If we start with the ‘assumption’ that a roundish Earth is in the ‘forest full of leaves’ then, we may wonder why it is logical and reasonable to ask questions about it! I did not make that assumption. It may not be in the ‘handful of leaves’ for a number of reasons? Here is a couple of possibilities: 1) the Earth as a ball-like formation had not been discovered yet? or, 2) the Buddha may not have taken a close look when he was checking out the universe with his psychic powers? The Buddha may not have ‘turned’ his omniscient attention to the details when he was observing the structure of the physical universe. There may be other explanations other than the former and the latter?
The Buddha did share cosmological information with us and it must have been important or he would not have bothered. It just so happens that when he talks about the Earth there is no mention of its actual shape and appearance from space.
He also neglected to mention the other spherical planets in our solar system. He may have mentioned those planets - I don’t know - but he does not seem to have taken a look around and noticed the beautiful and unique ‘spheres’ that are our nearest neighbours. In fact, the universe has countless spherical formations in space.
IF THE BUDDHA WANTED TO TELL US ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE - AND HE DID - WHY WOULD HE NOT TELL US THAT WE LIVE ON A BALL IN SPACE AND THAT THE UNIVERSE HAS COUNTLESS ROUNDISH THINGS IN IT - LARGE, SMALL AND, REALLY TINY? THINK IT THROUGH - IN THE MICRO-WORLD AND THE MACRO-WORLD ROUNDISH THINGS ARE EVERYWHERE.
We can be reasonably sure that whatever the Buddha was seeing ‘out there’ it does not look like a universe full of round things - large and small.
There were no telescopes when the Buddha was around so he must have got his information in some other way. In a way that definitely defies logic!