Is there such mention in the Sutta about Microbes being predicted by the Buddha?

That reminds me of a Mahayana parable of a bodhisattva who’s body is so large, he has whole cities of people living in his skin pores. He has such skillful means that they are never disturbed when he moves. I think it’s in the Mahayana Nirvana Sutra, if memory serves. Bodhisattva Mahakaya. I guess even without microscopes, people could still imagine things that matched reality.


Thought that this light speculation from a consciousness scientist might be quite interesting to some. I think that I’ve noticed a shift towards considering mind and matter as an indivisible whole over the last few years in science. That seems like a quite positive development.



I think plant is sentient atleast according to this below sutta

If these great sal trees were to be converted by this, for giving up unskillful qualities and embracing skillful qualities, it would be for their lasting welfare and happiness—if they were sentient. How much more then a human being!”

So I’ve been reading Bhante’s essay here: On dependent origination, grasping, and developmental psychology and I was reminded of this thread. Bhante’s essay opens up a lot of possibilities around when it is correct to say that in front of us we have a ‘being’ and when that ‘being’ can be considered ‘sentient’ from a Buddhist perspective. I guess that we all go through periods when we are microscopic, the difference in that case I guess is ‘potential’? :woman_shrugging:

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did you find the origin??

as I googled in Vietnamese myself, the text is from 毘尼日用切要 (Tỳ ni nhật dụng thiết yếu, 1644 -1661) - author 读体律师 (Luật sư Độc Thể, 1601-1679), and the book was originated from Avatamsaka Sutra (kinh Hoa Nghiêm); but i couldn’t find this specific text in Avatamsaka Sutra

furthermore, the microscope was likely invented in 16xx in Europe (wikipedia) so i’m not sure if people knew about microorganism at that time or not

anyway, if you found any more details about this topic, please let me know, much appreciated

(i don’t think the text is from the Tipitaka, it’s more likely from Mahayana Sutras; but i haven’t searched in the whole Tipitaka so not sure)

SN56.36 seems to be very suggestive of microbes, or at least tardigrades.

Suppose a person was to strip all the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in India, gather them together into one pile, and make them into stakes. Then they’d impale the large creatures in the ocean on large stakes; the medium-sized creatures on medium-sized stakes; and the small creatures on small stakes. They wouldn’t run out of sizable creatures in the ocean before using up all the grass, sticks, branches, and leaves in India. There are far more small creatures in the ocean than this, so it wouldn’t be feasible to impale them on stakes. Why is that? Because of the small size of those life-forms. That’s how big the plane of loss is.

A person accomplished in view, exempt from that vast plane of loss, truly understands: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.

That’s why you should practice meditation …”