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lightgiver 09-08-2009 08:32 PM

The Six Realms of Existence(samsara)
The Immaterial World

Deva Realm (Blissful State)
Deva (Buddhism)

The Deva realm is the realm of bliss. The disadvantage of this realm is that things are so very comfortable there, that these beings completely neglect to work towards enlightenment. Instead they gradually use up the good karma they had previously accumulated, and so they subsequently fall to a lower rebirth.

The Deva realm is sometimes also referred to as the gods' realm, because its inhabitants are so powerful within their own realm, that compared to humans, they resemble the gods of Greek or Roman mythology. However, while the Devas may be referred to as gods, they are not immortal, omniscient, nor omnipotent, and they do not act as creators or judges at death, so they are notably very distinct from the monotheistic Western concept of God.

The Fine-Material World

The Sensuous World

Human Realm
Human beings in Buddhism

The Human realm (also known as the Manuṣya realm) is based on passion, desire, doubt, and pride.

Buddhists see this realm as human existence. A human rebirth is in fact considered to be the by far most advantageous of all possible rebirths in samsara because a human rebirth is the samsaric realm from which one can directly ensure enlightenment either in the present or future birth (for anagamis, the actual liberation occurs in a deva realm). This is because of the unique possibilities that a human rebirth offers.

A human rebirth is considered to have tremendous potential when used correctly, however we usually waste our human lifetime in materialistic pursuits, and end up reinforcing our unhelpful emotions, thoughts, and actions. Because of this, it is almost always the case that one descends to a lower rebirth after a human life, rather than immediately going on to another human birth.

In the lower realms, such as for example, the animal realm, it is a very slow and difficult process to accumulate enough merit to achieve a human birth once again, so it may be countless lifetimes before one has another chance.

Asura Realm

The Asura realm is the realm of the demigods. They are here because of actions based on jealousy, struggle, combat or rationalization of the world. They may be here because in human form they had good intentions but committed bad actions such as harming others.

The Asuras are said to experience a much more pleasurable life than humans, but they are plagued by envy for the devas, whom they can see just as animals can perceive humans.

The Asura realm is also sometimes referred to as the Ashura realm, Titan realm, Jealous God realm, Demigod realm, or Anti-God realm. Asura is also sometimes translated as "demon," "fighting demon," "those without wine," or "angry ghost," which can cause confusion because beings of the hell realm are also sometimes referred to as demons.

Animal Realm

Animals in Buddhism

The Animal realm (also known as the Tiryag-yoni realm) is based on strong mental states of stupidity and prejudice cultivated in a previous life or lives.

Buddhists believe that this realm is the realm of existence of the non human animals on Earth. Humans can however be seen by the animals, in the same way that the Asura can see the Devas.

Preta Realm

The Hungry Ghost realm (also known as the Preta realm) is a rebirth based on strong possessiveness and desire which were cultivated in a previous life or lives.

The sentient beings in this realm are known as "hungry ghosts". They are constantly extremely hungry and thirsty, but they cannot satisfy these needs. In Tibetan versions of the Bhavacakra these beings are drawn with narrow necks and large bellies. This represents the fact that their desires torment them, but they are completely unable to satisfy themselves.

Naraka Realm (Woeful State)

The Naraka realm, or "hell realm" is a rebirth based on strong states of hatred cultivated in a previous life or lives.

The Buddhist view of Niraya differs significantly from that of most monotheistic religions in that those being punished in this realm are not trapped permanently. Rather, they remain there until their negative karma is used up, at which point they are reborn into another realm.

lightgiver 09-03-2013 03:19 AM

A Funeral Service
This has four parts:

Heartfelt Prayers
Dedication Prayers


If we are requested to perform a funeral rite for someone who has recently died, we can use this sadhana Heartfelt Prayers. This is a funeral service in which spiritual practitioners gather together to make heartfelt prayers and dedications for the deceased person to take a fortunate rebirth. Because it is a Buddhist service, the prayers are addressed to the assembly of Buddhas and other holy beings. The prayers set out in this ritual are only the basis for a funeral service, and may be adapted as appropriate.

The power of our prayers depends upon the strength and purity of our intention. In this service it is very important for everyone to have a mind of compassion for all living beings in general, and for the deceased in particular. If we have a genuinely compassionate motivation our prayers will definitely be effective.

Heartfelt Prayers..Preliminary prayers...

In the space before me is the living Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded by all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, like the full moon surrounded by stars.

I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment,
Go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. (3x)

Through the virtues I collect by giving and other perfections,
May I become a Buddha for the benefit of all. (3x)

May everyone be happy,
May everyone be free from misery,
May no one ever be separated from their happiness,
May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.

Prayer of the Stages of the Path...

The path begins with strong reliance
On my kind Teacher, source of all good;
O Bless me with this understanding
To follow him with great devotion.

This human life with all its freedoms,
Extremely rare, with so much meaning;
O Bless me with this understanding
All day and night to seize its essence.

My body, like a water bubble,
Decays and dies so very quickly;
After death come results of karma,
Just like the shadow of a body.

With this firm knowledge and remembrance
Bless me to be extremely cautious,
Always avoiding harmful actions
And gathering abundant virtue.

Samsara’s pleasures are deceptive,
Give no contentment, only torment;
So please bless me to strive sincerely
To gain the bliss of perfect freedom.

O Bless me so that from this pure thought
Come mindfulness and greatest caution,
To keep as my essential practice
The doctrine’s root, the Pratimoksha.

Just like myself all my kind mothers
Are drowning in samsara’s ocean;
O So that I may soon release them,
Bless me to train in bodhichitta.

But I cannot become a Buddha
By this alone without three ethics;
So bless me with the strength to practise
The Bodhisattva’s ordination.

By pacifying my distractions
And analyzing perfect meanings,
Bless me to quickly gain the union
Of special insight and quiescence.

When I become a pure container
Through common paths, bless me to enter
The essence practice of good fortune,
The supreme vehicle, Vajrayana.

The two attainments both depend on
My sacred vows and my commitments;
Bless me to understand this clearly
And keep them at the cost of my life.

By constant practice in four sessions,
The way explained by holy Teachers,
O Bless me to gain both the stages,
Which are the essence of the Tantras.

May those who guide me on the good path,
And my companions all have long lives;
Bless me to pacify completely
All obstacles, outer and inner.

May I always find perfect Teachers,
And take delight in holy Dharma,
Accomplish all grounds and paths swiftly,
And gain the state of Vajradhara.

From the hearts of all the holy beings, streams of light and nectar flow down, blessing and purifying . . . ‘s mind.

The assembly observes a short period of silence..Remembrance...

A remembrance of the deceased is delivered.

The officiant leads the assembly in prayer:

Buddha taught that all life is impermanent and that all those who are born must eventually pass from this life. However, everyone has within them the seeds of their past virtues, which have the power to bring a fortunate rebirth in the future.

We pray that through the power of this virtue, through the blessings of the holy beings, and through the force of our heartfelt prayers, our dear friend, . . . , will experience great good fortune and everlasting peace and happiness.

We also pray for the bereaved relatives and friends, that they may be comforted in their loss and find peace of mind and strength of heart.

May all beings without exception be released from suffering, and find true happiness and everlasting peace.

Additional prayers can be recited at this point...


The assembly observes a few moments of silent contemplation and prayer.

Now, while focusing strongly on compassion for all living beings in general and for the deceased in particular, the assembly chants the mantra of the Buddha of Compassion twenty-one times..OM MANI PÄME HUM...

Dedication prayers..The officiant says...

We now dedicate all the virtues we have collected to the future happiness of our dear friend .......

The assembly recites the following prayers...

Through the virtues we have collected
By practising the stages of the path,
May . . . find the opportunity
To practise in the same way.

May ....... experience
The happiness of humans and gods,
And quickly attain enlightenment,
So that his/her samsara is finally extinguished.

May there arise in ....... ‘s mind
Great faith in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
And thus may he/she always receive
The blessings of the Three Precious Jewels.

May ....... meet precious Teachers
Who reveal the stages of the path to enlightenment,
And through engaging in this path
May he/she quickly attain the ultimate peace of full enlightenment.

The Buddhadharma is the supreme medicine
That relieves all mental pain,
So may this precious Dharma Jewel
Pervade all worlds throughout space.

However many living beings there are
Experiencing mental and physical suffering,
May their suffering cease through the power of our merit,
And may they find everlasting happiness and joy.

May there never arise in this world
The miseries of incurable disease, famine, or war,
Or the dangers of earthquakes, fires,
Floods, storms, and so forth.

Through the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
The truth of actions and their effects,
And the power of our pure superior intention,
May all our prayers be fulfilled.


lucky merv 09-03-2013 03:22 AM

By thinking of all sentient beings
As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
For accomplishing the highest aim,
I will always hold them dear.

Whenever I’m in the company of others,
I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
And from the depths of my heart
Cherish others as supreme.

In my every action, I will watch my mind,
And the moment destructive emotions arise,
I will confront them strongly and avert them,
Since they will hurt both me and others.

Whenever I see ill-natured people,
Or those overwhelmed by heavy misdeeds or suffering,
I will cherish them as something rare,
As though I’d found a priceless treasure.

Whenever someone out of envy
Does me wrong by attacking or belittling me,
I will take defeat upon myself,
And give the victory to others.

Even when someone I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes
Mistreats me very unjustly,
I will view that person as a true spiritual teacher.

In brief, directly or indirectly,
I will offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
And secretly take upon myself
All their hurt and suffering.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Untainted by thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
May I recognize all things as like illusions,
And, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.

lightgiver 09-03-2013 03:23 AM

Dream Bardo


dharmanation 10-03-2013 04:45 AM

Very good thread. Thank you. Namo Amida Buddha.

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