The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Brahma World (Brahmaloka): Has different meanings, sometimes referring to the heavens or two highests spiritual realms–the Form Realm (rupadhatu or rupaloka) and the Formless Realm (arupadhatu or arupaloka) and sometimes more specifically, the first three heavens of the Formless Realm. brahma-loka, in Hinduism and Buddhism, that part of the many-layered universe that is the realm of pious celestial spirits.
In Theravāda Buddhism, the brahma-loka is said to consist of 20 separate heavens: the lower 16 are material worlds (rūpa-brahma-loka) inhabited by progressively more radiant and subtle gods, the remaining 4 higher realms are devoid of substance and form and are said to constitute the arūpa-brahma-loka.
The actual level an individual attains is determined by his faithfulness to the Buddha, the dhamma (Sanskrit dharma, “teachings”), and the saṅgha (the religious community), as well as the depth of his insight into the true formless nature of the universe. Like all other worlds in Theravāda cosmology, the brahma-loka undergoes constant change, destruction, and re-creation