Indra’s Net

Indra’s Net

Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net that has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each “eye” of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in all dimensions, 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 there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.” -Francis H. Cook, Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977), p. 2.

The jeweled net is further explored through dialogue in the Avatamsaka Sutra.

Student: “How can all these jewels be considered one jewel?”

Teacher: “If you don’t believe that one jewel…is all the jewels…just put a dot on the jewel. When one jewel is dotted, there are dots on all the jewels. Since there are dots on all the jewels we know that all the jewels are one jewel”

Hua-yen Buddhists believe Indra’s net is an analog to the true structure and nature of reality. Everything is connected and exists interdependently. There is no mutual exclusiveness!

Alan Watts – Indra’s Net

Great Alan Watts youtube archive ->> AntiVirusIVXIX


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