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The Realm of Human Beings

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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The Human realm is the world of our everyday experience. It contains all the other realms of existence that humans create for themselves.

This is the realm where the individual searches for self. Humans are fundamentally unsure about the nature of many things - including his true identity. But it is in this world that transcendental insight into the true nature of self can be attained.

This is the world where the individual can be conscious enough to be aware of his state of dissatisfaction and seek liberation, becoming enlightened, freeing oneself from the wheel of life and death.

A truly living human person is one who realizes his special position and treasures it, as it is not easy to be reborn as a human. We must not take this life for granted, not realizing its significance. The human realm is the most favorable realm as it contains a mix of pleasure and pain - giving us ample opportunity to realize the true nature of life.

Rebirth in the other realms is unsatisfactory as constant pain in the lower realms is demoralizing while constant pleasure in the higher realms leads to spiritual complacency. Humans are plagued by all three poisons of craving, aversion and ignorance to different extents.

In this precious life, one can either be reborn again into any of the other realms or free oneself from rebirth. It is not easy to be reborn as human. Thus, the human life is very precious. Human beings of various kinds live on the four continents which surround Mt. Sumeru. The southern continent is called Jambudvipa, which is the name of a mythical rose-apple tree that is supposed to grow there. Jambudvipa is shaped like the Indian sub-continent and has two small islands off the tip, one of which corresponds to Sri Lanka. Jambudvipa, of course, corresponds to India which was the entire known world to those who created the Mt. Sumeru cosmology.

West of Mt. Sumeru is the continent called Aparagodaniya. Here, the inhabitants herd cattle and live very comfortable lives in this rich land. This continent is circular and also has two islands. East of Mt. Sumeru is the continent called Purvavideha. The people who live here are very gentle, refined, and have a noble bearing. This continent is shaped like a half moon and has two islands.

North of Mt. Sumeru is the continent called Uttarakuru. The people here are extremely virtuous and live for a thousand years. This continent is very much like the Garden of Eden in that there is no crime, or disease, or violence and food is easily attainable without work. It is shaped like a square and has two islands.

Within our chiliocosm, there are 1 Billion sun-systems (solar systems). Out of these, 4 planets have man living on it. In the future, these 4 planets (including ours) will be united under a universal wheel-turning king. He will have a golden flying vehicle that can fly him to any planet within 1 day's time. Lifespan at that time will be uncountable (84000 = uncountable), their height will be very very high, our height is lower than their knees. There will be no diseases, war, famine, crimes, etc etc... cities are large in population and close to each other, within 1 dharma discourse by Maitreya Buddha, more than 9 billion people attain enlightenment/liberation (which is only possible through modern technology). There will be 3 such discourses