Suddhavasa Worlds: 1 definition


Suddhavasa Worlds 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

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[«previous next»] — Suddhavasa Worlds in Buddhism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

The Suddhavasa (Pali: Suddhavasa; Tib: gnas worlds, or "Pure Abodes", are distinct from the other worlds of the Rupadhatu in that they do not house beings who have been born there through ordinary merit or meditative attainments, but only those Anagamins ("Non returners") who are already on the path to Arhat hood and who will attain enlightenment directly from the Suddhavasa worlds without being reborn in a lower plane (Anagamins can also be born on lower planes). Every Suddhavasa deva is therefore a protector of Buddhism. (Brahma Sahampati, who appealed to the newly enlightened Buddha to teach, was an Anagami from a previous Buddha[1]). Because a Suddhavasa deva will never be reborn outside the Suddhavasa worlds, no Bodhisattva is ever born in these worlds, as a Bodhisattva must ultimately be reborn as a human being.

Since these devas rise from lower planes only due to the teaching of a Buddha, they can remain empty for very long periods if no Buddha arises. However, unlike the lower worlds, the Suddhavasa worlds are never destroyed by natural catastrophe. The Suddhavasa devas predict the coming of a Buddha and, taking the guise of brahmins, reveal to human beings the signs by which a Buddha can be recognized. They also ensure that a Bodhisattva in his last life will see the four signs that will lead to his renunciation.

The five Suddhavasa worlds are:

  • Akanistha or Akanittha and – World of devas "equal in rank" (literally: having no one as the youngest). The highest of all the Rupadhatu worlds, it is often used to refer to the highest extreme of the universe. The current Sakra will eventually be born there. The duration of life in Akanistha is 16,000 kalpas (Vibhajyavada tradition). The height of this world is 167,772,160 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Sudarsana or Sudassi and – The "clear seeing" devas live in a world similar to and friendly with the Akanistha world. The height of this world is 83,886,080 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Sudrsa or Sudassa and – The world of the "beautiful" devas are said to be the place of rebirth for five kinds of anagamins. The height of this world is 41,943,040 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Atapa or Atappa and – The world of the "untroubled" devas, whose company those of lower realms wish for. The height of this world is 20,971,520 yojanas above the Earth.
  • Avrha or Aviha and – The world of the "not falling" devas, perhaps the most common destination for reborn Anagamins. Many achieve arhatship directly in this world, but some pass away and are reborn in sequentially higher worlds of the Pure Abodes until they are at last reborn in the Akanistha world. These are called in Pali uddhamsotas, "those whose stream goes upward". The duration of life in Avrha is 1,000 kalpas (Vibhajyavada tradition). The height of this world is 10,485,

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