Mystic Lotus

The 31 Realms of Existence





Only Enlightened Beings
(Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arahants can go beyond Samsara.)
Only Anagamis are born in this 5 planes.

Beings who become non-returners in other planes are reborn here,
where they attain arahantship.
Only mind exists.
One is reborn here after attaining Arupa Jhanas.
The fine material realm (rupa-loka) consists of sixteen planes.
Beings are reborn into these planes
as a result of attaining the form jhanas.
The prevalent mode of experience here
is meditative rather than sensory.
They have bodies made of fine matter.
The sixteen planes correspond to
the attainment of the four form jhanas.
The devas of the rupa-loka have physical forms,
but are sexless and passionless.
Beings in the lower planes are not able to
see beings in planes higher than theirs.

The beings of the Form realm are not subject to
the extremes of pleasure and pain,
or governed by desires for things pleasing to the senses,
as the beings of the Kāma-loka are.
The bodies of Form realm beings
do not have sexual distinctions.

Like the beings of the Arupa-loka,
the dwellers in the Rupa-loka
have minds corresponding to the dhyānas (Pāli: jhānas).
In their case it is the four lower jhanas or rūpadhyānas.
In the Sensuous Worlds, planes 1 to 11,
both male and female exists.

In planes 1 to 4, Woeful States.
Difficult to do good.

In planes 5 to 11, Happy States.
Beings born here because of desire/craving,
enjoy the six sense objects.

In the human plane, there is
  1. teaching
  2. teaching of the Tiptaka
  3. preaching
  4. listening of the dhamma

In the deva planes, there is
  1. preaching
  2. listening of the dhamma
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 50 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of Four Kings is 500 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 9,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 100 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of 33 gods is 1,000 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 36,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 200 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of Yama gods is 2,000 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 144,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 400 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of Tusita gods is 4,000 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 576,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 800 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of Nimmanarati gods is 8,000 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 2,304,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
MK = Maha Kappa, AK = Asankheyya Kappa, CY = Celestial Year

There are 3 kinds of kappas - namely, antara kappa, asankheyya kappa, and maha kappa

The interim period when the age limit of human beings arises from ten to an indefinite time and then falls to ten again,
is known as an antara kappa.

Twenty such antara kappa equal one asankheyya kappa, literally - an incalculable cycle.

Four asankheyya kappas equal one maha kappa.

Books state that 1600 human years equal one celestial day.
The age-limit of gods of the realm of Paranimmaitavasavatti gods is 16,000 celestial years,
that is, according to human cycle reckoning 9,216,000,000.

Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten wholesome actions
  2. Generosity
  3. The development of virtue and wisdom
Four Modes Of Birth

Buddhism states that there are four modes of birth - namely:
  • egg-born beings (andaja)
  • womb-born beings (jalabuja)
  • moisture-born beings (samsedaja)
  • beings having spontaneous births (opapatika)
The womb-born creatures comprise all human beings,
some devas inhabiting the earth,
and some animals that take conception in a mother's womb.
Embryos, using moisture as nidus for their growth,
like certain lowly forms of animal life, belong to the third class.

Beings having a spontaneous birth are generally invisible to the physical eye.
Conditioned by their past Kamma, they appear spontaneously,
without passing through an embryonic stage.
Petas and Devas normally, and Brahmas belong to this class.

Four Ways Body Is Affected
  • Food
  • Weather
  • Mind
  • Kamma
Destruction of the Universe by Fire, Wind and Water

Order of Destruction of World Cycles
Fire (F), Water (W) and Wind
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MK
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Total MK64

Destruction of the Universe by Fire, Wind and Water

Order of Destruction of World Cycles
Fire (F), Water (W) and Wind
*12345678Total
MK
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Total MK64

World destroyed by FIRE up till this level.
Beings predominated by GREED.
After 7 successive destructions by FIRE,
it is followed by 1 destruction by WATER.
Destruction of the Universe by Fire, Wind and Water

Order of Destruction of World Cycles
Fire (F), Water (W) and Wind
*12345678Total
MK
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Total MK64

World destroyed by WATER up till this level.
Beings predominated by HATRED.
After 7 successive destructions by WATER,
it is followed by 1 destruction by WIND.
Destruction of the Universe by Fire, Wind and Water

Order of Destruction of World Cycles
Fire (F), Water (W) and Wind
*12345678Total
MK
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BFFFFFFFW8
CFFFFFFFW8
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Total MK64

World destroyed by WIND up till this level.
Beings predominated by DELUSION.
One of this realm's most famous inhabitants is the Great Brahma,
a deity whose delusion leads him to regard himself as the all-powerful,
all-seeing creator of the universe.
Only body is present; no mind.

Realm of mindless beings who have
only bodies without consciousness.

Rebirth into this plane results
from a meditative practice
aimed at the suppression of consciousness.
Those who take up this practice assume
release from suffering
can be achieved by attaining unconsciousness.

However, when the life span in this realm ends,
the beings pass away and are born
in other planes where consciousness returns.
These devas enjoy sense pleasures created by others for them.
Mara, the personification of delusion and desire, lives here.
These devas delight in the sense objects of their own creation.
A realm of pure delight and gaiety.
Bodhisattas abide here prior to their final human birth.
This is where the bodhisatta Maitreya (Metteya),
the next Buddha, is said to dwell.
These devas live in the air, free of all difficulties.
Sakka, a devotee of the Buddha, presides over this realm.
Many devas dwelling here live in mansions in the air.
Home of the gandhabbas, the celestial musicians, and the yakkhas,
tree spirits of varying degrees of ethical purity.
The latter are analogous to the goblins,
trolls, and fairies of Western fairy tales.
You are here (for now).

Rebirth as a human being is extraordinarily rare.
It is also extraordinarily precious,
as its unique balance of pleasure and pain
facilitates the development of virtue and wisdom
to the degree necessary to set one
free from the entire cycle of rebirths.
The demons — "titans" — that dwell here
are engaged in relentless conflict with each other.
Ghosts and unhappy spirits wander hopelessly about this realm,
searching in vain for sensual fulfillment.
This realm includes all the non-human forms of life
that are visible to us under ordinary circumstances:
animals, insects, fish, birds, worms, etc.
These are realms of unimaginable suffering and anguish.
Should not be confused with the eternal hell
found in other religious traditions,
since one's time here is — as it is in every realm — temporary.
Cause of Rebirth
  1. The development of virtue and wisdom
  2. The attainment of stream-entry (sotapatti) guarantees that
    all future rebirths will be in the human or higher realms.
Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten unwholesome actions
Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten unwholesome actions
  2. Lack of virtue, holding to wrong views
Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten unwholesome actions
  2. Lack of virtue, holding to wrong views.
    If one is generous to monks and nuns,
    however, one may be reborn as an "ornamented" animal
    (i.e., a bird with bright plumage;
    a horse with attractive markings, etc.)
  3. Behaving like an animal
Cause of Rebirth
  1. Ten unwholesome actions
  2. Lack of virtue, holding to wrong views
  3. Murdering your parents, murdering an arahant,
    injuring the Buddha, or creating a schism in the Sangha
  4. Being quarrelsome and annoying to others

Loka





Supramundane (Lokuttara) 無世間


The 3 Worlds 三界
Formless Spheres (Arupavacara) 無色界
31.The realm of Neither Perception nor Non-Perception (N'evasanna Nasannayatanabhumi)8th Jhana84,000MK
30.The realm of Nothingness (Akincanayatanabhumi)7th Jhana60,000MK
29.The realm of Infinite Consciousness (Vinnanacayatanabhumi)6th Jhana40,000MK
28.The realm of Infinite Space (Akasanacayatanabhumi)5th Jhana20,000MK
Form Spheres (Rupavacara) 色界
27.The Highest realm (Akanittha)Pure Abodes
(Suddhavasa)
五淨居天
4th Jhana16,000MK
26.The Clear-sighted realm (Sudassi)8,000MK
25.The Beautiful realm (Sudassa)4,000MK
24.The Serene realm (Atappa)2,000MK
23.The Durable realm (Aviha)1,000MK
22.The realm of mindless beings (Asannasatta)500MK
21.The realm of Great Reward (Vehapphala)500MK
20.The realm of Steady Aura (Subhakinna)3rd Jhana64MK
19.The realm of Infinite Aura (Appamanasubha)32MK
18.The realm of Minor Aura (Parittasubha)16MK
17.The realm of Radiant Lustre (Abhassara)2nd Jhana8MK
16.The realm of Infinite Lustre (Appamanabha)4MK
15.The realm of Minor Lustre (Parittabha)2MK
14.The Maha Brahma realm (Mahabrahma)1st Jhana1AK
13.The realm of Brahma's Ministers (Brahmapurohita)0.5AK
12.The realm of Brahma's retinue (Brahmaparisajja)0.25AK
Sensual Spheres (Kamavacara) 慾界
11.The realm of the gods who lord over the creation of others
(Paranimmaitavasavatti)他化自在天
16,000CY
10.The realm of the gods who rejoice in (their own) creations (Nimmanarati) 化樂天8,000CY
9.The Delightful realm (Tusita) 喜足天4,000CY
8.The realm of Yama gods (Yama) 夜魔天2,000CY
7.The realm of the 33 gods (Tavatimsa) 三十三天1,000CY
6.The realm of the 4 Kings (Catummaharajika) 四大天王500CY
5.The Human realm (Manussa) 人道No Limit
4.The host of Asuras (Asura) 修羅道No Limit
3.Peta Sphere (Peta) 餓鬼道No Limit
2.Animal kingdom (Tiracchana) 畜生道No Limit
1.Woeful state (Niraya) 地獄道No Limit