Disagreements concerning the nature and extent of the universe constitute a focus of theological debate which permeates Buddhism at every eve. While there have been numerous attempts to cataogue the details of the Buddhist cosmologies, none has attempted a general interpretation of their underlying intention. This work attempts to begin the process of interpreting the major phases of Buddhist Cosmoogica speculation by seeing in the various dramas of salvation tailored to the philosophical and theological predilections of their respective traditions. To a large extent, this interpretation relies on an examination of continuities between the Buddhist cosmologies and those of the heenistic word as a whole. In the course of this study, two major cosmological traditions emerge; those which rey on metaphors of time and those which rey on metaphors of time, and those which rey on metaphors of space. The former is associated with the Hinayana and the atter with the Mahayana forms of Buddhism. Each draws on images of motion and light to articulate its vision of the drama of salvation.