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Cakkavāḷa

The name given to a whole world-system, there being countless such systems.

Each Cakkavāḷa is twelve hundred and three thousand, four hundred and fifty leagues (yojanas) in extent and consists of the earth, two hundred and four thousand nahutas of leagues in volume, surrounded by a region of water four hundred and eight thousand nahutas of leagues in volume. This rests on air, the thickness of which is nine hundred and sixty thousand nahutas of yojanas. In the centre of the Cakkavāḷa is Mount Sineru, one hundred and sixty-eight leagues in height, half of which is immersed in the ocean.

Around Sineru are seven mountain ranges, Yugandhara, Īsadhara, Karavīka, Sudassana, Nemindhara, Vinataka and Assakanna. The mountains are inhabited by the Regent Gods (Mahārājas) and their followers, the yakkhas.

Within the Cakkavāḷa is the Himavā mountain, one hundred leagues high, with eighty-four thousand peaks. Surrounding the whole Cakkavāḷa is the Cakkavāḷasilā. Belonging to each Cakkavāḷa is a moon, forty-nine leagues in diameter, a sun of fifty leagues, the Tāvatiṃsabhavana, the Asurabhavana, the Avīcimahāniraya and the four mahādīpas — Jambudīpa, Aparagoyāna, Pubbavideha and Uttarakuru, each mahādīpa surrounded by five hundred minor dīpas.

Between the Cakkavaḷas exist the Lokantarikaniraya (SA.ii.442 f; DhsA.297 f). In each Cakkavāḷa are four Regent Gods (Cattāro Mahārājā) (AA.i.439).

A sun can illuminate only one Cakkavāḷa; the rays of light from the Buddha’s body can illuminate all the Cakkavāḷas (AA.i.440)

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