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.
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Kāmadhātu (कामधातु) refers to the “gods of the desire realm” according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century 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.
Kāmadhātu, is the abode of six groups of gods: i) Caturmahārājika, ii) Trāyastrimśa, iii) Yāma, iv) Tuṣita, v) Brahmaloka, vi) Paramirnitavaśavartin.(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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:
- The Parinirmita vasavartin devas, luxurious devas to whom Mara belongs;
- The Nirmanarati devas;
- The Tusita devas, among whom the future Maitreya lives;
- 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:
- The Trayastrimsa devas, who live on the peak of Sumeru,
- The Caturmaharajikakayika devas, who include the martial kings who guard the four quarters of the Earth.
Languages of India and abroad
kāmadhātu : (f.) the world of desire.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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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Search found 9 books and stories containing Kamadhatu or Kāmadhātu. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Abhidharmakośa (by Vasubandhu)
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
7. Praṇidhijñāna, Pratisaṃvid and Araṇāsamādhi < [Part 4 - Questions relating to the dhyānas]
V. Nature, object and distribution of the Nine Notions < [Part 1 - The nine notions according to the Abhidharma]
Courses through the five destinies (pañcagati) < [The world of transmigration]
A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms (by Fa-Hien)
The Jhanas (by Henepola Gunaratana Mahāthera)
Buddhacarita (by Charles Willemen)
Chapter VII - Entry into the Forest of Asceticism < [Fascicle Two]
Chapter XI - The Reply to King Bimbisāra < [Fascicle Three]
The Vimalakīrti Sutra (by Vimalakirti)