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The Thirty-one Realms of Existence

Guest Author - Samten Tsomo

The Immaterial World or Formless Realms

Beings reborn here are only mind and can not hear the Dharma. Rebirth is caused by death while meditating in the Jhanas.

Neither perception nor non-perception
Forth Jhana
Nothingness
Third Jhana
Infinite Consciousness
Second Jhana
Infinite Space
First Jhana


The Fine-Material World or Form Realms

These realms are all about mental pleasure. The highest three realms are called the Pure Abodes. Non-returners are reborn here. To be reborn in one of the other thirteen realms a person must have attained a level of Jhana.

Peerless devas

Clear-sighted devas

Beautiful devas

Untroubled devas

Devas not Falling Away

Unconscious beings

Very Fruitful devas

Devas of Refulgent Glory

Devas of Unbounded Glory

Devas of Limited Glory

Devas of Streaming Radiance

Devas of Unbounded Radiance

Devas of Limited Radiance

Great Brahmas

Ministers of Brahma

Retinue of Brahma


The Sensuous World or Desire Realms

Beings here are bombarded by both positive and negative sensations. Even if you are born in one of the higher realms you are still constantly receiving a huge amount of information through your five senses. Most of us are constantly reacting to the information we receive unconsciously. It takes a great deal of practice to reach the point where we are aware of the information we are receiving let alone to be able to act instead of react.


Devas Wielding Power over the Creation of Others

Devas Delighting in Creation

Contented devas

Yama devas

The Thirty-three Gods

Devas of the Four Great Kings

Human beings
~You are here~

Asuras

Hungry Shades/Ghosts

Animals

Hell

Hot hells

The Reviving Hell
The Black Line Hell
The Crushing Hell
The Wailing Hell
The Great Wailing Hell
The Hot Hell
The Greatly Hot Hell
The Unceasing Hell

Cold hells

The Blister Hell
The Bursting Blister Hell
The Brrr Hell
The Alasss Hell
The Chattering Teeth Hell
The Utpala Flower Hell
The Cracked Like a Lotus Hell
Greatly Cracked Like a Lotus Hell
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Content copyright © 2014 by Samten Tsomo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Samten Tsomo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Erickson for details.

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