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31 Planes of Existence

As Buddhist Texts describe about the Materialistic Worlds

Last week we further learn about suffering and tried mapping that knowledge to 31 realms of existence. Our attempt was to find the true meaning of words in Metta meditation that goes like …happy healthy and peaceful…. may no harm come to me, may no difficulties come to me…

So where in the world exists a place where there is happiness, health, peace and will no harm nor difficulties?

In our attempt, we saw that there are places of constant fear, sorrow and endless suffering. Those are the lower four realms.

Then we learn that upper realms were better in terms of the amount of fear, sorrow and suffering. Those are the ones from human realm to all the way up.

In a future class I will further help you in discovering these meanings so you can understand the Metta beyond words. Since we don’t have much time at the class and I see some enthusiastic students in my class (I am encouraged by that)– I want all of you to have this diagram. A gift from me.

Take a look at this and see if you can see some of the words we learn at class. No preasure. This is not a home work. You do only if you like to do.

Deep Probe Into 31 Planes

Find these by looking at the diagram. We will talk about (some of) these at class:

  1. The 5th realm is “Manussa Loka” or “Human Realm”. It says human rebirth is brief and very rare. We talked about this at the class. Did you locate this in the diagram? What is the lowest age in this realm? (Ans: 10)
  2. How many major Hells in the Niraya Realm? Remember we talked about Devadatta and where he is at this time –see if you can recall that and locate (him).
  3. What is the name of the “Animal” Realm? By the way why it is named like “Thiracchana“.
  4. Peta (ප්‍රේත) is the name given for the Realm where Ghosts and Unhappy Spirits are. So now you know when you watch Ghost Busters or any other spooky movie. By the way this is where our departed relatives be if they are expecting “merit transfers” from you and me. That is why you recite “Idan-me Gnatinan Hothu…” stanza. Ask more from your mom or dad about this. They are very knowledgeable and will help you to understand a bit more.
  5. What is the realm that Prince Siddartha was before he born in human realm. Can you see the number in the diagram? Check out the life span.
  6. In which realm the “Mara” lives? Ask your parents about Mara if you are curious to know. Remember this is the same Mara who challenged Buddha. (There are four other Maras, but that is beyond your capacity at this age)
  7. Calculate the Maximum age in Catumaharajika Realm in human years by multiplying 50x500x365.
  8. See the word pattern “kama(suagati/duggati)” in realm names? There is a story behind this. I will tell you at the class.
  9. From 11th to 31st are “Brahma Realms” – just look at the age. Remember we talked about the concept called “Kalpa” at class. So think in multiples of that.  What do you think— to live this long in these worlds should they be more healthy or not?
  10. Do you see the word “Jhana” in the diagram? Those are various mind absorption levels that you get in to when you do meditation. See Note below.
  11. By the way if you think the mind is the problem behind all these take a look at #22. Does inhabitants of this realms has a mind?
  12. If you are a stream winner (Sothapanna) how many realms you would avoid for sure in a rebirth? Isn’t that a relief?

If you think your mind is like a cloud – it is very lousy and floats every direction with wind like thoughts. When you meditate your mid starts absorbing the cloud… and becomes more condensed and less scattered. That is why it is called Jahnic absorptions/concentration. Metta meditation help you get in to these states. Once your mind is trained these stages, your mind it becomes razor sharp. Then you can see through the delusion and end the suffering at its highest level. This is in addition to all the other marvelous 11 benefits in day-to-day life including the improved ability to do your studies easier and being attractive and beautiful for others.

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හමුවීමේ සතුට

සිඟමනේ බුදුදහම යදිනට වූ කාලයක් විය…

කාලාන්තරයක්, නිවැරදිව තෙරුම් යන්න බුදුදහම වටහාගන්නට, සිඟමන් යදිනන් සේ පිය උරුමය සොයා රස්තියාදු ගැසූ කාලයක් විය.

දහමේ දැන ගතයුතු යමක් ඇතිද එය නිරවුල්ව දේශනා කල හැකි උතුම් ආර්යයන් අද ලොව පහල වී ඇත.

මේ උතුම් ක්ෂණ සම්පත්තිය මඟ නොහැර සියල්ලෝ තම දහම් පිපාසය සංසිදුවා ගනිත්වා!!!

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