Kamadhatu, Kāmadhātu: 10 definitions


Kamadhatu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु) refers to the “desire realm”, according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, [while describing the Merit Circle (guṇacakra)]: “On this [Merit Circle], he should recognize the kṣetra (“field,” a class of holy sites). [The circle] comprises all classes of birth in the Desire Realm (kāmadhātu). They said [that the circle represents] the second continent. [It is] itself of the nature of [united] wisdom and means. [The circle is] also the Luminous Level. [It is] itself to be venerated as a teacher. [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kamadhatu in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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:

  1. Caturmahārājika,
  2. Trāyastrimśa,
  3. Yāma,
  4. Tuṣita,
  5. Brahmaloka,
  6. Paramirnitavaśavartin.
Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु) refers to the “world of desire”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “Son of good family, there are eight purities of meditation (dhyāna) of the Bodhisattvas, which are like the expanse of the sky. What are these eight? To wit, (1) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in the parts of personality; (2) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in realms of perception; (3) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in fields of the senses; (4) while meditating, one he not meditate abiding in this world; (5) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in the next world; (6) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in the world of desire (kāmadhātu); (7) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in the world of form; (8) while meditating, he does not meditate abiding in the world without form; Son of good family, those eight are the pure meditations of the Bodhisattvas”.

Mahayana book cover
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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.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kamadhatu in Buddhism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: 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.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kamadhatu in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

kāmadhātu : (f.) the world of desire.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Kāmadhātu refers to: “element of desire. ” i.e. 1. the world of desire, that sphere of existence in which beings are still in the bonds of sensuality, extending from the Avīci-niraya to the heaven of the Paranimmita-vasavatti-devas S. II, 151; Th. 1, 181; also 2. sensual pleasures, desires, of which there are six dhātus, viz. kāma°, vyāpāda, vihiṃsā°, nekkhamma°, avyāpāda°, avihiṃsā°, Vbh. 86; Nett 97; D. III, 215= Vbh. 363 (as the first three=akusaladhātus); Vbh. 404. See also D. III, 275; Th. 1, 378; J. V, 454; Vism. 486 (cp. Vbh. 86).

Note: kāmadhātu is a Pali compound consisting of the words kāma and dhātu.

Pali book cover
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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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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kamadhatu in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु).—m. (= Pali id.), the world (region, sphere) of desire, including all states of existence up to and including that of the paranirmitavaśavartin gods; the gods who live in this region are called kāmāvacara (see deva): very common, e.g. Mahāvastu ii.314.12; Lalitavistara 45.15; 48.17; 299.20; Jātakamālā 192.11; especially contrasting with rūpa-dhātu and ārūpya- (dhātu), qq.v., Lalitavistara 428.19; Mahāvyutpatti 3072; Kāśyapa Parivarta 94.4.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāmadhātu (कामधातु):—[=kāma-dhātu] [from kāma] m. the region of the wishes, seat of the Kāmāvacara, [Buddhist literature]

[Sanskrit to German]

Kamadhatu in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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