From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to navigation Jump to search

*aṣṭasenā (T. lha srin sde brgyad; C. tianlong babu 天龍八部), or "eight classes of gods and demons," are eight types of non-human beings associated with the sensory realm (kamadhatu).[1] In Mahayana sutras, these beings are often described as being in attendance and listening to the teachings of the Buddha.[1][2]

There are various descriptions of these beings, but in the sutras the most general list is:[1][2]

In the sutras, all of these being were able to receive and practice the teachings of the Buddha.[2]

These eight classes can also refer to various types of mundane spirits who can cause either help or harm, but remain invisible to normal human beings: ging, mara, tsen, yaksha, raksha, mamo, rahula, and naga.[2] On a subtle level, these eight types of beings are regarded as the impure manifestation of the eight types of consciousness.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. aṣṭasenā
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Rangjung a-circle30px.jpg lha_srin_sde_brgyad, Rangjung Yeshe Wiki