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Three Realms

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Three Realms

Sanskrit word is Triloka. It is Buddhist metaphysical equivalence for the triple world of earthe and heaven.

1. Realm of Sensusous Desire (Sanskrit word is Kamadhatu) of sex and food. It includes the Six Heavens of Desire, the Human World and the Hells.
2. Realm of Form (Sanskrit word is Rupaadhatu) of matter which is substantial and resistant. It is a semi-material conception. It is above the lust world and contains bodies, places and things, all mystic and wonderful. It consists of 18 heavens, including the Heavens of Four Zen (Sanskrit word is Brahmalokas).
3. Realm of Formlessness (Sanskrit word is Arupadhatu) of pure spirit, where there are no bodies and matters to which human terms would apply, but where the mind dwells in mystic contemplation; its extent is indefinable, but it is conceived of in Four Stages/Places of Emptiness in the immaterial world. It has four heavens, in which the Sphere/heaven of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is the highest.