Rupadhatu, Rūpadhātu, Rupa-dhatu: 10 definitions


Rupadhatu 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु) refers to the “gods of the form realm” according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—The gods of the form realm (rūpadhātu), having fallen from the pure abodes (śuddhāvāsa), will again conceive sensual desire and will abide in the impure spheres.

Rūpadhātu, also called Brahmaloka, world of the Brahmā gods, with its four dhyānas, is the abode of seventeen groups of gods.

  1. First dhyāna: i) Brahmakāyika, ii) Brahmapurohita, iii) Mahābrahman.
  2. Second dhyāna: i) Parrittābha, ii) Apramāṇābha, iii) Ābhāsvara.
  3. Third dhyāna: i) Parīttaśubha, ii) Apramāṇaśubha, iii) Śubhakṛtsna.
  4. Fourth dhyāna: i) Anabhraka, ii) Puṇyaprasava. iii) Bṛhatphala, and the five Śuddhāvāsikas, iv) Avṛha, v) Atapa, vi) Sudṛśa, vii) Sudarśaṇa, viii) Akaniṣṭha.
Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु) refers to the “realm of form”, 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 patience of the Bodhisattvas, which are like open space. What are these eight? (5) the purity of patience giving up any bad disposition just as open space is without all bad dispositions; 6) the purity of patience beyond mind and objective support just as open space is beyond mind and objective support; 7) the purity of patience which is not produced and does not occur just as open space is not produced and does not occur; 8) the purity of patience filled with friendliness just as open space is spread on all form and formless realms (rūpadhāturūpārūpyadhātu)”.

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु) refers to the “form 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 Heart Circle (hṛdayacakra)]: “[...]  All other features [of the Yoginīs] such as [their] faces are [identical to the features of the Yoginīs] on the Adamantine Circle (i.e., one face and four arms). He should visualize [these Yoginīs copulating] with means (their consort heroes), [who] resemble the respective goddesses (their consort Yoginīs), at [their places on this circle representing] the upapīṭha. [This circle] is understood to be the Form Realm (rūpadhātu), the Stainless [Level], and the first continent. [...]”.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Rupadhatu in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु) or simply rūpa refers to the “form element” and represents one of the eighteen elements (dhātu) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 25). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., rūpa-dhātu). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु, “form realm”) (Pāli: Rūpaloka) is, as the name implies, the first of the physical realms; its inhabitants all have a location and bodies of a sort, though those bodies are composed of a subtle substance which is of itself invisible to the inhabitants of the Kāmadhātu. There are 17-22 Rūpadhātu in Buddhism texts, the most common saying is 18.

Like the beings of the Ārūpyadhātu, the dwellers in the Rūpadhātu have minds corresponding to the dhyānas (Pāli: jhānas). In their case it is the four lower dhyānas or rūpadhyānas. However, although the beings of the Rūpadhātu can be divided into four broad grades corresponding to these four dhyānas, each of them is subdivided into further grades, three for each of the four dhyānas and five for the Śuddhāvāsa-devas, for a total of seventeen grades (the Theravāda tradition counts one less grade in the highest dhyāna for a total of sixteen).

The Devas of the Rupadhatu have physical forms, but are sexless and passionless. They live in a large number of "heavens" or deva worlds that rise, layer on layer, above the earth. These can be divided into five main groups:

  1. The Śuddhāvāsa,
  2. The Bṛhatphala,
  3. The Śubhakṛtsna,
  4. The Ābhāsvara,
  5. The Brahmā.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

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

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु).—m. (= Pali id.), the world (sphere, region) of form, in which dwell the rūpāvacara gods; regularly in contrast with kāma-dhātu and ārūpya- (dhātu), qq.v.: Gaṇḍavyūha 471.19; Lalitavistara 428.20; Mahāvyutpatti 3073; Kāśyapa Parivarta 94.4.

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

Rūpadhātu (रूपधातु):—[=rūpa-dhātu] [from rūpa > rūp] m. the element of form, original seat or region of f° (with Buddhists; the other two el° being kāma-dh q.v., and arūpa-dh, ‘the el° of formlessness’), [Buddhist literature]

[Sanskrit to German]

Rupadhatu 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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Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Rupadhatu in Pali glossary
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Rūpadhātu refers to: the element of form, material element Vism. 486; Nett 32, 97. See above D 2.

Note: rūpadhātu is a Pali compound consisting of the words rūpa 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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