my mind as well, you might find it interesting in regards to your question. Here is a link to a pdf file:

www.urbandharma.org/pdf/AggannaSutta.pdf

answered Dec 23, 2011 by phalanyani (3,394 points)  
+2 votes

"....Even the dark uncovered recesses between the world systems where the resplendent moon and sun do not shine there arose an immeasurable effulgence transcending the splendour of the gods. Beings born there saw each other on account of that effulgence and knew that there were other beings born there...." - MN123

What the Blessed One said gives an impression to me, at least, of human-like beings born elsewhere other than in our solar system where there are no seasons presumably.

This very recent discovery reminds us that we are just a speck in the universe, just one solar system among multitudes. And it is good to be aware of what science doesn't know:

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1430

answered Dec 23, 2011 by ramesh (3,244 points)  
edited Dec 23, 2011 by ramesh
Sounds like beings born in outer space, very interesting.
+1 vote

Thank you all for your answers, they are very helpful.

I have always had a strong belief that we weren't alone in the universe, knowing that the Buddha discussed this strengthens my confidence in him.

answered Dec 28, 2011 by maarten (791 points)  
If there is someone who is sure we are the only one and alone in the whole universe ...just show them this two videos: (make sure they understand english)

In my experience they give much better results than arguing or convincing them .


...