How Many Spiritual Realms Are There

The ten realms, sometimes known as the ten worlds, are part of various Buddhist traditions' notion that sentient beings are subject to 240 different conditions of life that they experience from moment to moment. The Chinese philosopher Chih-i, who spoke about the “co-penetration of the ten worlds,” is often credited with popularizing the term.

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How many realms of existence are there?

Different realms of existence are discussed in Buddhism. There are ten realms, according to the Lotus Sutra, which is considered to contain the Buddha's last teaching. They range from the lowest state of ignorance and suffering to total enlightenment.

What are the 6 realms of existence?

In each of the six realms, there are six Enlightened Buddhas. The “Six Sages” are another name for these six Buddhas. Indrasakra (Buddha of the god realm), Vemacitra (Buddha of the tiny god realm), Sakyamuni (Buddha of the human realm), Sthirasimha (Buddha of the animal realm), Jvalamukha (Buddha of the hungry ghost realm), and Yama Dharmaraja (Buddha of the human realm) (Buddha in the hot hell realm). Gods, demi-gods, people, animals, hungry ghosts, and hells are the six realms of rebirth and life in Buddhist cosmology. Earlier Buddhist writings relate to five rather than six realms; when portrayed as five realms, the deity and demi-god realms are combined into a single realm.

Three higher realms (good, fortunate) and three lower realms are usually separated into the six realms (evil, unfortunate). The gods, mortals, and demi-gods inhabit the three higher realms, while animals, hungry ghosts, and hell beings inhabit the three lower realms. In east Asian literature, the six kingdoms are divided into thirty-one levels. These realms are described as follows in Buddhist texts:

  • The gods (devas) realm is the most pleasurable of the six realms, and it is usually divided into twenty-six sub-realms. The accumulation of exceptionally good karma is thought to be the cause of reincarnation in this celestial state. A Deva does not need to labor and can enjoy all of life's pleasures in the heavenly realm. The joys of this universe, on the other hand, lead to attachment (Updna), a lack of spiritual pursuits, and so no nirvana. According to Kevin Trainor, the vast majority of Buddhist lay people have traditionally undertaken Buddhist rituals and practices motivated by rebirth into the Deva realm. According to Keown, the Deva realm in Buddhist practice in Southeast and East Asia includes Hindu gods like Indra and Brahma, as well as Hindu cosmological notions like Mount Meru.
  • The manuya realm is the human realm. Because of one's prior karma, Buddhism claims that one is reborn in this realm with dramatically differing bodily endowments and moral natures. A rebirth in this realm is seen as fortunate since it provides the opportunity to achieve nirvana and bring the Sasra cycle to a stop.
  • Demi-god realm (Asura): In Buddhism, the demi-gods (asuras) are the third realm of existence. Asuras are known for their rage and magical abilities. They attack the Devas (gods) or cause illness and natural disasters to the Manusya (humans). They are reborn after accumulating karma. Because there are legends of demi-gods fighting the Gods, they are sometimes considered one of the evil realms.
  • The animal realm refers to a person's state of being an animal (tiryag). Because animals are supposed to be led by impulse and instinct in Buddhist teachings, they prey on each other and suffer, this realm is typically thought to be analogous to a hellish realm. Plants, according to some Buddhist teachings, are part of this realm and have rudimentary consciousness.

What kind of realms are there?

Yo-Yo Ma and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, gave the world premiere.

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The God Realm and The Jealous God Realm are the sixth and seventh realms, respectively.

Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project entailed collaboration with musicians from all over the world who lived along the old Silk Road that connected east and west. Yo-Yo invited me to offer a piece that highlighted my long-standing Tibetan Buddhist practice. Rather than creating a work based on Tibetan folk music or something similar, my first thinking was to construct a song that highlighted Tibetan Buddhist principles.

The Buddhist six worlds offer a highly detailed depiction of our human psyche. The God realm, the jealous God realm, the human realm, the animal realm, the hungry ghost realm, and the hell realm are the different realms. According to some theories, these are real places inhabited by beings invisible to the naked eye. These two perspectives do not have to be viewed as one being more literal and the other being more fantastical, because when a world is completely manifest within our awareness, whether or not it exists as an actual place is largely unimportant. Each realm is linked to a specific emotion: anger with the hell realm, immense neediness with the hungry ghost realm, jealousy with the jealous God realm, and ignorance with the God realm, but a different kind of ignorance than the animal realm, a blissful kind of ignorance and snug self-satisfaction.

The solo cello initiates and guides the portrait of the six kingdoms in my concerto. I intended to provide the cello a wide range of music while maintaining a focus on the lyric quality and melodic line. The Sorrow of the World, an opening to the piece, is a lament for the state we find ourselves in time after again. The first notes played are a high G-sharp in the piccolo and a low E in the contrabasses. Other instruments that play the same notes are added until the cello enters, as if to suggest that everything in the world arises from and returns to that area. With an evocative motif, the cello enters. A-flat to G-flat to G-natural, which gradually widens and climbs in register until the full orchestra plays the motive, which is then developed into a long melodic line.

The cello has a solo at the end of this part, which begins the description of the Hell Realm. At first, it is introspective, but there is soon a build-up of angry energy. This causes the orchestra's clothes to become “hot” and then “cold” or frozen, which is characteristic of human reactions when we are upset. The force of the hell realm progressively dissipates after a final orchestral tutti, and the movement concludes with the cello playing the opening melancholy theme, now converted into a “folksy” melody, as if to say: this was all a dream. I should also mention that this modified cello melody serves as a type of passport to the next realm, preceding each of the subsequent sections.

The Hungry Ghost Realm is mostly for cello and strings, and it starts immediately. The unsatisfied ghost who never has enough and is always in search of more. There's also a sense of melancholy. The motive appears at the end of this movement, again light and folksy, first the solo horn, then the cello. A tuba solo introduces The Animal Realm. This is a scherzo that has a sluggish feel to it, but also a sense of innocence and excitement. The melody fades away, and we are led into the human realm by a solo cello. The human sphere is marked not just by passion, but also by a sense of loneliness — a sense of being cut off from others, which heightens our desire to communicate and unite with others. This movement was written primarily for solo cello with very little accompaniment.

In the last movement, the God Realm and the Jealous God Realm are merged. These realms have been depicted in a non-linear, simultaneous manner. The Gods who are consumed by envy strive to “enter” the domain of the Gods who are consumed by their own self-absorption on a regular basis. The movement begins with a prolonged chord that, like the Gods, refuses to be overshadowed by the rest of the music. The cello emerges beneath, abrupt and belligerent, and launches into a long emotional solo. Like envy, this movement is particularly focused — the jealous God is a very “windy” realm, continually blowing in one direction, determined to announce its point of view. The cello gradually ignites an orchestral outpouring, which answers in a wild and furious manner. The movement comes to a close with a reprise of the opening lament – we've come full circle. The work closes gently, maybe returning to a more human dimension – there is an openness to the piece, as if it had “seen the nature of these realms,” having gone through the entire experience.

What are the 12 links?

The principle of dependent origination, also known as dependent arising, is central to Buddhist thought and practice. In essence, this principle states that everything happens as a result of cause and effect, and that everything is interconnected. No phenomenon, whether external or internal, arises unless it is a result of a preceding cause, and all phenomena, in turn, condition the subsequent outcomes.

Classic Buddhist philosophy meticulously listed the categories, or connections, of phenomena that make up the cycle of existence that is samsara—the never-ending spiral of discontent that is the unenlightened life. Breaking these ties is the key to escaping samsara and gaining enlightenment.

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According to classical Buddhist theory, The Twelve Links explains how Dependent Origination works. This is a circular path in which all links are connected to all other links, rather than a linear path. Any link in the chain can be broken to start the process of escaping samsara, since a chain is useless if any link is broken.

Different Buddhist schools view the dependent origination links differently—sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically—and even within the same school, different instructors will teach the idea in different ways. Because we are seeking to comprehend these notions from a linear perspective of our samsaric existence, they are difficult to grasp.

How many realms are there in heaven?

The seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens in religious or mythological cosmology (Heaven). Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all use the notion, which originated in ancient Mesopotamian religions; certain other religions, such as Hinduism, use a similar concept. Some of these traditions, such as Jainism, associate seven earths or underworlds with both metaphysical realms of deities and observed celestial bodies such as the classical planets and fixed stars.

One of the seven classical planets recognized in antiquity relates to each of the seven heavens. These heavenly objects (the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) moved at varying speeds in the sky, both from each other and from the fixed stars beyond them, according to ancient observers. Unlike comets, which appeared in the sky without warning, they moved in predictable patterns. They also noticed that celestial objects influenced objects on Earth, such as when the sun's movements affect plant activity or the moon's movements affect ocean tides. According to ancient western astrology, the seven heavens are linked to the seven stars of Orion, the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and the Pleaides/Seven Sisters.

What are the six Hells?

(a-gati in Sanskrit). Within sasra, there are six levels that make up the possible range of existence. The gods (deva), demi-gods (asura), humans (manua), animals (tiryak), hungry ghosts (preta), and hell dwellers are the domains of the gods (deva), demi-gods (asura), humans (manua), animals (tiryak), hungry ghosts (preta), and hell creatures (naraka). In general, Buddhism teaches that these levels are true modes of existence, while some schools of Buddhism, like Mahyna Buddhism, emphasize that they are more symbolic of mental states or modes of experience. According to Mahyna teachings, a predominance of a particular spiritual defilement (klea) causes rebirth in each of these modes of existence: as a god through pride, a demi-god through jealousy, a human through lust, an animal through stupidity, a hungry ghost through greed, and a hell-denizen through hatred. The popular Tibetan Wheel of Life (bhavacakra) paintings show these six stages.

What is the hungry ghost realm?

The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts is one of the psychological regions mentioned in Buddhist cosmology. The hungry ghost figures have skinny small necks and big bellies, as though they're afflicted with powerful wants they'll never be able to satisfy. Almost everyone I know suffers from some form of the hungry ghost condition.

Desires are natural and healthful in a very human way. They are required for our survival and growth. The problem is that when our basic requirements for safety, bonding, and a healthy feeling of self-worth aren't addressed, desire contracts and we obsess on replacements. It traps and confines us, whether it's booze, drugs, perfectionism, or approval. It causes a great deal of suffering and prevents us from living from a place of greater presence and love.

William C. Moyers, a well-known expert on addiction and a survivor of the condition, appeared at an MIT conference a few years ago. He stated, “

I have a brain sickness, but I also have the other aspect of this illness. I was born with a hole in my soul, an anguish that stemmed from the realization that I was not good enough. I wasn't deserving of anything. That you weren't always paying attention to me. That perhaps you didn't care about me enough… Recovery for us addicts entails more than just popping a pill or getting an injection. Recovery is also about dealing with the spirit, with filling that void in the soul. 1

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What is the human realm?

Passion, desire, doubt, and pride are the foundations of the Manuya domain (also known as the Human domain).

This domain is regarded by Buddhists as the realm of human existence.

A human reincarnation is the only samsaric domain from which one can immediately acquire Bodhi (enlightenment), either in this lifetime (for Buddhas and Arhats) or in a future reborn in a Deva domain (for Anagamis).

This is due to the unique possibilities that a human rebirth provides: beings in higher domains choose to enjoy the pleasures of their realms while neglecting to work toward enlightenment, whereas beings in lower domains are too preoccupied with avoiding the suffering and pain of their worlds to give liberation a second thought.

Humans have the perfect amount of suffering: just enough to inspire them to pursue release, but not so much that it consumes every moment of their life.

When used appropriately, a human rebirth is supposed to have immense potential; nevertheless, most individuals waste their lifetimes in materialistic pursuits rather than working toward enlightenment, and thus wind up reinforcing rather than letting go of their unhelpful emotions, attitudes, and deeds. As a result, it is nearly often the case that following a human life, one lowers to a lower realm of rebirth rather than immediately proceeding to another human birth or ascending to a higher domain.

In the lowest domains, such as the animal domain, accumulating enough merit to attain a human rebirth is a very lengthy and laborious process, thus it may take countless lives before one has another chance.