Arūpadhātu

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File:Mount Meru Continents.jpg
Mount Meru surrounded by the continents and subcontinents, with the gods of the Desire and Form Realms above

Arūpadhātu (T. gzugs med pa'i khams གཟུགས་ཁམས་; C. wuse jie; J. mushikikai; K. musaek kye 無色界), or formless realm, is one of the three realms of existence within Buddhist cosmology.

This realm is characterized by "being disenchanted even by the bliss of absorption, on tranquility permeated by the feeling of equanimity alone."[1] If explained further by means of body, feelings, and resources: "beings there do not possess a coarse physical body that symbolizes their nature as sentient beings, they abide with feelings of equanimity transcending feelings of pain and pleasure, and they do not depend on coarse food but live their entire life in meditative concentration focused solely on objects such as limitless space, which resemble the cessation of all mental engagement in other objects."[1]

The beings who live in this realm are considered to be celestial beings.[1]

This realm is divided into four spheres of perception (Tib.skye mched mu bzhi སྐྱེ་མཆེད་མུ་བཞི་):[2]

  1. Infinite Space (Skt. ākāśānantyāyatana; Tib. ནམ་མཁའ་མཐའ་ཡས་, nam mkha’ mtha’ yas)
  2. Infinite Consciousness (Skt. vijñānanyāyatana; Tib. རྣམ་ཤེས་མཐའ་ཡས་, rnam shes mtha’ yas)
  3. Nothing Whatsoever (Skt. ākiṃcanyāyatana; Tib. ཅི་ཡང་མེད་པ་, ci yang med pa)
  4. Neither Existence Nor Non-existence (Skt. naivasaṃjñānasaṃjñāyatana; Tib. ཡོད་མིན་མེད་མིན་, yod min med min). Being the highest possible state in worldly existence, this fourth sphere is also called the Peak of Existence (Tib. སྲིད་པའི་རྩེ་མོ་, Wyl. srid pa'i rtse mo).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Thupten Jinpa 2017, s.v. "The Formation of World Systems".
  2. RW icon height 18px.png Formless realm


Sources