Kamadhatu, aka: Kāmadhātu; 3 Definition(s)


Kamadhatu 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु) refers to the “gods of the desire realm” according to the “world of transmigration” section in the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—The six classes of gods of the desire realm (kāmadhātu), attached to the five desirable objects, will fall into the hells (niraya) and be subjected to all the sufferings.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु, “desire realm”) (Pāli: Kāmaloka).—The beings born in the differ in degree of happiness, but they are all, other than Anagamis, Arhats and Buddhas, under the domination of Māra and are bound by sensual desire, which causes them suffering.  The devas of the Kamadhatu have physical forms similar to, but larger than, those of humans. They lead the same sort of lives that humans do, though they are longer lived and generally more content; indeed sometimes they are immersed in pleasures. This is the realm that Mara has greatest influence over.

The higher devas of the Kamadhatu live in four heavens that float in the air, leaving them free from contact with the strife of the lower world. They are:

  1. The Parinirmita vasavartin devas, luxurious devas to whom Mara belongs;
  2. The Nirmanarati devas;
  3. The Tusita devas, among whom the future Maitreya lives;
  4. The Yama devas.

The lower devas of the Kamadhatu live on different parts of the mountain at the center of the world, Sumeru. They are even more passionate than the higher devas, and do not simply enjoy themselves but also engage in strife and fighting. They are:

  1. The Trayastrimsa devas, who live on the peak of Sumeru,
  2. The Caturmaharajikakayika devas, who include the martial kings who guard the four quarters of the Earth.
(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

kāmadhātu : (f.) the world of desire.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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