Three Worlds: 2 definitions


Three Worlds 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Three Worlds in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: The Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa

Three Worlds or trailokya refers to Bhūta (past), Bhavya (future) and Bhavat (present), according to the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa 2.38. Accordingly, “The Indras of all the Manvantaras of the past (bhūta), present (bhavat) and future (bhavya) should be known as having equal (similar) characteristic features. [...] It is remembered by the Brāhmaṇas that Bhūta, Bhavya and Bhavat are the three worlds. This Bhūrloka (Earth) is remembered as Bhūta; the Antarīkṣa (Atmosphere) is remembered as Bhavat. The Diva (Heaven) is remembered as Bhavya”.

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Discover the meaning of three worlds in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Three Worlds in Buddhism glossary
Source: Google Books: the literature of the personalists of early buddhism

The Three Worlds include all living beings up to those who have attained parinirvāṇa without a remainder (nirupadhiśeṣa) and consists of:

  1. the elements of the world of desire (kāmadhātu);
  2. the elements of the world of subtle form (rūpadhātu); and
  3. the elements of the formless world (ārūpyadhātu).

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