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(Skt.; Pāli, three worlds).

The ‘triple world’ of saṃsāra or rebirth. Buddhist cosmology adopts an ancient Āryan conception of the world having three strata or layers (earth, atmosphere, and sky) and renames these as the Desire Realm (kāma-loka), the Form Realm (rūpa-loka), and the Formless Realm (ārūpya-loka). Human beings live in the Desire Realm, the lowest of the three, and they (along with other denizens of the six realms of rebirth) are reborn here because they are still subject to desire. In the Form Realm there is no desire but corporeality remains, and in the Formless realm there is neither desire nor corporeality. Access from one world to another is by two methods: by being reborn there in accordance with one's karma.or through the meditational practice of the dhyānas. These worlds are alternatively known as realms (dhātu) or spheres (avacara), thus kāma-dhātu.kāma-avacara, etc. See also three realms.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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