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 +==Realms of existence==
 +#[[Heavenly beings]] or Higher Beings (the six planes within sense world, consisting of angels or impermanent gods)
 +#[[Asura]]s (jealous violent beings, [[demi-god]]s or [[Titans]])
 +#[[Human]]s
 +#​[[Animal]]s ​
 +#​[[Ghost]]s ​
 +#​[[Purgatory]] ([[Hells]], but impermanent,​ not eternal)
 +
 +The above lists a summary of the Buddha’s cosmology. ​ All are closely interdependent as beings progress through the various realms of existence.
 +
 +In addition to the six major levels of the planes of existence listed above, there are 16 planes of heavenly beings outside the sense world (the world of Form) and another 4 planes of heavenly beings in the Formless ​ world (without body) for a total of 31 planes of existence. ​ In the planes of existence we can see our close connection to animals. ​ This is from the re-birth process and the fact that animals, like humans suffer from emotions, selfish cravings, and other pleasant and unpleasant sensations. ​ Darwin’s theory of evolution is completely compatible with Buddhism.
 +
 +==The 31 planes of existence==
 +
 +Lifespan listed is in our earth years, for the devas their celestial days and years are different from our concepts of time, similar to how different planets and solar systems have different number of hours in a day, year, etc.
 +
 +I. The Sensuous World (kama-loka)
 +
 +States of deprivation (apaya)
 +
 +{| class="​wikitable"​
 +|-
 +!No.
 +!Realm
 +!Pali
 +!Life-span
 +!Cause of rebirth here
 +|-
 +|1
 +|Purgatory
 +|niriya
 +|varies
 +|unwholesome actions, murdering parents or arahant, injuring arahant, creating schism
 +|-
 +|2
 +|Asuras
 +|asura
 +|varies
 +|unwholesome actions
 +|-
 +|3
 +|Hungry ghosts
 +|peta loka
 +|varies
 +|unwholesome actions, lack of virtue
 +|-
 +|4
 +|Animals
 +|tiracchana yoni
 +|varies
 +|unwholesome actions, behaving like an animal
 +|-
 +|}
 +
 +Happy Destinations (sugati)
 +
 +Numbers 5 – 11 are in the realm of the sense world, can experience sense pleasures and displeasures,​ mostly pleasure for the devas (impermanent gods or angels). ​
 +
 +{| class="​wikitable"​
 +|-
 +!No.
 +!Realm
 +!Pali
 +!Life-span
 +!Cause of rebirth here
 +|-
 +|5
 +|Humans
 +|manussa loka
 +|varies, approx. 10 to 120 years
 +|development of virtue, wisdom, stream-entry guarantees rebirth as human or deva 
 +|-
 +|6
 +|Devas of the Four Great Kings
 +|catumaharajika deva
 +|9 million years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|7
 +|The 33 gods
 +|tavatimsa deva
 +|36 million years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|8
 +|Yama devas
 +|yama deva
 +|144 million years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|9
 +|Contented devas
 +|tusita deva
 +|576 million years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|10
 +|Devas delighting in creation
 +|nimmanarati deva
 +|2.3 billion years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|11
 +|Devas wielding power over others’ creations
 +|paranimmita-vasavatti deva
 +|9.2 billion years
 +|wholesome actions, virtue, generosity, wisdom
 +|-
 +|}
 +
 +II. The Fine-Material World (rupa-loka)
 +
 +Numbers 12 – 27 are in the realm of form. There is a subtle body and these deva realms are superior to those in the sense realm. One attains rebirth to these planes based on kamma and spiritual attainments.
 +
 +{| class="​wikitable"​
 +|-
 +!No.
 +!Realm
 +!Pali
 +!Life-span
 +!Cause of rebirth here
 +|-
 +|12
 +|Retinue of Brahma
 +|brahma-parisajja deva
 +|one-third of an aeon
 +|proficiency in first jhana, minor degree
 +|-
 +|13
 +|Ministers of Brahma
 +|brahma-purohita deva
 +|half an aeon
 +|proficiency in first jhana, medium degree
 +|-
 +|14
 +|Great Brahmas
 +|Maha brahma
 +|one aeon
 +|proficiency in first jhana, highest degree
 +|-
 +|15
 +|Devas of limited radiance
 +|parittabha deva
 +|2 aeons
 +|proficiency in second jhana, minor degree
 +|-
 +|16
 +|Devas of unbounded radiance
 +|appamanabha deva
 +|4 aeons
 +|proficiency in second jhana, medium degree
 +|-
 +|17
 +|Devas of streaming radiance
 +|abhassara deva
 +|8 aeons
 +|proficiency in second jhana, highest degree
 +|-
 +|18
 +|Devas of limited glory
 +|parittasubha deva
 +|16 aeons
 +|proficiency in third jhana, minor degree
 +|-
 +|19
 +|Devas of unbounded glory
 +|appamanasubha deva
 +|32 aeons
 +|proficiency in third jhana, medium degree
 +|-
 +|20
 +|Devas of refulgent glory
 +|subhakinna deva
 +|64 aeons
 +|proficiency in third jhana, highest degree
 +|-
 +|21
 +|Very fruitful devas
 +|vehapphala deva
 +|500 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|22
 +|Unconscious beings
 +|asaññasatta
 +|500 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|}
 +
 +Realms 23 to 27 are the Pure Abodes (suddhavasa),​ which are accessible only to non-returners (anagami) and arahants. Beings who become non-returners in other planes are reborn here, where they attain arahantship. Among its inhabitants is Brahma Sahampati, who begs the [[Buddha]] to teach [[Dhamma]] to the world (Samyutta Nikaya 6.1).
 +
 +{| class="​wikitable"​
 +|-
 +!No.
 +!Realm
 +!Pali
 +!Life-span
 +!Cause of rebirth here
 +|-
 +|23
 +|Devas not falling away
 +|aviha deva
 +|1,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|24
 +|Untroubled devas
 +|atappa deva
 +|2,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|25
 +|Beautiful, clearly visible devas
 +|sudassa deva
 +|4,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|26
 +|Clear-sighted devas
 +|sudassi deva
 +|8,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|27
 +|Peerless devas
 +|akanittha deva
 +|16,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fourth jhana
 +|-
 +|}
 +
 +III. The Immaterial World (arupa-loka)
 +
 +Numbers 28 – 31 are in the realm of the formless. ​ This means there is no body of any kind.  There is just a type of consciousness,​ conventional existence as we know it, but without a body.  The life spans are very long in the formless realm and one attains to these levels by the formless jhanas these planes are named after, jhanas or realms 5 to 8.  Numbers 28- 31 are not necessarily the best places to be.  At these levels, one cannot hear the Dhamma from a Buddha or arahant on earth or any other planet.
 +
 +The best destinations are the pure abodes at numbers 23 – 27 which are deva realms for non-returners. ​ Rebirth to these planes means that enlightenment will be attained while at one of these planes of existence.
 +
 +{| class="​wikitable"​
 +|-
 +!No.
 +!Realm
 +!Pali
 +!Life-span
 +!Cause of rebirth here
 +|-
 +|28
 +|Sphere of Infinity of Space
 +|akasanañcayatanupaga deva
 +|20,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in fifth jhana (the first formless jhana)
 +|-
 +|29
 +|Sphere of Infinity of Consciousness
 +|viññanañcayatanupaga deva
 +|40,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in sixth jhana (the second formless jhana)
 +|-
 +|30
 +|Sphere of No-thingness
 +|akiñcaññayatanupaga deva
 +|60,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in seventh jhana (the third formless jhana)
 +|-
 +|31
 +|Sphere of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception
 +|nevasaññanasaññayatanupaga
 +|84,000 aeons
 +|proficiency in eighth jhana (the fourth formless jhana)
 +|-
 +|}
 +
 +==References==
 +  ​
 +*''​Teacher of the Devas.'' ​ Susana Jootla, Buddhist Publication Society, ''​The Wheel''​ 414/416, 1997.
 +*''​[[Buddha'​s Lists|The Complete Book of Buddha'​s Lists -- Explained]]''​. ​ David N. Snyder, Ph.D., 2006.
 +*http://​www.thedhamma.com/​
 +*"The Thirty-one Planes of Existence",​ edited by John T. Bullitt. Access to Insight, 11 April 2012, http://​www.accesstoinsight.org/​ptf/​dhamma/​sagga/​loka.html ​
 +
 +[[Category:​Science of Buddhism]]
 +[[Category:​Buddha'​s Lists]]
  
31_planes_of_existence.txt · Last modified: 2015/12/14 04:47 (external edit)