Dhamma Letter No. 34
Rebirth in different realms of existence no.1
We discussed ‘kamma and rebirth’ last week in Dhamma Letter No. 33.
According to the Buddha, there are thirty-one (31) realms (dimensions or bhumi) of existence, or places where rebirth can take place. These realms are divided into three basic categories, each related to the three kinds of happiness discussed in Dhamma Letter No. 23.
1) The sensuous realm or the realm of desire for sensory objects (kamaloka),
2) The form realm or the realm of microscopic materiality (rupaloka), and
3) The formless realm or the realm of immateriality (arupaloka).
Human beings and almost all other sentient beings (such as gods, angels, animals, ghosts and hellish creatures) belong to the first realm, the sensuous realm. Generally, these beings enjoy sensory objects, such as food, fame, materialism, sex, music et cetera, and they try to avoid pain. We human beings (manussa) live in this realm.
Both dukkha (pain) and sukha (happiness) are found here, but as a human being, you are most fortunate because this dimension is the only one where adequate moral initiative occurs and full enlightenment can be attained. Why is that?
Because moderate pain and pleasure can be enough reasons for us to practice, and thus can be a motivator for spiritual growth.
The second and third dimensions can be attained through mastering deep meditation, where one overcomes all sensuous desires. We will say more about this in the next dhamma letter.
May you understand the relations of conditions, the teaching of the Buddha!
May you be happy and well!
Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
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Bhikkuni Kosalla Vipassini is the Abbess of Mahapajapati Monastery in Pioneertown, California. For monastery updates, please see Mahapajapati’s Facebook. Donations are gratefully accepted, whether you volunteer your time, offer funds, or provide needed requisites for the monastics. If you are inspired to donate, you may do so here.
Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!
Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!
Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !