Aggana-Sutra


"In the past," says the Agganna-Sutra, "we were mind-created spiritual beings, nourished by joy. We soared through space, self-luminous and in imperishable beauty. We thus remained for long periods of time. After the passage of infinite times the sweet-tasting earth rose from the waters. It had colour, scent and taste. We began to form it into lumps and to eat it. But while we ate from it our luminosity disappeared. And when it had disappeared, sun and moon, stars and constellations, day and night, weeks and months, seasons and years, made their appearance. We enjoyed the sweet-tasting earth, relished it, were nourished by it; and thus we lived for a long time."

With the coarsening of the food the bodies of beings became more and more material and differentiated, and hereupon the division of sexes came into existence, together with sensuality and attachment.

"But when evil, immoral customs arose among us, the sweet-tasting earth disappeared, and when it had lost its pleasant taste, outcroppings appeared on the ground, endowed with scent, colour and taste."

Due to evil practices and further coarsening of the nature of living beings, even these nourishing outcroppings disappeared, and other self-originated plants deteriorated to such an extent that finally nothing eatable grew by itself and food had to be produced by strenuous work. Thus the earth was divided into fields, and boundaries were made, whereby the idea of 'I' and 'mine', 'own' and 'other' was created, and with it possessions, envy, greed, and enslavement to material things.