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Old 09-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
lightgiver
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Exclamation 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.
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