Four Heavenly Kings; 2 Definition(s)


Four Heavenly Kings means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

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Four Heavenly Kings:—A technical term in Buddhism corresponding to the Sanskrit caturlokapāla defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 7):

  1. Dhṛtarāṣṭra,
  2. Virūpākṣa,
  3. Virūḍhaka,
  4. Kubera.

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., caturlokapāla, ‘four heavenly kings’). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings are four guardian gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world.

They reside in the Caturmaharajika heaven (Pali Catummaharajika, "Of the Four Great Kings") on the lower slopes of Mount Sumeru, which is the lowest of the six worlds of the devas of the Kamadhatu. They are the protectors of the world and fighters of evil, each able to command a legion of supernatural creatures to protect the Dharma. They are:

  • Vaisravana (Kubera) or Vessavana (Kuvera):
    "He who hears everything"
  • Virudhaka or Virulhaka:
    "He who enlarges" or "Patron of Growth"
  • Dhrtarastra or Dhatarattha:
    "He who maintains the state" or "Watcher of the Lands"
  • Virupaksa or Virupakkha:
    "He who sees all"

According to Vasubandhu, devas born in the Caturmaharajika heaven are 1/4 of a krosa in height (about 750 feet tall). They also have a five hundred year lifespan, of which each day is equivalent to 50 years in our world; thus their total lifespan amounts to about nine million years (other sources say 90,000 years).;

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

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