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 cyclic existence (samsara) 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." 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."
The beings who live in this realm are considered to be celestial beings.
This realm is divided into four spheres of perception:
- sphere of infinite space (ākāśānantyāyatana)
- sphere of infinite consciousness (vijñānānantyāyatana)
- sphere of nothing whatsoever (ākiñcanyāyatana)
- sphere of neither perception nor non-perception (naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Thupten Jinpa 2017, s.v. "The Formation of World Systems".
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Thupten Jinpa, ed. (2017), Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Volume 1: The Physical World, translated by Coghlan, Ian James, Wisdom Publications
- Formless realm