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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

Rūpadhātu (T. gzugs khams གཟུགས་ཁམས་; C. sejie; J. shikikai; K. saekkye 色界), or form realm, is one of the three realms of existence within Buddhist cosmology.

This realm is characterized by the internal bliss of absorption.[1] If explained further by means of body, feelings, and resources: "beings there have bodies in the nature of light, their experience is permeated mostly by feelings of bliss, and they do not rely on coarse food."[1] The beings who live in this realm are considered to be celestial beings.[1]

This realm is divided into four sub-realms, consisting of a total of seventeen heavens. The cause for being reborn in one of these heavens is the favourable karma accumulated through the practice of one of the four dhyanas, each 'causal meditative dhyana' acting as a cause of rebirth in one of the corresponding 'resultant dhyana levels'.[2]

Divisions of the form realm

The form realm is divided into four sub-realms, each corresponding to one of the levels of the four dhyanas. These sub-realms are divided further, giving a total of seventeen heavens of the of the form realm (Skt. rupadhatuvasiñjati; Tib. gzugs khams gnas ri bcu bdun, གཟུགས་ཁམས་གནས་རི་བཅུ་བདུན་).

Fourth Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་བཞི་པ་, bsam gtan bzhi pa)

Heavens of noble beings

The Five Pure Heavens (Tib. གཙང་གནས་ལྔ་, gtsang gnas lnga) that are only accessible to noble beings.

  1. Unexcelled
  2. Extreme Insight/Great Vision (Skt. Sudarśa; Tib. ཤིན་ཏུ་མཐོང་, Wyl. shin tu mthong)
  3. Perfect Appearance/The Marvellous (Skt. Sudṛśa; Tib. གྱ་ནོམ་སྣང་བ་, Wyl. gya nom snang ba)
  4. The Painless/Without Distress (Skt. Atapa; Tib. མི་གདུང་པ་, Wyl. mi gdung pa)
  5. The Slightest/Not So Great (Skt. Abṛha; Tib. མི་ཆེ་བ་, Wyl. mi che ba)

Heavens of ordinary beings

Third Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གསུམ་པ་, bsam gtan gsum pa)

Second Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་གཉིས་པ་, bsam gtan gnyis pa)

First Dhyana (Tib. བསམ་གཏན་དང་པོ་, bsam gtan dang po)


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


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